Thursday, March 10, 2016

Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley National Park



This is our second time visiting Death Valley, the first being the nine long, cold nights we spent here in late December/early January of 2009/10. It’s a little different this time around. Much larger crowds, which we don’t care for, but also much higher temperatures, which we appreciate.

We got a great site in Furnace Creek Campground, where they now have long paved sites big enough for any size RV. The perimeter sites with full hookups are angled such that we have a view of the mountains, not the site next to us. And they are fairly level, something we always have trouble with in the National Park campgrounds. Regular rate is $30/night, but with Jim’s senior pass we got a $9 discount. Very reasonable.


After getting settled in and eating lunch we walked over to the visitor center and adjacent Furnace Creek Ranch just to see what was there. Jim checked out the beer selection at the General Store, and it was all priced at $15-$16 a 6 pack. Luckily they didn’t have anything he likes. We were surprised that gas was “only” $3.19/gallon here, as it was even more than that in Baker. Fortunately I looked at Gas Buddy and found a station along our route before we got to Baker for $2.25. We’re finding gas prices all over the place in California.

Then we took a short drive to Golden Canyon for a late afternoon hike. So far we’ve seen lots of Desert Gold along the roads, but in the canyon there were just a few notch-leaf phacelia. I only know this because the park newspaper has photos of the ten most common Death Valley wildflowers. Now if I can just remember the names.

Phacelia. I read that they cause a rash if you come in contact with them. Yesterday we watched a man pick a flower, crush it, and smell it. Wonder if he’s itching today.

Death Valley 2016

A few photos from our Golden Canyon hike. It was fun because we got to do lots of scrambling in the three mile round trip hike to Red Cathedral. There are also many side slots to explore.














We got out of the canyon and back to the car just in time to see this.


We were pleasantly surprised to have 4 bars of Verizon 3G here at the campground, but apparently with all the people here the only time we can actually connect to the internet is very early in the morning or late at night. It’s better than nothing, since we checked at the visitor center and their wifi is down and probably won’t be working until next week.


  1. When we were in California last month we were surprised that a lot of fuel stations wouldn't take a credit card. ATM or Cash only.

  2. I like all the different colors of rock. More rain on the way here.

  3. Dang, those are nice camp sites. Didn't realize the concession gave a discount there. Golden Canyon is gorgeous. Love all those little slots. I too was surprised at getting a connection in DV.

  4. Beautiful canyon hike, is that a ladder to get to the upper level? Great colors and shadows. How are the flowers holding up?

  5. Nice photos! We just left the park today. We would have stopped to say hi but I caught something which has totally wiped me out - two days of laying around and lingering weakness now. I certainly wouldn't want to infect you guys especially at a first meeting. :-D

    The flowers are really good along the Beatty Cutoff.


  6. I think we might have been in that same site!! Nice slanted, long, paved sites.

    We loved that hike, too! Haha! We had to check out all those little side slots as well:) We got quite high up in one and almost killed ourselves coming back down with all the loose stone. Love all the colors:) Have a great time.

  7. Wow, you scored a great site! We haven't been to Death Valley in years -- if we weren't on the other side of the country right now, we would have loved to be there for the super bloom. Beautiful colors in the rocks.

  8. Wow, those are very nice sites for a National Park!

  9. Appreciate you identifying the Phacelia. I saw that little flower around Lost Dutchman and wondered if it was in the phacelia family due to its long stamens.

    What a treat to see that superbloom!

  10. Appreciate you identifying the Phacelia. Saw the little blue flowers blooming around the Superstitions and wondered if it was in the phacelia family due to its unusually long stamens.
    What a treat to see the super bloom!

  11. Pretty nice camping spots and hike. That's some spendy beer.

  12. Love those colors in the rocks. Let the flower photos begin!