We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Stovepipe Wells Availability

Orange, California
Level Contributor
57 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Stovepipe Wells Availability

Hi,

I will be going to DV this weekend but due to schedule and stuff I'll head out on Saturday morning. I think that this weekend could be popular and campgrounds may be busy. What's my chances of getting a campsite this weekend. I'm just afraid that they might all be taken since thursday or friday. since it's not reservable.

I looked at furnance creek reservation and it's pretty full so i'm just afraid that it may be the case for stovepipe since i'll arrive right during the weekend.

Thank you!

Camp Sherman, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,079 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

There are many walk up tent sites available this week end at FC campground. Reserve now! This might be a slow time until busy spring season. There might be some first come/first serve at Texas Spring. How long will you be there?

http://tinyurl.com/al7kd9r

Orange, California
Level Contributor
57 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

I will be there for only one night! I know i wish i could spend more time there but i'm going to arrive super early on saturday to make sure that we get two full days. thanks for the suggestions.

I'm just curious if you can tell what is the main difference between stovepipe and furnace creek? what are the benefits of camping at either.

From looking at the map. it seems like furnace creek is closer to all the major attractions in the park. Thank you very much for your reply.

Camp Sherman, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,079 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

I would just reserve at FC with just one night. It is a larger park close to the central FC ranch area and yes central to attractions. The walk in tent sites are off on their own so it should be pretty quiet. All the drive in tent sites are booked there. I don't know which of the walk in's are better thans others. Some have shrubs around them. They have just been re done. Stove Pipe Wells sites are facing the dunes behind RV sites. Lot's of wind there. I would do FC site. Last day to reserve for Saturday! If you find a better site at Texas Spring(also central), go for it but you will be losing the fee for FC.

Orange, California
Level Contributor
57 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

Also, i know this is a lot of questions. but would the best and fastest way to enter the park if I'm staying at furnace be via I-15 > 127 > 190?

I looked it up on Google and it says about 4 hours and 30 minutes. I live in orange county in Southern California.

Camp Sherman, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,079 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

I'm not sure. I drive in from the north. Other people will help here. Another route is up 395 to Ridgecrest/Trona and then 190 from the west. I have done both routes but that was in '76 and '78 when I lived in Redlands and Santa Cruz and haven't been on those routes since. Gad I was 19 and 21 then! I think there are postings on this if you look. Have fun and hope you do some of the earlier trip suggestions!

Orange, California
Level Contributor
57 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

Thank you so so much! you have been incredibly helpful. and I will make the most of the trip for sure. thanks again!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
14,404 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

The only reason I would ever suggest I-15 and 127 for So. Calif. residents is if you are coming from or returning to the San Bernardino metro or the far eastern side of the LA metro area. I think from OC, you're better off taking 395 through Ridgecrest and then going to Trona. This takes you into the park from the west and spares you the heavy Los Angeles-Las Vegas traffic and you get to see far more dramatic scenery on the way in.

Stovepipe Wells has several types of camps. One campground is operated by the resort, Stovepipe Wells Village, and is essentially a parking lot for RVs and trailers. Bare gravel, no vegetation or shade.

The NPS has a campground with an RV area and a tent area at the edge of the Sand Dunes. That section is nice; you park in a gravel area just outside the dunes and you may, if you wish, walk back among the dunes and mesquite and creosote bushes a bit to set up. There are camping boundaries set up to limit the impact on native vegetation and keep campers away from the Stovepipe Wells septic ponds, but there is a lot of space back there to use.

The big caveat there is that in the p.m., the wind picks up and can get pretty strong. People have had tents go into orbit if they weren't staked securely. You also need to close everything up tight when you are away, and some dust will probably still get into things. But this is a pretty spot. It's a quick walk to the SPW resort, which has a store, restaurant and saloon, gift shop, and swimming pool (passes available to the public for $5.00 per day with in-and-out).

SPW is 25 miles from Furnace Creek. FC is closer to some of the major natural marvels that everyone wants to see: Devil's Golf Course, Badwater, Artist's Drive, Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, 20 Mule Team Canyon, and Dante's View. But there is lots to do closer to SPW: the dunes, Devil's Cornfield, Salt Creek, and right next door to the resort, Mosaic Canyon.

IMO, if it's location and convenience for exploring that you want, you can't miss with either location. The FC area has more amenities and services for visitors, and the tradeoff is that it's a more active and bustling place.

Orange, California
Level Contributor
57 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

wow I couldn't have asked for a better answer. this is incredibly helpful. I decided to reserve a tent site at FC.

Now, i have one little question if you don't mind. I plan on leaving before dawn around 4am on Saturday to head out in order to avoid any traffic and to get the most of Saturday since i will only be there for one night.

My question is that do you think that 15 to 127 will be faster overall since google maps suggest that it is. I will exit the park via 395 anyways.

Right now google maps says that it will be an hour shorter to take 15 to 127 than to take the 395.

Thanks so much for answering my questions!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
14,404 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

I didn’t figure the mileage from where you are in OC, but I’ll tell you about the I-15 route in case it’s the one you decide on. And if you plan to return home on 395, you’ll still get to see the sights on the west side of the park.

Taking I-15 to 127, you'll enter the park on the east side. From Shoshone, you have a choice of taking the Badwater Road all the way to Furnace Creek, or taking 127 to Death Valley Junction and 190 into the park.

1. From Shoshone to Furnace Creek via Badwater is about 130 miles. You will be able to see the sights along Badwater Road as you go along (Badwater, Natural Bridge if you wish—it’s about a mile walk from the parking to where the main rock formations start; Artist’s Drive, Devil’s Golf Course, and Golden Canyon). If you then want to go to Dante’s View, it’s a 50-mile round trip from the FC area. Also, the tiny ghost town of Death Valley Junction is yet another 17 miles out of your way east of the Dante’s View road.

2. From Shoshone to FC via Death Valley Junction, INCLUDING the side trip to Dante’s View, is also about 130-135 miles. On the way to FC, you could go to 20 Mule Team Canyon and Zabriskie Point. Then, the trip on Badwater Road and back is about 30 miles, not 50. If you did it this way, I suggest making it a true loop trip, seeing the sights on the west side of the road (Devil’s Golf Course and Badwater) and then doubling back to see the east side places (Natural Bridge, Artist’s Drive, and Golden Canyon) to minimize crossing back and forth over the road.

Obviously, I recommend alternative 2. If you do it, I suggest going to the park visitor center before heading down Badwater Road. It is only a mile from the 190-Badwater junction. It’ll give you a break from driving and you can get your full-color map, ask any questions, see the new exhibits and the park movie, and get a better feel for the places and natural features you’ve seen and those you will be seeing. Maybe buy a book or video about Death Valley, or a few postcards to send home (there is a P.O. at FC Ranch with a special slot inside for a DV postmark, but the counter is closed on weekends and there is no vending machine, so slip a few stamps in your wallet). Then head for the Badwater area, either before or after having a bite at Furnace Creek.

North of FC area, on the way to Stovepipe Wells, are several sites of interest. Harmony Borax Works is just north of the visitor center. If you’re intrigued by DV borax mining history, which is a special interest of mine, you can see where it started. Salt Creek is a few miles farther, and you might save it for the next day. It is the habitat of an protected pupfish species, and they are usually active later in the spring. But the habitat itself is remarkable, a desert marsh in the hottest, driest place in America, with greenery all year long and almost always birds and reptiles hanging out. The Sand Dunes are a magical place to visit at sunset or sunrise, about a half hour from FC. Salt Creek is close enough that you could backtrack after sunrise at the Dunes to see it, and then go back west on 190 on your return trip toward 395.

Orange, California
Level Contributor
57 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Stovepipe Wells Availability

wow this is just an incredible answer! thanks so much and i will take your suggestions very strongly. I think i will take the 15 to 190 into the park and visit dante's and zabriske point before stopping at FC to unload then golden canyon to badwater basin and pretty much everything in between.

Second day, we'll probably go out to ubehebe crater and possibly scotty's then backdown to mosaic canyon and finish off with dune sledding at mesquite until sunset then exit the park via wildrose road down 395.

the only sad thing is the racetrack is really what i want to go but we don't have a 4WD and none of my friends are 25.

thanks so so much for all of your help. i really appreciate everything!