Death Valley! Best time to visit? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > WF Local > WF Local Forums for Your Region and State > California Jeep Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 12-30-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Edmond, OK
Posts: 249
Death Valley! Best time to visit?

I visited Death Valley in February of 09 when I was moving from Oklahoma to Alaska. I really enjoyed it and said I'd be back. I'm back in Oklahoma now and want to go out there this spring and hit some 4x4 roads in my Jeep and see the sites. I want to camp out as well. I have a 2006 TJ that is stock other than 31" tires and a winch and all sorts of recovery gear.

In particular, I'd REALLY like to see the Racetrack Playa and be able to walk out onto it without it being wet. I'd like to see some of the other remote places in the park like where Charles Manson lived and some of the mining sites. What's the best time of year to go and camp out? I don't mind if it gets cold at night. I just don't want to be 115 in the day time. I'd also like for the snow to be gone from the roads up higher so I can drive them too. I'm thinking mid-March to mid-April would be good. It will take me a day and a half just to get there and a day and a half back. I'd like to spend four or five nights in the park. Are there showers that I can use somewhere a couple of times? Anybody know of some really remote, primitive campgrounds that are good? I'd love to camp out by the Racetrack Playa for a night or two. Thanks for any info!

KC10Chief is online now   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-31-2013, 06:44 AM   #2
DaK
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 1,239
Your time for visiting out there is perfect. Just so ya know there has been little rain this yr so the wild flowers, the main attraction, will most likely not be the most spectacular.

There is camping just past the Race Track. Depending on your time of yr and the amount of rain we get will determine if you can walk out there or not.

There are cabins in Butte Valley, on your way to Manson's hide out. They are first come first serve. One has a make shift shower in I know. There is also a little known mine, just around the corner from the cabins that is worth checking out.

There is another primitive campground up by Scotty's castle, will be on your left as you are headed up to the crater/racetrack. Don't know if it has showers and stuff.

DaK is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-31-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
Jeeper
 
jeff_in_rc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 1,478
You can camp for a small fee at Ballaratt and they have toilets but no shower that I am aware of. Or if you go north from Ballaratt there is free camping on either side of the road.
__________________
2004 RED TJ Rubicon
Member of the Gear Grinders 4WD Club
jeff_in_rc is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-31-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Edmond, OK
Posts: 249
Thanks for the info! I wasn't looking for a shower where I'm camping. Just something that I could use when I roll back through town or other campgrounds or something. How are the roads out there? I would like to get into some neat, remote places and take some of the 4X4 roads out there. My Jeep doesn't have a lift or anything. Just 31" tires and a winch. Is there anything I can't handle? I'll be by myself too. My wife doesn't want to camp and I doubt anybody will be able to take the 2,500+ mile round trip from Oklahoma with me. I do have a personal locator beacon that I could use if I got into some sort of life threatening emergency. I have all of the other recovery gear too other than a hi-lift jack. I'll be adding one of those soon though. Thanks!
KC10Chief is online now   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-31-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
Jeeper
 
jeff_in_rc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 1,478
My old YJ had 31's, a 2" lift but was otherwise stock and went everywhere I took it out there. Some roads are better than others.

Let me know when you'll be there and I just might join you! That is if you don't mind company!
__________________
2004 RED TJ Rubicon
Member of the Gear Grinders 4WD Club
jeff_in_rc is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-31-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
Jeeper
 
Smokinjoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: InyoKern, CA
Posts: 641
Most Death Valley roads are maintained you will run into rental jeeps and they are stock. There are first come first served cabins in some areas, I also have come across folks camping on the trail.
Rangers do patrol but less in outskirts areas
Weather is good now till early June, I was in furnace creek on Christmas Day and was nice 72. There is a road condition report on there web site that is updated most every day.
Smokinjoe is online now   Quote Quick Reply
Old 01-01-2014, 06:49 AM   #7
DaK
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 1,239
Here is the road condition report smoking joe wrote about:

http://www.nps.gov/deva/loader.cfm?c...&pageid=439529

Your rig is built fine for exploring DV. We had a stockish sport follow us over Mengal Pass which is about the worse "rock crawling" to be done in the valley and he had no issues. It appears that the Parks Department as been working like mad out there to get the park ready as this is their busiest time of yr. Now if Inyo County would just get on the stick and get their roads fixed the world would be a much happier place, well at least those of us that like going out that way would be happier.

The one place you may have some issue with your rig is if you plan on going past the Eye of the Needle. There is a pretty gnarly waterfall out that way but it is past the mine and the eye and only needs to be done if you are going that way to Beatty.

If you don't have one, get an air pump for airing up and down your tires. You DO NOT want to run up and down these roads for 90-100 miles at a time with pavement pressures. Oh, have a means of carrying extra gas. Gas prices in the valley were from $4.80 for 89 octane to over $5 for the premium stuff at Christmas. Gas can be had in the valley at Stovepipe wells and Furnace Creek, both of which are located in the middle of the Park about 20 or so miles from one another. While you are up on the North End of the park doing the Race Track, Ubehebe Crater, Scotty's Castle, Scotty's house, Titus Canyon and the like the nearest gas and hotels are located in Beatty, NV. The hotels are cheap and they do have showers. Don't know if you are aware but the Lippencott Mine is just past the Racetrack. The mine is an interesting place to run around. The Lippencott Road will take you back to some natural hot springs. Don't get all worked up over these as there is Nothing and I mean NOTHING to see out there. The "views" could be life scarring. But, they are there if you interested and really want a "bath". But man you are really gonna have to want that bath. I will warn you that the U.S. Navy practices their low level and terrain mapping in this area so do not be too surprised if you are out on a lonely dirt road somewhere and get "thumped" by an F-18. The pilot is just saying "hello". This canyon is also a great place for star gazing as the nearest lights are about 60-80 miles away in any direction and blocked by some impressive mountains.
DaK is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 01-02-2014, 08:39 AM   #8
Jeeper
 
Off Pavement's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: The Silver State
Posts: 689
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief View Post
...How are the roads out there? I would like to get into some neat, remote places and take some of the 4X4 roads out there.
If you are looking for someone to run a trail or two with, me and my wife hit Death Valley often so feel free to PM me. We live just east of the park in Nevada. Here is a short video of our last trip there...



All the 4x4 roads I've been on could be run by a stock JK with a good driver or a spotter for the few rough stretches I've seen.
__________________
Brian

The Road To Paradise Is NOT Paved
Off Pavement is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 01-03-2014, 06:50 AM   #9
DaK
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 1,239
great vid, thanks for sharing. Someday I hope to have mad editing skilz like that. For now, people are subject to video with gravel crunching as background muzak. ;-)

DaK is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Download our Mobile App

» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:57 PM.



Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC