Friday, December 25, 2009

Death Valley National Park, CA, Stovepipe Village Campground

We arrived in Death Valley on the 23rd and decided to stay at Stovepipe Wells for a few days, since the Lazy Daze get together starts the 26th at Sunset Campground near Furnace Creek. There are 14 full hookup sites here, and almost two hundred no hookup parking places in a big open lot.  We splurged and spent the $30/night to hook up for a few days since we will be dry camping at Sunset. It’s not a pretty campground, but the surrounding mountains are nice.


The first day here, we visited the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunset.  We walked on the dunes and had fun sliding down them. The sand is so soft it turns to powder between your fingers. And lots of it gets in your shoes.PC230004   PC230012 PC230008 PC230007

Yesterday morning I was sitting outside with Oreo when Debbie came running over and said to be careful because there was a coyote. Sure enough I looked around to see him walking behind our site, looking my way. He was very healthy looking, so I guess he was wandering the campground in search of  handouts.

Thankfully, no cats were harmed!  It was the first time we’ve seen one this close that wasn’t the least bit scared of people, so it was obviously used to being fed.PC240002

Later yesterday afternoon we hiked through Mosaic Canyon, a beautiful narrow canyon lined with marble rock. After 2 miles and some rock scrambling, there is an impassable dry falls. Someone told us about a bypass, and that the trail goes on for 2 more miles. We did find it and get around the falls, but decided we had hiked far enough. Coming back was downhill and we did quite a bit of butt sliding getting down the rocks. It was a really nice hike.PC240004 PC240005 PC240012


Today we drove west to the Panamint Springs area. It’s a scenic drive, with lots of twisty, steep road.  We went from sea level to over 500o ft in about 20 miles. Then we continued on past the resort to Father Crowley’s viewpiont, a lovely vista point where we would have liked to make camp. On the way back we saw a group of wild burrows grazing on a mountain top.


We are really impressed with Death Valley so far and look forward to seeing the rest of the park. No cell or internet but they have WiFi at the lodge so will try to post this there later.

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