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Thread: Seeking advice on Death Valley

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Naples,FL
    Posts
    484

    Seeking advice on Death Valley

    I am participating in a large format workshop in Death Valley next week 3-27 to 3-30. I am staying for 3 extra days to continue exploring and photographing the area. I have never been to the desert so I would appreciate any suggestions on must see locations.

    I will be staying at Furnace Creek Ranch.

    Have any of you been to DV this spring, and if so what are the conditions?

    I will have my gps so if you can share any coordinates for good spots at the racetrack etc. it would be appreciated. It's a long ways from my home in Florida so I am hoping to get it right.

    Anyone else going to be there later next week?

    Thanks in advance, jb
    ___________________
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  2. #2
    Michael E. Gordon
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    465

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    Furnace Creek hit 102f on March 16. Enjoy the heat.

    The DVNP site can supply you with plenty of ideas: http://www.nps.gov/deva/

  3. #3

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    Rhyolite Ghost Town. Not in DV but close.

    Rhyolite is 35 miles from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center on the way to Beatty, Nevada. A paved road heading north (left) from Hwy. 374 will take you to the heart of the the town.

  4. #4
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,253

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    I was there in Feb and the weather was dynamic. 90F one day, then it rained and snowed at higher elevations. It was fabulous. I may be there next week, too, but maybe not. Today the weather in SoCal is in flux. Rainy and windy here in Santa Barbara and DV is about the same. Looks like it is warming, though. I've been in DV every year since '77 and end of March beginning of April can bring rain or not. I wouldn't think this year there will be much. I'd expect the days to be near 90F and cool at night. Higher elevations cooler, of course. The wind can come up, but not for long.

    I wear shorts and a light weight long sleeve white shirt, lots of sunscreen, and a desert hat. Drink all the water you can take because the humidity is so low.

    If you're looking for flowers, I don't think they are having much of a year. Rainfall has been too low.

    DV is a huge place and there is much to see and photograph everywhere. I always go to the dunes, more for the experience than to photo any more. Zabriskie point is nice, and in the heat of the day, the canyons are cooler. I also like some of the neighboring towns and ghost towns in Nevada and California. Remember that going to the racetrack takes all day and the road really wears on you. If you are lucky you will get one good pic. Weigh that against what else you can do with your time. You won't have any problem filling up 3 days. I don't.

  5. #5

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    I was just in DV last week. Unfortunately they arent having any wildflowers this season, no spring rain. But dont let that discourage you. There are so many interesting locations. Badwater is great at sunrise, same with the mesquite dunes. The racetrack is great for sunset, just go on a week day, its starting to get busy believe it or not. Zabriskie point is a classic at sunrise. You might want to try the red cathedral at the end of the golden canyon for sunset. There are atleast 3 other sets of dunes that are pretty much "un-shot"-Eureka, Ibex, and Panamint dunes. If you want to get away from the footprints, head to those instead.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    37

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Kavalunas View Post
    I was just in DV last week. Unfortunately they arent having any wildflowers this season, no spring rain. But dont let that discourage you. There are so many interesting locations. Badwater is great at sunrise, same with the mesquite dunes. The racetrack is great for sunset, just go on a week day, its starting to get busy believe it or not. Zabriskie point is a classic at sunrise. You might want to try the red cathedral at the end of the golden canyon for sunset. There are atleast 3 other sets of dunes that are pretty much "un-shot"-Eureka, Ibex, and Panamint dunes. If you want to get away from the footprints, head to those instead.
    My folks were there last week. You weren't by chance part of a group thing were you?

  7. #7

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    Nope, I was just part of my own little group of 4 friends.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI USA
    Posts
    219

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    I highly recommend "Death Valley and the Northern Mojave: A Visitor's Guide" (http://tinyurl.com/2hevv5) to plan the first-time visit to DV, although you may not have the time to read it through. It was written by a photographer with lots of photos.

    Racetrack--There is a small parking spot with an exhibit panel a mile or two further (south) from the Grand Stand. If you walk across towards the dark wall/hill, you'll see a lot of moving rocks. As noted, you need to budget a plenty of time if you go there. It's about 30 miles of washboard once you leave the paved road at the Crater. I think it took me at least 2 hours one way with a pickup.

    There are a couple of places not often mentioned but I liked:
    Titus Canyon road--The entrance is a bit west from Rhyolite. The one-way road is quite tricky and fit only for high clearance vehicles, and there is little space to park and shoot until you get to the Leadfield Mine. But the view from Red Pass is breathtaking, and it's one of the most memorable DV experience for me.

    Aguereberry Point--West side on the Panamint. It's reachable by car and gives you a great vista of the whole valley.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Naples,FL
    Posts
    484

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    Thank you all!!!
    This is exactly the kind of information I am looking for. I love being part of this comunity...
    jb

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Orange, CA
    Posts
    936

    Re: Seeking advice on Death Valley

    Here is another information source:

    http://www.photographamerica.com/issue01.htm

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