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Staying at Stovepipe Wells

New York City, New...
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Staying at Stovepipe Wells

Hi all,

I will be in Death Valley for 2 nights in April and I will be alone. I am considering staying one night in Furnace Creek Ranch and the other in Stovepipe Wells. However, a friend of mine mentioned to me that when he was in Death Valley in the summer and he passed by Stovepipe Wells he was glad he did not stay there because he felt the place looked shady/somewhat unsafe. Is this aa common impression? How do people who have stayed there feel about a single traveler sleeping there overnight?

Thanks

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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11. Re: Staying at Stovepipe Wells

Stovepipe Wells does have TVs in the deluxe rooms, which cost more. I guess their hope is that people can do without TV for a few days because of the myriad ways they can enjoy Death Valley itself.

TV is not a deal-breaker for me. I don't even notice not having it. Even in the NPS housing where I stay when I work as a park volunteer, there is only a shared TV in the common area and cable hook-ups in the living quarters for people who bring their own. I bring my portable blue-ray player and some favorite videos that I never tire of (including Death Valley ones), and I am set for whatever weeks I am there. At night, several clear-channel AM radio stations come in if you just want news; KCBS, KNX, and KSL can often be heard. I still recall being in DV one July 4 and driving to the top of the hill in the housing area one night to listen to KCBS, because I’d been out of touch with the world. That was where I heard the shocking news of the US. Navy mistakenly firing on an unarmed Iranian airliner, in Iranian air space, with almost 300 civilian deaths. It is strange how memories like that stick with you. I did not especially enjoy Independence Day that year.

In Death Valley, Nature puts on the most grand and glorious performances where God is both producer and director. I can simply walk outside and look at the mountains, watch sunrise or sunset, count stars, listen to the coyotes conversing, go for a drive or walk and enjoy the vast empty spaces. I might go to some favorite nearby spot just to sit and enjoy the air. In summer, I would get into the pool. Being in a place with so few distractions is a fine opportunity for people who enjoy reading, writing, drawing, meditation, or other quieter, less hectic ways to pass time. Last year I had a dorm-mate who would sit on the back patio and play his guitar. Another neighbor would work on what I believe was a book she was writing. I would go up to the employee pool on the hill with its view over the salt flats and sit by myself and read scriptures in the middle of the biggest chapel of all: nature. I do not know if those other people had TVs of their own. I do know that none of us passed away from sensory or cultural deprivation.

However, many people would be deprived, so Stovepipe Wells does have some TVs, as does Furnace Creek. I honestly do not remember if Panamint Springs or the Amargosa Hotel does. If TV is so necessary that someone is willing to forego the incomparable experience of staying in Death Valley, Beatty is the closest town. Alas, once Furnace Creek had TV in all the rooms, attendance at NPS evening programs dropped. It has often occurred to me that some people could rent an RV, drive to their town park with a portable TV, watch a travel video there, and leave their vacation money in the bank.

Santa Cruz...
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12. Re: Staying at Stovepipe Wells

>>>> It has often occurred to me that some people could rent an RV, drive to their town park with a portable TV, watch a travel video there, and leave their vacation money in the bank.<<<<

Well said. We tented once near Sedona, and a behemoth drove in and parked next to us, took out their dog to poop, left that near our front flap, then turned up their TV full blast until after midnight. We left the next morning, although we had not planned to.

San Francisco
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13. Re: Staying at Stovepipe Wells

** "... took out their dog to poop, left that near our front flap..." **

Did you collect that and deposit it on their doorstep before departing? :^D

Santa Cruz...
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14. Re: Staying at Stovepipe Wells

Thanks for the belly laugh, dear, which I had !! What a good idea.

Atlanta, Georgia
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15. Re: Staying at Stovepipe Wells

I agree with everything that has been posted here by other "regulars". I have stayed at both Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. It just depends on what you want out of the experience of staying in Death Valley.

Stovepipe Wells is quiet and safe, and I would have no qualms about staying there. Lack of a TV is not a problem for me personally (but I do like having access to Wifi!). Note that Furnace Creek contains the lone cell phone tower in the park, so if you need reliable cell service that might be something to consider. Once you are more than a few miles from FC, the reception gets spotty to non-existent.

My best advice to the OP is to pick one of the two locations and stay there both nights. If you need a full service resort with lots of amenities, then Furnace Creek is probably the better choice. If you prefer quieter and more rustic, then Stovepipe Wells works better for that.

-JimG

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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16. Re: Staying at Stovepipe Wells

** "My best advice to the OP is to pick one of the two locations and stay there both nights. If you need a full service resort with lots of amenities, then Furnace Creek is probably the better choice. If you prefer quieter and more rustic, then Stovepipe Wells works better for that." **

Agreed. However, be aware that Stovepipe Wells does have all everything most people would want: a variety of room types, a restaurant and saloon with a fun Western motif, general store, gift shop, gas station, and pool. There are several pay phones (remember those?) since cell phones won't work. It does not have golf, tennis, guided horse tours, a coin laundry, its own museum, or a post ooffice.

17. Re: Staying at Stovepipe Wells

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