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  1. Default Death Valley Road Trip Questions

    Hi all , just signed in here in need of desperate help for some doubts.

    Im traveling from Puerto Rico to do a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco ; stoping in Los Angeles (Santa Monica). I have done other road trips , but in the east .

    My main concern is the route to take from Las Vegas to Santa Monica.

    I have the option to take the I-15 and I-10 for just a 5 hour drive to Santa Monica.

    Or my preferred option to go across Death Valley. From Las Vegas - # 95 then # 373 - Death Valley Junction - # 190 . Stops at Furnace Creek , Dante's View , Stovepipe Wells and continue # 190 until # 395 and drive south to Santa Monica . That route is like 9 hour drive , plus the stops , maybe gets up to 12 hours or more.

    Im visiting in early August , will it be dangerously hot in the valley ? should i avoid that route ??
    Im thinking in the car radiator and tires. I know it can get up to
    125(farenheit) . And as a first timer in a dessert im asking you all my doubts and suggestions about the route , maybe a better route or if is ok .
    Im planing to leave early morning from Las Vegas like 6:00 am and sleep in Santa Monica the same day( maybe get there at 10:00 pm).Could that be posible?


    Also im thinking to take the coast route ( i think is the route # 1 ) to San Francisco two days later.
    Any comments about it ? Any specials stops?

    Thanks in advance for any help you all may bring!!!!!!!

    pd:: sorry for my english is not my main language.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-17-2006 at 11:44 PM. Reason: off-site links, not appropriate

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Death Valley options

    Quote Originally Posted by faen420
    Im traveling from Puerto Rico to do a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco ; stopping in Los Angeles (Santa Monica). I have done other road trips
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.
    My main concern is the route to take from Las Vegas to Santa Monica. I have the option to take the I-15 and I-10 for just a 5 hour drive to Santa Monica.
    It is technically possible to cover that distance in five hours, but more likely it would be 5.5 hours.
    Or my preferred option to go across Death Valley. From Las Vegas - # 95 then # 373 - Death Valley Junction - # 190 . Stops at Furnace Creek , Dante's View , Stovepipe Wells and continue # 190 until # 395 and drive south to Santa Monica . That route is like 9 hour drive , plus the stops , maybe gets up to 12 hours or more.
    It would be about seven hours and 3-4 for stops, so you could figure 10 hours more or less. But it is really out of the way to go to Death Valley Junction on US-95 from Las Vegas. You would want to go NV-160 to Pahrump and then to Shoshone and into the park. That way you could stop at Artist's Palette, Devil's Golfcourse, etc. Dante's View is still closed -- the road was washed out a year ago. When you reach SR-14 (from US-395) at Inyokern you will actually save time if you head SW on SR-14 to I-5 to I-405 to Santa Monica.
    Im visiting in early August , will it be dangerously hot in the valley ? should i avoid that route ??
    Hundreds of tourists visit Death Valley in August. Read these tips and you will be fine.

    Mark

  3. Default Thanks!

    thanks Mark for the fast response!!

  4. Default

    The road trip seems very doable -- I did Orange County thru Death Valley and back in one day this spring....

    Regarding the desert heat. It's very doable, if you have a car in good mechanical shape and you don't do stupid things (like going for a hike in the mid day sun without water). Even with a rental car, its very doable -- assuming the car is running well and you have no mechanical issues and a working air conditioner. You'll be on well traveled routes, with reasonable road services along the way.

    Take (and drink!) lots of water. Have a working cell phone (I found coverage just about everywhere along the main roads in and out of Death Valley). Take a hat and wear sunscreen, etc etc.

    If I had to list one thing for folks to do -- its not drinking enough water or having enough water in the car. People don't want to stop and go pee, so they don't drink water and get dehydrated. Or they think "I'll save it for emergencies" and not drink it, and get dehydrated. But the dryness of the air and the heat will just leach the water right out of you if you're not careful -- even in an air conditioned car. If you've got a headache -- you're probably getting dehydrated. If you've got a headache and feeling a little naseuous -- dehydration. If you haven't felt the need to find a restroom in a couple of hours, you're not drinking enough water. There are lots of places to stop, and lots of places to buy more fluids to drink (gas stations, little markets, vistor centers, etc....) so just keep chugging down the fluid and keep a bit in reserve for emergencies. If you have a bunch of water bottles in a cooler anything left over is going to get consumed in the next couple of days. (I start with a flat of water bottles -- I get them cheap at somewhere like a grocery store),

    But the key is don't do something stupid -- going offroad without preparation, hiking in the mid-day heat, not having and not drinking enough water, etc. If worse comes to worse -- you may be stuck at the side of the road for an hour or so. The difference through Death Valley is that the Valley floor will be 10-20 degrees warmer than the desert outside. That means if its 120 F there, its 100 F outside. You'll still need to be prepared no mater what route you take.

  5. Default Weather conditions for trip to Death Valley

    Hi all!!

    I have a roadtrip next week from Las Vegas ,to Santa Monica(LA) , up to San Francisco.

    I was thinking to cross Death Valley , but i read that there's a heat wave
    in California.

    Will it be really hot to cross the desert??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Record heat this week

    Quote Originally Posted by faen420
    I was thinking to cross Death Valley , but i read that there's a heat wave in California. Will it be really hot to cross the desert??
    Yes, it will be hot. Today it is much cooler than it has been. The high earlier this week at Furnace Creek in Death Valley was 126 degrees, today it is only expected to reach 119. Maybe not too hot, but you still need to be prepared!

    Mark

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