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  1. Default Best Towns to Stay outside Death Valley NP?

    Hi all,

    New here, searched the forum but didn't find the answer to my questions so I am posting a new thread for help! I am planning to drive from Portland, Oregon (via SR 395) to Death Valley, on to Antelope Canyon in Arizona, then going back home. Two questions:

    1) The in-park places are either all booked or too expensive (I am staying for 2 nights). So I am now down to three nearby towns to find a motel (for late March): Lone Pine, CA, Beatty NV, and Pahrump, NV.

    Which town is the best to stay at? My budget is under $100/night. The distances from the towns to the visitor center are more or less the same. I want to spend most of the daylight hours inside the park and just need a relatively safe, clean, quiet place for sleeping.

    2) From Portland, is it doable to drive within one day all the way down to Lone Pine (if I start really early in the morning)? Also, which route is the best (scenic but not too snowy/icy and not too slow): I-5 and US-395S (going through two national forests), or US-20 via Bend then US-395 (longer but won't have to go through forests)?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    Thanks much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Have you looked at the Amargosa Opera House hotel in Death Valley Junction? Rooms start at $60 a night, you can see pictures of the rooms and book a specific room online. This is going to be the closest lodging to the park.

    Portland to Lone Pine is definitely NOT a one day drive. It's 835 miles by fastest route (I-5, CA-89, CA-44, US-395), and will take over 16 hours even with no traffic or weather to deal with. You would need to spend the night in Susanville, there's several hotels/motels there.

  3. Default

    Hey, thanks for the link. Looks like an interesting place to stay. I'm debating if I'll go there in a few months, so it's great to have the info. I may not get to swing up that high, though, unless I extend into Nevada because I did want to see Death Valley.

    Thanks to oregon traveller for asking and to glc for responding. This site is just so grand!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Both, Lone Pine and Beatty or Pahrump

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your decision is best based on what time you have on the way in total, but as glc has said it's too far for 1 day's from Portland to travel to DV and would be a false economy as you would spend half of the next day recovering.

    If you have the time available I would also recommend stopping in the Susanville area, maybe Reno and next day continue the drive down 395 to Lone Pine for the night [not sure of lodging options/costs though] enjoying the scenery and perhaps a couple of stops on the way such as Mono lake. Then you can continue East towards AZ and spend night 2 in Pahrump, Beatty or beyond, whereas if you stay both nights on the other side of DV at Pahrump or Beatty you are going to have to head back West into DV.

    Highs and lows
    Near to Lone pine is Mount Whitney the highest summit in the United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet It is 76 miles from the lowest point in North America at Badwater that you can visit in Death Valley National Park and is 282 feet below sea level close to Furnace creek, how cool is that!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You could spend one night in Lone Pine, but you will be spending $100 there if you go to the Comfort Inn or Best Western. The few independents in town aren't listed on I think Beatty is in the wrong direction for you, if you are leaving the park late in the day you might as well continue on to Las Vegas. With the economy the way it is, you can get rooms dirt cheap in the big casino hotels if you prebook. Pahrump doesn't have much, just a couple casino hotels.

  6. Default

    Wow, thanks glc and Southwest Dave for the quick and detailed responses! I never thought about Susanville -- Is Carson City a good place to stay for the night (I assume there are more options as it's bigger...)? Also, generally speaking, is it a good idea to just "wing it", as in "not booking hotels/motels in advance?" This is the longest road trip for me so far and only the 2nd I will have done by myself so I don't know if I should drive as far as I can, then stop for a hotel, or just push on till I get to Susanville or Carson City/Reno. I will definitely look into the lodging around/in Death Valley.

    Thanks again -- the forum is awesome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Carson City is pushing it. You might be able to do it, but I wouldn't plan on it. If this is on a weekday, you shouldn't have any problems winging it. lists 4 hotels in Susanville - a Budget Host at $47 and a Super 8 at $61 are the 2 cheapest. Carson City lists a ton, but that includes all the resorts at Tahoe. The ones in town look DIRT cheap - several under $40 during the week. The prices go up on Friday and Saturday.

    Carson City may be the state capital, but it's still a pretty small town. You could also look at Reno, or head up to Stateline or South Lake Tahoe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Do not stay at the amargosa opera house hotel!

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Have you looked at the Amargosa Opera House hotel in Death Valley Junction?
    It's a cute location -- but there is no guarantee of any kind of water -- hot or cold -- in your room. Management is out of control and you'd need to consider this as camping-with-a-roof. There are several alternatives to lodging at the Furnace Creek entrance to Death Valley -- a motel in in Shoshone, a couple in and near Tecopa, but given your parameters -- on the east side, I would suggest the Longstreet Casino and motel at Amargosa Valley.

    But have you looked at all of the lodging choices in the park? The Ranch might be too expensive for your budget -- but I can't believe that Stovepipe Wells or the motel at Panamint Springs would be beyond that. Plus, there are motels in in Beatty and Ridgecrest (a little further away). Panamint Springs is very rustic -- but it's pretty cool and Stovepipe's motel is pretty fun.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    South Central Orange County


    I thought Stovepipe Wells was decent, but lodging in the park can fill up months in advance between April and October.

    If you are thinking of Lone Pine, the Dow Villa Motel has been one of my family's favorites.

  10. Default

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! Furnace Creek is definitely above my budget so I didn't even check their availability. Called Stovepipe Wells today and it's almost $150 per night. I just need a safe and clean place to sleep so all the frills (saloon and swimming pool, etc.) are just overkill (for me). Checked Panamint Springs and the whole week is filled (even the most expensive rooms are taken). Spring is just a really popular season for DV! :-) So I guess I will have to pursue out of park accommodation and it seems there are quite a few options -- will do more research!

    You guys (and girls) are great!

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