Is Death Valley a bad idea??
For our honeymoon next year, we'e planning to come visit your amazing country. To give you an idea, we will be starting in NY (3nts) before flying over to San Fran (4nts). From here we pick up our hire car and visit the many national parks (??nts - any ideas). From there, we hope to end up in Las Vegas (4nts)and then maybe see the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. If we have'nt missed anything out (???) we'll then cross Death Valley heading for the beaches of LA (which ones?) and to do the whole LA thing. Once this is done we will then head south on the coast roads to take in some more beaches of san Diego. Now - my question is (amoung others).... is Death Valley the best route from Nevada to LA, is it safe in the July temperatures or have I got it all wrong and you can suggest a better route there??
Your input on that or any other area of our trip will be very much appreciated. Dates will be from end of June to mid/late July spanning nearly 4 weeks.
Death Valley is NOT the best route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, at least not if you're talking about speed or convenience. However, if you are asking is it worth the visit, then absolutely, the answer is yes. It will be very hot, but you can do what the rest of us desert-dwellers do, probably world-wide. Carry drinking and emergency water, wear sun-screen (45 SPF) and a hat, venture out in early mornings and evenings so you can stay out of the direct sun, and spend the rest of the time under the cool air conditioning, preferably in the bar (just joking).
Unclear how long you have in total for this trip? You mention 4 mights in San Francisco, then "do the national parks" (how long?), then 4 nights in Las Vegas, then see Death Valley &/or other national parks (how long?)
Your brief summary sounds kind of jumbled on the best route. Let me know the time frame / span between large cities and I'll give you some better suggestions on the best route.
Where are you coming from? Death Valley will be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (over 40 Celsius). But I agree it is worth the drive through as long as you are prepared with fuel fill-up, vehicle maintenance, and lots of drinking water.
A chance to see MN! (mother nature)
On August 15th, 2004 the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley experienced a once in 500-years+ flash flood. Direct access from the eastern side of the park (from Las Vegas) won't be possible for at least another 3-4 months. Visitors can now reach Furnace Creek but they have to enter from Beatty or Trona, as a result -- when you go next July -- you will probably see some "re-habbed" geography that most of us (who visit Death Valley as often as we can) have never seen.
<a href = "http://www.nps.gov/deva/Photos.htm ">Click here<a/> to view some amazing images from that flash flood!
As far as the route from Las Vegas to LA beaches -- While it is possible to go thru Death Valley -- it is not the most direct. The fastest route would be I-15 to to I-5 and then north (or south) to whatever beaches you are headed for.
Lots of information on this forum for driving in the desert in summer heat, but the most important is: CARRY 2-3 GALLONS OF DRINKING WATER.
July in Death Valley is a tad warm -- but should be experienced at least once in your life!