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Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

Glasgow, United...
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Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

Hi guys,

My wife and I are travelling from Lone Pine to Las Vegas in a day and will be travelling through Death Valley. We will be leaving Lone Pine after breakfast so I wondered what you would suggest we see on our way and in what order? Realistically we'd be looking at just stopping to admire the view and for a quick photo opportunity rather than hiking or anything due to the heat. I have had a look at other topics but the majority seem to be coming from Vegas rather than heading there. I wasn't sure if it was just a case of switching the route.

Thanks

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

I don't think there is a difference in driving. Just visit the suggested destinations in reverse. Here is that article again: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361 (It will help "lurkers" to know what we're talking about.) If you time it right, you'll be driving toward the bright lights of Las Vegas as it gets dark. You can see it from many miles away.

Is this a drive you're doing next week?

You won't get a map when you enter the NP like you will when you enter Yosemite. You'll get the nice map when you pay your fee at the Visitor Center. So print the Basic Map (linked to that article) or just carry a regular map with you.

Glasgow, United...
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2. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

Thanks PNWF, that basic map is good. It's this week we're doing it, should be fun.

San Francisco
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3. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

Yes, pretty much reverse the route, being aware that you will be traveling toward the sunrise and that might make a bit of difference in how scenery looks. For instance, you’ll probably see Artist’s Drive around midday or early afternoon; the colors in the hillside are most vivid when the sun is lower and sometimes appear washed-out in direct sunlight. However, they can always be seen, since they are caused by mineral oxides in the rock and are not an optical illusion.

If you stop at Stovepipe Wells ranger station to pay the entrance fee, you can get your official park map sooner. (This is the first staffed location you reach from the west, and it may have shorter hours in summer). Just prior to SPW is Mosaic Canyon, which is beautiful. It isn’t a long hike to see some of the unique formations and colors, including polished white canyon walls resembling marble. Everyone enjoys the Sand Dunes, and it’s especially interesting in the morning when you can look for tracks from wildlife that comes out in the cooler night hours. The dunes are hot even early in the day, so mind your health and safety precautions.

Along 190 enroute to Furnace Creek are Salt Creek and Harmony Borax Works, then the park visitor center. Stop in and see the exhibits and movie, ask any questions you might have, browse in the bookstore, and enjoy a few minutes of air conditioning. Furnace Creek Ranch is just south of the visitor center, where you can get a bite or buy a guest pass to the pool for $5.00.

The post office is at the Ranch, It has a special mail drop for a Death Valley postmark (most mail gets a generic postal sectional center postmark). But be aware that the retail counter is not open on Saturdays or Sundays, and there are no stamp vending machines, so if you will be there on a weekend, bring adequate stamps of the correct values.

Since you won’t be doing long hikes, you have time to make the down-and-back trip down Badwater Road to see Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater, Artist’s Drive, and maybe Golden Canyon (that’s a hike, but you park at the mouth of the canyon and walk just a short way before you start seeing the eroded formations and warm colors). These major natural wonders are in the first 17 miles of Badwater Road, so you can see them in a couple of hours. Then head east on 190. You’ll see the historic Furnace Creek Inn at the intersection, and it is closed for summer, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the lush terraced gardens. On 190, you’ll see Zabriskie Point, 20 Mule Team Canyon, and Dante’s View as the grand finale to your Death Valley trip, where you look down from 5,475’ above sea level down to Badwater and the salt flats, several roads, the oasis of Furnace Creek, and the surrounding mountain ranges.

Glasgow, United...
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4. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

Sounds great, thanks Frisco.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

If you want to take a pictures of the Sierra and Alabama Hills I always suggest to make a stop some miles out of Lone Pine off 136. Look behind you. Really fantastic with the sun in the east shining on the mountains. Inside DV maybe your first stop will be Farther Crowley point.

Tet

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6. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

Thanks Tet.

London
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7. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

We did this drive last year during August and we really enjoyed it. Because of the heat, I was keen to get 'in' early and then head out of DV by early afternoon. We were then driving quite a distance down and up past Vegas and onto St George in Utah so keen to make the most of the day.

We headed onto 136 which joins 190 into D. Stopped at Father Crowley Vista briefly (didn't walk along the track), stopped briefly at Panamint Springs (W.C. stop and was going to pay park fees but the office wasn't open), then a stop at the sand dunes (was already 108F by 8am so didn't walk much here! - Car park is right next to them), and then arrived at Furnace Creek at about 9:30am. We were going to drive up and along Dante's View but this had been washed out by a flash flood the day before (absolutely gutted!). Instead we drove down to Badwater and returned via Artists Drive. Both of these were worth doing if you have 90 minutes to detour - we did this at about 11:30 and although the Artist drive roads are steep in places, they are all good tarmac (or were last year!). Definitely stop at Zabriskie Point - a few minutes walk. After this, it's a drive uphill and out of DV.

For us though the most memorable part of the trip was being in DV at about 6am with no one/car in sight. The near complete silence (no trees/bushes/animals - apart from a seriously lost duck?!) was something both eerie and magical! It soon became much busier than we quite imagined it would be given the time of year!

london
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8. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

Hello - your trip sounds wonderful - we are two families of ten from England travelling from Las Vegas to yosemite in August. I am worried about temperatures, driving in a hired van, and parking - was all this okay for you ? as we have lots of teenagers, I don't think we can leave earlier than 7:00am. We were thinking of stopping for the night in Lone Pine - will it be too hot in this area , is there an alternative place we should consider staying in?

The alternative was driving through Bakersfield - too long to yosemite !

Or can we go from Vegas yosemite via Tahoe??

But keen to visit Lone Pines and Alabama hills as we are all movie buffs !

Please advise thanks

Uden, The...
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9. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

ANomad, this thread is almost one year old. Suggest to open a new topic. Lone Pine will be fine for an overnight stay but if you want to enter Yosemite via lake Tahoe (long detour) you'll need another night on the way.

Tet

10. Re: Lone Pine to Las Vegas via Death Valley

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