Death Valley for a Day
Knowing enough about Mr. Misadventures' predilection for deserts and places with sandy rocks, I was not surprised when his suggestion for a trip to Las Vegas really meant, “let's check out Death Valley.”
We followed our normal routine, the same as when we go to places like Valley of Fire. We flew into Las Vegas on a Friday evening in time to make it to Whole Foods before they close. We picked up picnic supplies and lots of water and got a good night's sleep.
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Then we got up at the crack of dawn (to beat the heat) and drove a little over two hours to the entrance of Death Valley.
It might as well have been the entrance to the moon as the scenery was so different from anything we encountered on our Southwest Roadtrip or even Valley of Fire which is 90- minutes on the other side of Vegas. The earth was so grey compared to all the oranges and browns I had seen in the last year.
Of course, Mr. Misadventures had to risk his life for the road shot again. No bother that there was actually an 18-wheeler coming up behind him and that his wife nearly had a heart attack. He got his shot. [Virtual eye roll here on my part.]
When we got to the Badwater area it was the moon. Well if the moon grew a bush. This spot is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level.
We left the main road to visit the Artist Drive to look at the Artist Palette. This spot was given its name because of all the different colors that you can see in the rocks. And while Mr. Misadventures was climbing to get this shot (did I mention it was nearly 100 degrees by 10) I rescued some French tourists who had driven to visit from Los Angeles but forgot their sunscreen.
We gained a little height as we reached Dante's View, a viewpoint at 5,476 feet up with a view of the east side of Death Valley.
I was not looking forward to the idea of picnicking on a 100-degree moon, but we ran into Furnace Creek Resort and RV Park which had public picnic tables under beautifully shady trees so we sat down to a gourmet lunch complete with cool white wine and cold fruit which went a long way to cooling us off.
We spent another hour or two exploring and headed back to Las Vegas.
I can't say I loved it. I understand that April is the best time to visit when the desert flowers are in bloom, although I didn't see any flowers…
I am sure that in the early morning light the sunset over the desert must be spectacular which I am sure one day I will be blogging about if Mr. Misadventures has anything to say about it!
How about you? Have you been to Death Valley before? What was your experience?
Check out my AFAR Delights of Death Valley Wanderlist for more interesting spots to visit.
That Mr Misadventures photo of the road is DIVINE. And love it that you go to the end of the earth and there are still French people for you guys to rescue! xx
@Daisy, thanks, they make me nervous every time he does one! I shocked the group of French people, they were standing around their cars debating what they should do when I offered to lend them my sunscreen in French!
Never been to Death Valley, but would love to one day. Mr. Adventures’ photos are spectacular! So grandiose!
I understand your moon comparison, there is something quite lunar-esque about the colors.
I have only heard about dangerous close encounters with death when people go to visit Death Valley and get lost due to their GPS or being unprepared with little water. There was a tragic story regarding a hiker that I won’t go into detail about.
I have also heard of the extreme running races that occur through here which to me is insane!
Did you hit the strip when you got back in the air conditioned hotels lol?
@Murissa, it would have been cool to see some racers, but alas there was nothing. I wouldn’t hike there, it is too hot!
My husband and I like really quiet, out of the way, camping spots where there aren’t crowds of people. We usually go off roading into Death Valley and way out into the areas off of Highway 395. This year, we took a few extra days off of work and are looking into finding some new spots. We are NOT looking for busy touristy areas such as Yosemite (as pretty as it is), we want somewhere where there won’t be lots of people and where we can just relax. We are taking a Jeep, so can get into the harder to reach areas. Any suggestions?
I have never been to death valley, and honestly, before seeing this post I hadn’t thought much of it. After all, “Death Valley” isn’t a very appealing name… but after looking though your photos, I have to say it’s absolutely beautiful. I think the reason why I find it so appealing, is that it isn’t the traditional sense of beauty. When relating the word beauty to a landscape, most people may think beaches, a rainforest, a lake, or something of the sort. This is a different type of beauty. One that is unique and untraditional. I love it!
@Rachel, excellent points, everyone sees beauty in their own manner.
Great post, makes want to go & see it! Love the pic from Dante’s View.
Pretty amazing place! But hot!!!
I’ve never been and not too sure if I want to, but I think I might ask my friend about going when we go on our road trip to California next year. It might be fun!
Love the photos…. I live in S. Carolina… at Clemson University – we have our own Death Valley! 🙂
I love Mr Misadventures photos! I can relate.. sometime you just have to get a shot! That is some gorgeous scenery and another place you’ve shown me that I would like to visit!
@Lisa, thanks, I am so glad to hear you like the photos!
That place looks so hot. But the landscape and the pictures you took are beautiful. Thanks for sharing
Your death valley photos are breathtaking. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I’ve never been to Death Valley and would love to go there. Gorgeous place. Those are beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing.
I have not been to death valley but I have experienced we’ll be watching the sunrise from here (a mountain) if the mister has anything to say about it. 😉 Gorgeous photos, it’s such an interesting landscape!