Death Valley is enchanting – and HOT! But in the fall and winter months you will find a trip to Death Valley much more enjoyable than the hotter summer months. In fact, in the winter it can get quite cold. A trip in an RV is the perfect way to experience your getaway into the desert landscapes. Start out in Olancha, California and head to Death Valley Junction which is about a 130-mile trip. Depending on how often you stop and for how long, you can expect the drive to take about three hours.
Driving through Death Valley National Park you will see amazing vistas of desert and mountains, and have the chance to see some unusual sights. There are 3.4 million acres in the park and of course, you won’t see it all – but you’ll see enough to fulfill your desires to see this striking desert land and the wildlife living here.
The Furnace Creek area holds many wonders you won’t want to miss. From golden canyons and volcanic hills to eroded rock spans and the lowest point in North America, you have to see it to believe it. Make a point to stop and visit the Borax Museum and see the history of Borax in the valley. At Zabriskie Point there is a view that is said to be the park’s most famous one. Head here to see a sunset with beautiful colors painting the sky.
When you visit the Stovepipe Wells area you will see the patterns of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes as well as the polished marble walls of Mosaic Canyon. Take the wood boardwalk at Salt Creek and walk past some reflective pools. Titus Canyon will be tricky to access with an RV but you can do it via a dirt road from outside the park. This is one of the most scenic of all drives, and you’ll want to see the ghost town.
At Scotty’s Castle area you will stop at Scotty’s Castle & Visitor Center to see the Spanish-style mansion and pick up a snack at the visitor center snack bar. The Ubehebe Crater was created by a huge volcanic explosion and you’ll want to explore the area to learn more about Earth’s history.
In this area of Scotty’s Castle, you can also visit the fascinating Eureka Dunes. They rise 700 feet and are noted as being the highest dunes in California. The colors alone are incredible, and you will definitely want your camera to hand so you can capture some of this beauty.
The Panamint Springs area offers more miracles of the desert, such as Darwin Falls and the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns. These ten kilns were built back in 1876 to provide fuel for processing silver and lead ore. Don’t miss the Lee Flat Joshua Trees while you are here.
If you love hiking, there are a number of trails you can take into the canyons. Try Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail (PDF) for an easy two-mile hike through a lovely canyon. Two others are Desolation Canyon which is three miles round trip and Natural Bridge Canyon, beginning in the Natural Bridge parking lot.
What a trip! Death Valley is a wonderful place to explore. An RV vacation here is something to remember for many years to come.