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.

Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

UK
Level Contributor
138 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

Hello

We are going to be making a road trip in June that will include DVNP. We are coming from Las Vegas and leaving towards Lake Tahoe or maybe Sequioa National Park (if it is feasible and worth it). We could spend up to two nights in or around the park but want to start from LV and leave from either the West or North to carry on our journey. Given that our time frame is limited as is our budget where would be the best place to stay to see the best parts whilst still affording us time to view stars? We know that you can stay in Furnace Creek but it is way out of our budget.

We were looking at staying in Beatty as this seems to be cheaper but can you actually "commute" into the park for a meaningful visit? I see that Death Valley Junction is also an option but is this better than Beatty? Could you drive from LV through the south of DVNP towards Beatty and see things on the way and then see the northern part on that day or is it a big false economy and we should just stay in the overpriced FC?

I have tried to find this info on here and have found excellent itineraries but i am still at a loss as to where you can stay on a budget to maximise time actually in the park!

Thanks in advance!

UK
Level Contributor
138 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

Also is camping actually an option in June or is it as bad as i imagine i.e. hot, dusty and snake infested :)

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
17,610 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

If you plan to stay outside the park, Beatty has more, and nicer ,lodging facilities than DV Junction.I have stayed in Beatty only because the lodges in the park were full.Inside the park sure is nicer if available.

Unless you are used to camping in hot temps, June in DV is probably not for you. Unless you head to higher elevations.

You can't access Sequoia directly from the east, so to visit there you need to go on the other side of the mountain range. The drive up 395 from Lone Pine to Tahoe is beautiful. You can access Yosemite from the east via Tioga Pass. Don't miss Bodie, a fun ghost town.

Edited: 25 April 2014, 05:59
UK
Level Contributor
138 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

Thanks for that. I think we might have to drop Sequoia in favour of other places. We will have to find a National Park on our way back up to Seattle (perhaps Sierra?). Camping is out then, sounds very uncomfortable.

Thanks for your feedback, hopefully others can contribute further to let me know if a stay in Beatty is a doable commute.

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
17,610 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

Google maps puts that at about 40 miles.(Beatty to FC) Its certainly doable. But like any other National Park, it usually nicer to stay in the midst of it.Beatty does have some interesting bars/restaurants, so its not really a bad place to stay if the park lodging does not work with your budget.

Edited: 25 April 2014, 06:17
Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

Yes, Beatty will be a bit of backtracking but with 2 nights considering budget you could stay Beatty one night and second night at Panamint Springs. Panamint Springs is basic but cheaper than Furnace Creek Ranch or Stovepipe Wells resort and you're still in Death Valley. It's very dark in Panamint Springs so stargazing is fantastic.

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

I did this but the other way round. Went from sequoia to DV and on to Vegas. Last September

The drive from Sequoia to Death Valley was about 9 hours. We stopped in a town called Lone Pine. A single road town with a good supply of motels and restaurants. All at about $80 / night. The town and it's surroundings are the settings for westerns from the John Wayne era. We then drove to Death Valley the next morning 1.5 hour?

In Death Valley we camped in one of the grounds opposite Furnace creek for about $15, then paid furnace creek $5 each for 24hr access to the pool /showers. It was hot but it was actually the wind that was more trouble. Blowing the tent in the night.

The best bit of camping was seeing the stars and Milky Way. Although we did see this at lone pine too. It was more dramatic in the setting of Death Valley with the mountains and salt flats. As well as seeing the sunset rise up the valley walls. Which u might not get if you are leaving DV to the next place.

We then drove to Vegas (2 or 3 hours) the next morning.

Edited: 26 April 2014, 02:57
UK
Level Contributor
138 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

Thanks so much for your responses. We will have a look at camping in Furnace Creek but might be a tough sell to the GF what with snakes and scorpians on the loose!

Will also take a look at Panamint too.

We did think about Lone Pine for the second night but it sounds like it would be better to be actually in the valley. Might be worth a little extra money or discomfort (camping).

Thanks

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

I would not fret about snakes or scorpions when camping in DV. There's very little chance you'll even see a snake. You can see tracks at Mesquite Sanddunes early in the morning though.

UK
Level Contributor
138 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

Oh really? Ok that does make me feel more at ease. Now the only issue is the shear temperature at night in Mid June, would it be too much?

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Minimum time in DVNP to see the sites and the stars!

When I was young we camped on a Spanish beach without shade and survived. Now I'm a senior and can't do without a/c....so it's up to you.

Get answers to your questions about Death Valley National...