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Question about coming from Vegas

Fremont, California
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Question about coming from Vegas


I have to come to Vegas for a wedding and thinking of maybe flying in a couple of days early to visit Death Valley. My main interest is photography. I have been reviewing the forum topics and just wanted to get the expert's thoughts. Some of the areas that I am thinking of hitting are :

Artist Palette

The Devil's Golf Course

Badwater Pond

Badwater Salts Flats

Stovepipe Wells

Zabriskie Point

Ubehebe Crater

The Racetrack

Sliding Rocks

Anything else I should consider. I am thinking of driving from Vegas in the morning, staying somewhere in the park area for one night and driving back late the next night back to Vegas.

Thanks in advance

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Question about coming from Vegas

What time of year?

Do you have any particular interests? It seems the photographers spend quite a bit of time in one location, getting pictures at the exact right time of day or framing up the shot "just so."

With only one night, I think fewer destinations makes more sense. Have you found lodging yet? That may determine what you'll do and when you'll take photos. I'd leave the last 3 off of your list entirely.

Here is a basic map: americansouthwest.net/california/death_valle…

Fremont, California
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2. Re: Question about coming from Vegas


Thanks for the reply.

I was planning to do this right before Christmas. I do have the flexibility of adding an extra day to make it 2 nights in the area but that might be it. I have not decided yet on lodging. I have seen multiple options mentioned here including the Furnace Creek resort and a Motel 6 in Beatty. Do you have any recommendations? I am open to staying in different places on different nights if that makes is easier to get to places

Edited: 11 December 2013, 04:03
San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: Question about coming from Vegas

I'll have to come back later to give a more detailed answer, but for someone coming from Las Vegas with only a short time to spend in the park, staying in Beatty isn't a great option because it adds a lot of commute time. Beatty is a nice little town, but TBH, no town is ideal for exploring Death Valley because of the travel distances, and also the real desert experience that you will miss if you stay outside the park.

Unfortunately, your options may be limited because it's so soon before your visit, and the period around Christmas is a popular visitor season. The resorts often sell out in December. Try Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells Village (and contact them right away to check on availability). Panamint Springs is another park resort, but it is on the far western side of the park and not centrally located for most of the places you want to see. Keep Beatty or maybe Death Valley Junction as back-up.

The last two destinations (the Racetrack is the "sliding rocks" location) are in the far north end of the park. They would be more convenient to get to if you stay in Beatty, but that limits your time for the other places in the central and southern parts, which are closer together and easier to get to. Winter weather can really impact travel in the north; it can rain and even snow a lot. You'll have plenty to keep you occupied at the lower elevations.

Fremont, California
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4. Re: Question about coming from Vegas

Thank you Frisco_Roadrunner. I went ahead and booked in Stovepipe Wells for two nights. So I will have 3 days and 2 nights in the area. Hopefully that gives me enough time to cover most of the photo stops.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Question about coming from Vegas

Rd to the racetrack not recommended with a rental car (and the rentalcompany won't allow driving off road lanyway). If you want an off road adventure you can rent an Jeep with Farabee's inside the park

Fortaleza, CE
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6. Re: Question about coming from Vegas


Farabees, where you can rent a jeep or book an off-road tour, is at Furance Creek, a good place to stop to talk with rangers at the visitor's center and get updates on current road conditions, etc. Enjoy.

Edited: 11 December 2013, 14:24
Mountain View...
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7. Re: Question about coming from Vegas

You will have to whittle down your plans given that you have limited time. As is well known, the best hours for photography in DeVa are during sunrise and sunset. Photographing at those hours at the Racetrack will mean you will have to do one trip in the dark on a road that is challenging even in broad daylight. Not advisable, unless you are an experienced offroader. A visit to the Racetrack also takes out 7 hours of your time, so that's another thing to bear in mind.

Beatty can be a good option for some of the eastern locations of the park, especially a sunrise drive through Titus Canyon. Also for views of the Pyramid Peak and the Amargosa range. See, for instance -




Edited: 13 December 2013, 16:39
8. Re: Question about coming from Vegas

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