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Hot Links Adventure Overview - Death Valley National Park

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Tour Park City
This mountain community is home to three world class ski resorts and hosted several alpine venues of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The historic district is a bustling year-round draw for vacationers.

GPS Gear - Pro-Shop Special
Popular for Runners, Boaters, Hikers, Bikers and Adventurers
Recent technology updates have made readily affordable for outdoor adventures a nifty item - the GPS Watch. It uses 3D Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology to triangulate your position and elevation to within 20 ft accuracy.

    Death Valley National Park
    P.O. Box 579, Death Valley, CA 92328; (760) 786-2331; NPS Website;
    Park Admission: $10 per vehicle; Visitor Center Open Daily: 8AM-5PM (except Dec 25);

    DeathValley.com - Tourism Info
    Death Valley COC - Tourism Info
    CaliforniaDesert.gov - State Desert Management Group

    Death Valley National Park preserves 3,367,628 acres of scenic desert landscape. Originally designated a national monument in 1933 and the upgraded to park status with significant expansions in 1994. Park elevations range from 282 feet below sea-level (at Badwater) to 11,049 at Telescope Peak. It is hottest region in North America where daytime temperatures reach upwards of 134 F. The climate includes occasional summer thunderstorms that can cause flash floods in local canyons, but the area normally only gets less than 2 inches of precipitation annually.

    Interestingly enough, Death Valley is more popular for Europeans than it is for Californians. Its 3.3 million acres makes it the largest national park in the lower 48 states. The best time to visit is in spring when temperatures range from 65 to 90 and wildflowers are in bloom. People still come in the summer, and if you do, remember to bring lots of water.

    Death Valley gained its notoriety only in recent history when in 1849 a band of gold seekers started across the desert in the mistaken belief that it was a shortcut to the California gold fields. After running low on food and water, the band split into several groups in a frantic effort to escape. Several of the pioneers died.

    Later the area was famous for the discovery of an important mineral - borax. Prospectors built roads and assembled large 20-mule wagon teams to haul out loads weighing upto 40 tons.

    Death Valley Visitor Centers

  • Furnace Creek Visitor Center & Museum -
  • Scotty's Castle Visitor Center & Museum - north end of park
  • Beatty Visitor Information Center - Located in Beatty, NV on US-95, the eastern portal to the park.

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    Death Valley Adventure Tours
    Look Tours -
    Adventure Photo Tours -
    Adventure Las Vegas -
    Escape Mountain Bike Tours -
    Vegas Tours -

    Lodging Accomodations
    Motel and trailer park accomodations can be found inside Death Valley and nearby in either Barstow or Ridgecrest.

    Flora & Fauna:
    Over 900 species of plants and trees are found here ranging from Pickleweed found below sea level at Badwater to the Bristlecone pines (some are thousands of years old) atop Telescope Peak. Five species of fish are also unique to this area 21 species of flora are unique to the park, including:

    • Panamint daisy
    • Death Valley sage
    • Death Valley sandpaper plant
    • Desert pupfish at Devil's Hole (see Landmarks below).

    Geological Phenomena:
    The canyon and mountain walls of Death Valley change color with the shifting sunlight. Other landscape features:

    • large sand dune formations
    • sculpted rocks
    • isolated valleys
    • volcanic craaters

    China Ranch Date Farm
    8 China Ranch Rd; Tecopa CA; 760-852-4415; Ranch Weblink;
    Open Daily 9AM-5PM / Located on Old Spanish Trail just southeast of Tecopa;

    A lush garden oasis set amidst stark desert scenery and filled with hundreds of date palms and other abundant greenery along a meandering stream. There are several great hiking trails that originate from this spot.

    Death Valley Days
    Popular 30 minute TV western series that produced 558 episodes from 1952-1975; Info Website;
    The stories, mostly human interest vignettes, were usually based in fact on the legends and lore of Death Valley and originated in radio format in 1930. Ranging from the serious to comedy to tragedy they tell of pioneers, miners and homesteaders that made their way across the west. The show was orginally hosted by Stanley Andrews (The Old Ranger) and later by Ronald Reagan who actually dropped out when he was elected governor of California.

    Furnace Creek Visitor Center
    Several exhibits on flora, fauna and history of the desert park.

Adventure Links Special Events - Death Valley

    Death Valley Encampment
    [Nov Event] 49ers Website;
    Watch wagon trains and desert trail riders arrive after days on the trail in the desert. Western Art Show - Musicians - Photography and Needlework Exhibits - Cowboy Poetry - Campfires - Museums - Pioneer Costume Contest

    Badwater Ultra Marathon [JULY]
    135 miles / 130 degrees / 6 hours

    A true "challenge of the champions," this legendary foot race pits approximately 80 of the world’s toughest athletes – runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers – against one another and the elements. It is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.

    Death Valley Borax Marathon [DEC]
    You'll admire the beauty of the surrounding desert as you follow this paved run from Furnace Creek Ranch along SR-190 through the heart of Death Valley National Park. The entire course is below sea level with fantastic vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges: the Panamints, the Funerals, the Cottonwoods, the Blacks and the Grapevines.

    Death Valley Trail Marathon [FEB]
    This is a scenic trail run along Westside Road, a dirt jeep road that runs parallel to Badwater Road along the valley floor and crosses the wide salt pan known as Devil's Golf Course. Both distances run out-and-back along the flat course, which is entirely below sea level and surrounded by undisturbed desert wilderness.

Adventure Links Golf Courses - Death Valley


Tour La Jolla
This scenic resort community is located on the coast north of San Diego It is an exciting mixture of sea caves, tide pools and wide beachfronts. Look for the famous La Jolla Cove which recently has become a popular retreat for California Sea Lions and other marine life. With its striking Mediterranean influence La Jolla has gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful vacation destinations imaginable.

    Death Valley - Furnace Creek Golf Course
    1 Furnace Creek Blvd., Death Valley, Ca. 92328; (760) 786-2301; Rates: $30-55;
    Par-72; Back-6200 yds, Front-5900 yds, Ladies-5300 yds;

    Located about 2 1/2 hours from the strip. Opened in 1965, designed by William Bell. At 214 feet below sea level, this is the lowest lying golf course in the world. However, during the summer, temperatures easily top 125 degrees, so beware.

    And don't bother looking for the putting green, this course is famous for "linkage so rough only the devil would play on it." Actually the course is noteworthy for rock hard salt pinnacles that create interesting formations resembling crystal caves, one of the more interesting natural landmarks in Death Valley.


Tips & Links Camping Adventures - Death Valley

    Death Valley Campgrounds

  • Emigrant - Free Tent only campground (Elev. 2010 ft)
  • Furnace Creek - 136 campsites located at 196 ft below sea level
  • Mahogany Flat - Free Tent only campground at Elev. 8210 ft, accessible by high clearance vehicle only in the Paramint Mountains.
  • Mesquite Spring - located 3 miles from Scotty's Castle
  • Stovepipe Wells - 190 campsites located at sea level. Also has 14 RV sites.
  • Sunset - 1000 campsites at 190 ft below sea level.
  • Texas Spring - 92 campsites at sea level.
  • Thorndike - located at 7200 ft in the Panamint mountains
  • Wildrose - located at 4100 ft in the Panamint mountains

Adventure Links Prominent Landmarks - Death Valley

National Parks in Southern California
Death Valley National Park - The canyon and mountain walls of Death Valley change color with the shifting sunlight. Other landscape features: large sand dune formations, sculpted rocks, isolated valleys, and volcanic craters.
Joshua Tree National Park - Scenic desert preserve habitat with many unusual plants found here including Joshua trees, cactus, ocotillo, smoke treess, palo verdes, pinon pins, yucca plants. The best time to visit is early spring when a big array of desert wildflowers reach full bloom.
Channel Islands National Park - Protected marine wildlife habitat that is assessible only by air or sea.

Southern California Outdoor Wilderness
Four large national forest areas protest some of the best local outdoor recreation adventure areas that are a prime destination for camping, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing and wintersports.
Bernardino N.F. - Highest mountains in Southern California are home to several lakes and ski resorts.
Angeles N.F. - Over 650,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Los Padres N.F. - Includes coastal area, semi-desert and pine-timbered areas near Santa Barbara.
Cleveland N.F. - The popular scenic driving loop here is to follow Sunrise Highway (County Hwy-S1) up past Mount Laguna.

    Scotty's Castle
    Daily ranger tours 9AM-5PM. (760) 786-2392.

  • Musuem & Visitor Center - Located at northern end of Park.
    Located in the far northern reaches of the park is the vacation retreat built by a wealthy Chicagoan in the 1920s at an estimated cost of $2.5 million. Beautiful furnishings and artwork are still found inside. Highlight is the 50 minute long guided living history tour.

    Amargosa Opera House & Hotel
    Death Valley Junction, CA; House Website;
    Former 1920's headquarters of the Pacific Coast Borax Company have been elaborately restored into an elegant live theater and hotel, the heart of Death Valley Junction.

    Salt Creek
    A leftover from when a giant lake covered much of the region, Salt Creek is home to tiny minnow-sized pulpfish. A one-mile nature trail / boardwalk traverses these wetlands.

    Ubehebe Volcanic Crater
    Eight miles from Scotty's Castle
    3,000 year old, 800-foot deep crater.

    Old Stove Pipe Wells - Sand Dunes
    1/4 mile north of hwy 190 on Sand Dunes Access Road, State Historic Landmark 826.
    During the 1860's this was the only known source of water in the sand dunes region of the park. It's position was marked by a length of stovepipe to help find it in case it was covered by sand.

    Rhyolite - Ghost Town
    Follow SR-374 into Nevada
    A ghost town that survived only seven years but at its height boasted an opera house, four baseball teams, 53 saloons and three newspapers.

    Jayhawkers Trail
    State Historic Landmark 441
    Route taken from Utah's Great Salt Lake in 1849 that led to disaster in the valley. Look for Burned Wagons Point on Hwy 190 near Stovepipe Wells Hotel. At this point the emigrants burned their wagons here, dried the meat of some of their oxen and continued westward on foot to eventual safety.

    Darwin-French Party Trail
    Pioneer route used in 1860.

    Skidoo
    Ghost town site.

    Old Harmony Borax Works - Museum
    Borax Mill Road, north of Furnace Creek Ranch
    Established in 1881 with roads built for large 20-mule wagon teams to haul borax to Mojave (165 miles made for a 20-day trip) for processing.

    Devil's Hole
    40 acre hillside containing limestone cavern home to the entire population of Cyprinodon diabolis - subspecis of desert pupfish - creating one of the most restricted environments of the world.

    Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
    7 miles east of Wildrose Ranger Station on Mahogany Flat Road
    Kilns built over 100 years ago to burn pinon trees into charcoal for use in silver smelters.

    Badwater - Lowest Elevation in the Western Hemisphere
    At elevation of 282 feet below sea level, this is the lowest point on the North American continent. Named for a pool of undrinkable water.

    Devil's Golf Course
    Covering a 15 miles stretch of Badwater Road is a field of jagged salt crystals discovered by early emigrants. Some are over two feet high.

    Last Camp
    State Historic Landmark 444, near Tule Springs From this point, members of the Manly Group, another 1849 gold-rush wagon train scattered to find escape from the desert. Many were never accounted for and presumed to have died.

    Eureka Dunes
    Giant golden-white sand dunes over a mile wide, three miles long and over 700 feet high.

    Greenwater Valley
    Jagged mountain range with rock shelters and petroglyphs.

    Saline Valley
    1994 northwest addition to the park includes a large forest of Joshua trees.


Adventure Links Recreational Activities - Death Valley

    Death Valley is most popular from early November to late April. Outdoor climate is usually quite pleasant during this time of the year. Springtime is popular because desert wildflowers are in bloom.

    Keep in mind that summer temperatures can easily hit 130-plus degrees with little cooling in the nightime. Always carry extra water. Summertime activity should be significantly restricted or even avoided.

    Adventure Groups
    Black Sheep Adventures -
    4x4 Now - Death Valley Adventure
    Surfari -

    Popular Hiking Trails:
    All directions are approximate, and we strongly advise you check with the nearest ranger station regarding climate conditions, backcountry permits, trail maps and directions.

    • Ubehebe Peak - 5.0 mile old mining trail with awesome views of Mt Whitney and the White Mountains. (Trailhead is north of Furnace Creek Visitors Center, follow signs on SR-190 north to Ubehebe Crater Road.)
    • Marble Canyon Loop - 27 mile trail for those that want to experience a true backcountry adventure. Scenic points include Marble Canyon petroglyphs, Cottonwood Springs and Deadhorse Canyon. (Trailhead is past the Stovepipe Wells Campground.)
    • Wildrose Peak - Due to higher elevation, this 8.5 mile trail is a good bet in the summertime than other park trails. 9,064-foot Wildrose Peak gets a plenty of snow in winter time and is the wettest point in park.
    • Telescope Peak - Elevation 11,075, like Wildrose Peak, this is a good summertime trail. Popular overnite trailhike that offers good views of both sunrise and sunset in the desert. (Trailhead is at Charcoal Kilns near Wildrose Ranger Station.)
    • Artists Drive
    • Zabriskie Point
    • Titus Canyon
    • Salt Pools
    • Dante's View

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