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Friday, January 20, 2017

Death Valley, CA - Merry Christmas

The plan was to spend Christmas and New Years in Death Valley.  Just to do it.

Up the pass before heading down to DV.

From Trona Pinnacles up over the 2 passes, got delayed at the one going down to DV proper.  Initially was block by DOT as "Road Closed" due to snow on the road and an 6-car accident.

The only options were to wait it out or drive the some 5+hrs around to the south entrance.  Elected to wait and then was told it'll be an hour or so to clear it.

Turns out that it's just someone 'Speeding??" and no snow on the road at all.

Finally :45min later, got going and headed down to Stovepipe Wells NP campground.

Pretty much a big dirt parking lot, no hookups at the park level, but private ones at the General Store area, limited.

Plenty of spaces open, and I chose near the tent campers thinking there won't be many of those.. Wrong.... they were filled up quickly and only sites with campfires.

I wanted to do the "North End" from Stovepipe and then knock off the south end at Furnace Creek.  I got a 10-day pass and was able to use it at both locations.

 They just give you a ticket, no space # on it so you can use/transfer to another NP in the area, not stuck in one spot.

Furnace Creek area is not far apx 20-30 min at most.  But????  the Pvt and  NP campgrounds were full, so had to hit the "Parking Lot" area.

Stovepipe Wells is a simple place, one General Store, Bar Restaurant across the street and several gift shops/motel.

Anyway, moving right along, did the Ubehebe Crater up north.

Drove through the Mesquite campground to check it out...

and then by the Sand Dunes.

Next day, did the Mosaic Canyon, which is right up the road from the Stovepipe campground which was fun. Smooth rock face, like marble.

Next day, did the Salt Creek,

and on to the old Borax Mining area, which was interesting in that they couldn't work it in Summer due to the high temps... Borax won't process  correctly in the heat, had nothing to do with the "Hu-Mannnns" and "Ani-mules" working it.

and then packed up and headed down to Furnace Creek area.

They have several campground in Furnace Creek, the private one, the  NP one

(previous trip, they have hookups too)

and then two others across the road, Sunset GG which is basically a big parking lot with stripes

and the Texas Springs which is more like a campground but no Generators...

While I was planning on doing the Southern sites, it never happened.  Kept debating on whether to "Off load" camper and go to them or just catch them on the way out.  Artists Point was reportedly closed due to water damage.

As par for the course, didn't do any of them, and just headed south "Passing By Them", but didn't stop, wanted to make it back to the "Q" or stop at Lake Havasu.

Nice drive down the southern area.  I'll do the southern part again sometime and knock them off.

Got off late in the morning, drove and as it was getting late, changed directions from Lake Havasu to the "Q" direct..

Couldn't really figure out where to land at night at Lake Havasu, so headed straight down to Q.  Hwy 95 is a two laner hwy, and you can only go as fast as the truck ahead of you, which is usually moving right along.

... and back in the Q, stayed at Hi-Jolly BLM just north of town, milepost 112..

Here for a bit...

Main Gallery Pics

Stovepipe Wells
Ubehebe Crater
Mosaic Canyon
Texas Springs CG
Sunset CG
Salt Creek
Borax Mining
Mesquite CG
Sand Dunes
Furnace Creek area