Eureka Dunes: Death Valley National Park

After all the excitement at Ubehebe Crater, we headed North on Big Pine Road toward Eureka Dunes, 1 of 5 dune fields in the park. And let me tell you, the 19-degree nights in Eureka Valley were considerably colder than the 40 degree lows in Death Valley proper. Good thing we brought our freezing weather…

Ubehebe Crater: Death Valley National Park

One of the many roadside attractions in Death Valley National Park is a crater-laden cinder field. Or is that a cinder-laden crater field. Ubehebe and the surrounding craters are maar volcanoes, meaning that they were created when hot magma warmed ground water and the pressure created by the resulting steam was too great. Then BOOM!…

Scotty’s Castle: Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park has an area of 3.4 million acres, 91% of which is wilderness! Hearing these numbers can be daunting to any trip planner but fear not, Death Valley is highly accessible with 785 miles of roads. Roadside camping is typically allowed which means you can often get a great, isolated spot. Keep…

White Sands National Monument and Joshua Tree National Park

White Sands National Monument Dunes?! Sand Dunes?! White Sand Dunes?! Step back! White Sands National Monument rests in a war practice zone. It can be closed due to missile testing and you are advised not to touch un-identifiable objects as they may be unexploded ordinances. Check with the park for scheduled closures. There is not…

Shooting Ansel Adams Wilderness

A campfire helped us (Justin, Dave, Zack, Jason, and me) stave the frigid night air while we ate, drank, and talked at the Reversed Creek Campground. Putting off retiring to our tents as long as we could finally gave in near 3 am. What we were trying to avoid was the following 6 hours of…

Racetrack Valley: Death Valley National Park

Racetrack Playa The road to the Racetrack is bumpy and should only be traversed in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Jeeps can be rented at nearby by. Stop along the way to admire the ornate teakettles hanging from the signpost indicating Teakettle Junction. The Racetrack is the bed of an ancient lake, a playa. From the smooth sand colored…

Telescope Peak: Death Valley National Park

Jeep 101: Always Carry 2 of Everything Refusing to be anywhere near “civilization” on Black Friday, we decided to head out to the desert over Thanksgiving weekend. As many others, the trip started with a prompt departure after the end of the workday. Death Valley is normally about a 7.5 hour drive from the Bay…