School me on Death Valley in January

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paul
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School me on Death Valley in January

Post by paul » Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:52 pm

Might get some time off in January, and thinking desert wanderings. I am wondering mostly about anyone's experience of what roads in DVNP are likely to be passable for my minivan at that time of year. Thanks in advance for your help/advice.








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bobby49
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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by bobby49 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:03 pm

Most of the park paved roads are good. However, January is a time of big storms and floods. So, rather than a minivan, have you considered a row boat?

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balzaccom
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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by balzaccom » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:21 pm

It may or may not rain. If it does, bobby's right...it can be scary. If not, it can be cold...like freezing...or beautiful.

If you want things to do, check out Steve Hall's site at Panamint City.com....easily the best website for DV.
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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BillyBobBurro
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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by BillyBobBurro » Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:18 pm

Getting into or out of Saline Valley might not be possible since the two passes to the valley can get snow.

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bobby49
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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by bobby49 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:25 pm

I realize that everybody's calendar constraints are different. However, in my opinion, the best time to visit Death Valley NP would be the middle of March. By then, there are wildflowers in different parts of the park that aren't hard to get to. In mid-March, the weather can be warm or hot, but it is generally less than deadly hot.

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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by Flamingo » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:06 pm

@paul I'm a big fan of Death Valley in January! On my previous winter trips to DV, the thing that most surprised me was the strong and persistent wind. Sometimes it's been impossible to pitch a tent, and there's very few places with vegetation for shelter. While camped at Eureka Dunes in January 2019, the afternoon wind snapped my tent poles.

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paul
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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by paul » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:09 pm

Folks have mentioned cold - I'm expecting that, would bring my full range of layering options up to and including the snow camping stuff. And Rain - which, if in the forecast, could put me off since it would keep me firmly on the pavement, driving wise. And wind - that I was slightly aware of, but will keep in mind more centrally. Since I'm not likely to do any backpacking, just dayhikes, I'd be sleeping in my van so I don't have to worry about tent failures. But sounds like having some non-cook food options might be a good idea, in case it's howling such that I don't want to set up a stove outside.

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neil d
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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by neil d » Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:06 pm

I would definitely go in January, just be prepared for short days and long nights. You are rather limited if you don't have at least some vehicle clearance, IMO, because the dispersed camping is just so spectacular.

(Side rant: the established camping in DV sucks beyond belief. Almost a crime they even charge for it. Maybe you wouldn't mind sleeping in a vehicle, but pitching a tent on asphalt is just wrong. Although I hear Mesquite Springs is the best of the bunch).

Regarding wind, it is true that it often rips through the valley and over the peaks various times of year. But you can often escape it by driving up into a canyon.

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bobby49
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Re: School me on Death Valley in January

Post by bobby49 » Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:16 pm

neil d wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:06 pm
Although I hear Mesquite Springs is the best of the bunch).
1. It is off the beaten track.
2. If you are prepared, there is a nice hike to some nearby petroglyphs. Bring a lunch.

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