When googling places to camp in CA in the winter, Death Valley came up in my search and I’m SO GLAD we went! The winter is the perfect time to visit! The highs were in the 60’s and the lows were in the 30’s. We stayed at Stovepipe Wells private campground with full hook ups from 12/28/15-12/31/15. There were only 14 sites and they’re all in a row. I really don’t see any advantage from one site to another here.
On the way there, about 30 minutes from Death Valley, we pulled over because Houston needed to go to the bathroom. We had no clue how soft the sand was that we pulled over in and we quickly go stuck. We were stuck for 1.5 hours. I flagged down a girl in a jeep hoping she could help pull us out. She didn’t have a tow strap but she drove about 20 minutes to Panaming Springs Campground and got 2 other groups of people to follow her and help us. 2 men in a truck also pulled over and had a rope and were helping us. By then end, we had 4 cars of complete strangers helping us. Everyone gave a cheer when we got out and we went around and shook everyone’s hand who helped. What a blessing they were to us!
We arrived late Monday night and just hooked up the trailer and went to bed. Tuesday morning we got up and first drove to Salt Creek. We didn’t see any pupfish because they are inactive in winter, but the area is awesome! There are huge hills of rocks, tons of this type of desert succulent, the creek flowing below you, and these wooden walkways and bridges for you to walk on.
James wanted to visit the Devil’s golf course so that is where we went next. It’s called that because with that hard salt/mud clumps that formed, only the devil could play golf there.
Then we took quite a drive and we went up to Dante’s view, which is over 5,000 ft above the Death Valley floor. The views were breath taking and definitely worth the drive.
One night Kyle got out the telescope and did some star gazing with the boys. Death valley’s night sky is the best view of the stars in the sky I’ve ever seen!
Then we headed into Beatty, NV. There wasn’t much to do there except to fill up on cheap gas and buy some candy. We went back to the trailer, grabbed some lunch, and then did our favorite activity of the trip.
That was a hike to Darwin Falls. We missed the dirt road right after Panamint Springs the first time and we drove all the way up the hill to Father Crowley view point. We traveled 2.5 miles on a dirt road and then it’s a mile hike. At first you’re walking on a dry riverbed, and then is some water, and then a full on creek. We had to climb some rocks, and poor Kyle had to help and carry Houston through a lot of that so he didn’t fall in the creek. The waterfalls were breathtaking!
Thursday we got up and headed to Mosaic Canyon. It was beautiful there with all the rock formations. Some rocks were so slick the boys slide down them. There are these certain parts of the rock wall where there are tons of little rocks that form these mosaic patterns, hence the name. There is a picture of the boys in front of one. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay too long because James needed to go to the bathroom and got very whiny.