Headed to Death Valley

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Chuck (CA), Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    I'm now planning my spring trip into "Death Valley" via my 89 VW Westfalia pop-top camper....has anyone from APUG made a trip to DV...could use some ideas from a photography stand point (places to see....)...I have all the time in the world...sure would appreciate any ideas, recommendations, and places to see....need some camping ideas also...

    Thanks much
    Chuck
     
  2. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Chuck, haven't been there to shoot, but if the rains continue bring your rubber ducky. tim
     
  3. Jan Pietrzak

    Jan Pietrzak Member

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    Chuck

    Go on line to DV NP and check on all the closed roads. The park took a good hit last Aug/Sept with the summer storms. It took out a number of roads going into the park and in the park. The highway south to DV Junction is closed and will not open until ???summer??? The WestSide road in in real bad shape also. Sooooooooo check the web

    Jan Pietrzak
     
  4. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    A friend went there on Dec 30. Only two roads open. Much closed and flooded. Lots of rain.

    That said, it could be a good time with limited access. Maybe the tourists have been scared off.
     
  5. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I was there last October or November (I've slept since the trip so I don't remember the exact dates)... Around the south end of the park the roads there were some road that were still closed, but some had just opened. This trip I stayed at Furnace Creek... They were still replacing carpet and fixing water damage in some of the units... If you intend on photographing the most easily accessable and most photographed dunes, Stovepipe Wells is a much closer place to stay... If the winds are from the SW you will find that Stovepipe Wells and the dune area nearby are more protected than the Furnace Creek area...
     
  6. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I was there at the beginning of November and The Inn at Furnace Creek had finished the repairs and we had brunch. Some roads are closed, but there is much to see. You could stay on the Dunes for a week!!..Evan Clarke
     
  7. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    By all means, check the NPS Death Valley site (http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm) for current conditions, as previously suggested. You'll also find a wealth of information on the site, and can print it and take it along. Among that info is an excellent map of the park (http://data2.itc.nps.gov/parks/deva/ppMaps/ACFC9FE.pdf) that is very handy to print - particularly if you have a large printer. Note that spring comes early in DV, and it's often already pretty toasty by April or May.

    You'll also want to check with the park staff at the Visitor's Center once you arrive for more detailed info about current conditions, road closures, etc. Paying attention to the current weather in the area (not just that in the immediate valley) is essential. Staffing at the park has been reduced in recent years, so you can't always depend on the park rangers to be patrolling all areas of the park on a regular basis. Dirt roads (like the West Side Road) are only graded every couple of years, so they are often deeply rutted, and slow going at the best of times.

    Be sure to include the Emigrant Canyon Road on your itenerary. There is interesting geography along the road (distinctly different that that of the Valley), and some interesting sites including the Charcoal Kilns (the Bee Hives). Note that there is nothing left of the Skidoo townsite beyond rusted cans, so you may not find the trip up that (somewhat harrowing) road to be worth the effort.

    I also found the Keene Wonder Mine, off the Beatty Cutoff, interesting. The side road is long (and rough) enough to discourage too many tourists from getting in your way.
     
  8. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I really recommend a call. There has been so much rain in recent days, that things are changing constantly. They are expecting rain for the next 5 days. A little goes a long way in DV.
     
  9. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I have been ready to do a DV trip for some time - It doesn't look like I get there before March though - by then the rains should be almost over. I always go by the south (Baker) and work my way up past Dumont Dunes first - It is about 2 hours from me here. It is certainly better to go when there are clouds in the sky.
     
  10. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    "It is certainly better to go when there are clouds in the sky."

    Why?
     
  11. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Cloudless skys are usually less interesting and less dramatic. There are certainly shots that look good with cloudless skies but most are better with dramatic weather enhancing the scene. IMHO

    (Of course I only shoot Monochrome and so a pretty blue color just doesn't figure into the shot)
     
  12. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I agree with the idea of clouds being better in DV. Although there are endless detailed compositions offering themselves, where the sky isn't an element, it's also nice to try to capture the feel of the open space of the valley. This one was done in February, between storms, a couple of years ago (4x5 Fuji Acros, #25):

    [​IMG]