Who has a better camp site than me?

glasseye

Well-known member
Thanks! Are you talking about this photo? This is not Yosemite, it's a place called Badwater, in Death Valley.
SFP_20130403_6847.jpg
Badwater is directly below my parking lot campsite at Dante's View. Here it is at dawn, about 5500 feet below you, the lowest elevation in North America.
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
Sooo, any word on dispersed camping in/near death valley that's still open? I don't want to slog 80 miles a day to the park though.
Hi, officially, I don't know if any common sites are going to be condoned.

But there is a lot of BLM land on the southeast side of Death Valley... Easy to get 20+ miles off-pavement, at which point you would only encounter BLM rangers occasionally, and possibly CA Fish & Game during chuckar / quail seasons. Never seen a sheriff that far off hwy.

Seen lots of army jeeps from nearby Ft Irwin out there, but they stay on the fence line roads and never stopped by.
An AC-130 flew over at about 50' once. China Lake range is on the north side of the 178, but there's still some old .50" and 20mm shells here.

Note the Ft Irwin boundary is not shown on Google maps, but the fence will be obvious if you get close.

The roads are not straight, and fork frequently, so use a compass and landmarks so you don't get totally lost.
Grass Valley Wilderness Area is visible on google maps; it is closed to all vehicles (Desert Protection Act).

I'd suggest taking the road to Trona Pinnacles south from 178, and continue past the pinnacles until you're comfortable.
(There will probably be people around the pinnacles, especially if at new moon.)

There's a nice, flat, site with dug fire pits at
35°21'55.0"N 117°17'18.9"W aka 35.365282, -117.288573
If you want to go that far south.
Note the routes southwest from there to the 395 cross or skirt Cuddyback Lake, which will be muddy after rain. And there's thorny Ocotillo the same route which will scratch your paint a bit.
I took a 32+' class A out there, nothing to worry about other than that, and sandy washes if you take a wrong turn.

The biggest problem with the whole area is it gets windy as hell frequently. 40-50mph winds all day/night are common in late spring and early fall. I haven't been other seasons.

Might be able to find somewhere to park in the city of Ridgecrest; there is a Walmart SuperCenter.
Or the area around Darwin would be closest to DV, if you can find a site.

FYI, the BLM in that overall part of CA doesn't normally seem to care where you camp, as long as you keep it clean.
 
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RVBarry

Well-known member
BTW, I hear 1lb Coleman cans are sold out in metro northern CA areas, supposedly due to large number of people living in vehicles there.
 

sprint2freedom

2008 NCV3 170ext
Sooo, any word on dispersed camping in/near death valley that's still open? I don't want to slog 80 miles a day to the park though.
I'm at Furnace Creek and spoke with a ranger just now and they told me:
- Campgrounds are closed
- Designated dry camps are closed (e.g. Eureka Dunes, Homestake, ...)
- Dispersed is allowed

So c'mon down. The weather is great!
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Yeh, good advice about the little propane bottles. I read about that elsewhere. Stock up if you see 'em. Propane torch bottles from Home Despot will do in a pinch. More money, less fuel, but they work.

Panamint Valley, directly W of DVNP is WFO for dispersed camping. Same weather as the park, more or less. Lots of jets, too. And windy. The wind can be killer.

The DVNP part of the road to Eureka Dunes a narrow corridor and all around it is federal land with lots of places to overnight along there, even if Eureka Dunes is officially closed.
 

SprinterSnale

'05 T1N 3500 - NorCalSprinterCampout
SprinterSaline.jpg
Warm Springs 2018. We had a great time in Panamint and DV this year but skipped Saline this time around. There is a downloadable map for dispersed and off-roading. https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/upload/508-Backcountry-and-Wilderness-Access-map_.pdf The light beige area indicates no dispersed camping. Hindsight is 2020 (sic), but we would have dispersed camped longer in Panamint before going in the Death Valley (proper) which has less dispersed camping. We disperse camped up near Hole in the Wall on the east side of Furnace Creek.
We switched to refillable DOT approved 1lb. propane cylinders and carry a refilling fitting. Three bottles last over two weeks of cooking and coffee.
 
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SprinterEU

New member
Thanks! Are you talking about this photo? This is not Yosemite, it's a place called Badwater, in Death Valley.
That makes a lot of sense. Yes, that photo.
I was thinking it didnt look like a glacial valley.

Drove through Mojave Desert on way to weekend in Las Vegas once.
Death Valley is in the Mojave right?
 

VanGoSki

Well-known member
That makes a lot of sense. Yes, that photo.
I was thinking it didnt look like a glacial valley.

Drove through Mojave Desert on way to weekend in Las Vegas once.
Death Valley is in the Mojave right?
Yup! You may have been on highway 15 between Barstow and Las Vegas. That goes right through the Mojave. I actually lived in Mohave County for five wonderful years. My wife's company relocated us there oddly enough (Kingman, AZ). I had to twist her arm to take the job. We really loved it there but my wife was determined not to raise our young kids there so we eventually transfered back to the Bay Area.
 

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