Death Valley – Part 1



It started sometime last year, the idea of venturing north and out of our typical Southern California back-country. The talk of a new frontier, new sights and wonder whats around the next corner. Anza-Borrego to the High Desert is our “go-to”, and while there’s still more to see, we’ve explored much of it and know nearly every mile by heart. It was time to get away from getting away. We set our sights on Death Valley, due to the sheer amount of area to cover both on and off-road it was the perfect candidate. Couple weeks of discussing with the group, planning routes, way-points, camping spots, where to grab fuel and we were on our way…

2 dogs. 3 vehicles. 4 days. 6 people. 1200+ miles.


Closed up the shop early, loaded up the last minute items and headed over to my parents house to grab some firewood and use their property as the randevu point. Waited for everyone to trickle in, double checked what we had and anxiously awaited the drive and adventure to come.

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The command center

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Finally, time to hit the road. Seems like the minutes are hours when you have somewhere to be, and this was no exception. Not only anxious, but hunger was starting to kick in. And what’s any High Desert road trip without a stop to Barstow Del Taco?!?

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The world’s best Del Taco


Bellies full, and a large cup full of root beer (for me anyways) and it was off to Baker for our last fuel stop before hitting our camp around Saratoga Wash. Found a good spot, got setup for the night, lit off the camp stove and had a few beverages to celebrate arrival to the first stage of our adventure.

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As much as it’s a bummer to arrive late and tired, the plus side is waking up to see your new surroundings in the morning. And what a view it was.

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Out of respect for the new National Park rules, this was the only time the Multicopter was put to use



In our neck of the woods, we use these for outdoor warmth. Whether it’s around the house, or out in the desert, this are the king of pumping out heat. We call them “log hogs”, nothing more then a outdoor barrel stove. Work great, lots of heat, no smoke, can cook your food on it and contains all the ashes when you’re done. If you hear the phrase “Where has your hog been lately”, this is what we’re referring to.

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Can’t start the day without a complete breakfast. Thankfully we have some awesome better halves that put up with all our adventures and feed us along the way.

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Full from eggs, hash-browns and bacon, it was time to hit the road. With the trusty tablet and Backcountry Navigator loaded up with the routes I planned out, time to head into Death Valley via Saratoga Springs Rd.


Nothing beats the drivers seat


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Stopped at Badwater Rd. to wait for the group before heading to the Ashford Mill Ruins, then continued to West Side Rd.

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From West Side Rd, we backtracked to Artist Canyon Drive, then dropped into Furnace Creek for fuel and to take advantage of reliable cell service.

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Checked out the Ranger Station as well as picked up our passes. Very excited going into this trip knowing it was recently rewarded a Dark Sky award. Wish it was summer months though for that Milky Way view!

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Dantes View did not disappoint. If there is one thing to take away from any of these photos, it’s that they don’t do Death Valley any justice. It’s one of those places that has to be seen and be apart of to understand how massive and beautiful the place is.

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Kendra, Ray, Allisa, Chris, Kyle & Candace



In route to Stovepipe Wells we checked out the dunes. Couldn’t help but wish they were open like Glamis so we could continue our route in the sand.

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Camp was to be up in Cottonwood Canyon. A bit past the 8 mile mark we found a spot that was perfect.

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Log hog cookin’

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Continue to Part 2

By | 2017-01-19T16:17:22+00:00 February 13th, 2015|Trip Reports|0 Comments

About the Author:

Desert explorer. Photographer. Vehicle enthusiast. In constant pursuit to find something new. Mining history buff.

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