After we “closed” the Grand Circle in Las Vegas, we were back on our way to California. Death Valley National Park is our last national park on our road trip through the USA.
Funeral Mountains Wilderness
But before visiting Death Valley, we spent another night shortly before the National Park in the Funeral Mountains Wilderness. Despite the name, our free spot on a former campground is still quite green.
Death Valley National Park
In Death Valley National Park Christiane and I both celebrate a premiere. We sleep on a campground which is below sea level. The Furnace Creek Campground is located in the middle of the national park. This time we have no problems getting a spot, because the peak season in Death Valley National Park is already ending and most campgrounds in the park close at the end of April. After that it is simply too hot and from May on some motorhome renters prohibit the entry into the park with rented motorhomes. The campsite is located right next to the visitor centre, where we got some useful information about possible activities. And there was good news: On the day of our arrival it was supposed to stay relatively “cool”. And so we decided to go straight into the national park to see the main attractions.
First we got a nice overview of the valley at Zabriskie Point. And after more than thirty days with mainly red rock formations and mountains our eyes get some variety again.
Then we went on to the Badwater Basin. This is the lowest point in North America with 85.5 meters below sea level. But we were far away from the promised “cool” day – we had 34 °C. Only the strong wind provided some refreshment (and with my meanwhile rather long hair a stormy hairstyle 🙂
Next to us we saw a group of young women who seem to be looking for the best photos for Instagram. So we took a look at some poses to spice up our blog 😂.
Afterwards we went on to the Devils Golf Course. Here salt crystallized into crazy formations. During the visit one should be careful, because the stones are partly razor sharp.
It’s pretty windy here, too. Where is our Drei Wetter Taft?
Finally we drove to the Artists Palette.
In the shade of our car we called it a day – as did the wind.
The night was really hot and so we didn’t need our sleeping bags or blankets for the first time in the USA. When we got into the car to drive to a short hike before 9 am the next morning, the thermometer already shows a crisp 36 °C.
We went hiking in the Golden Canyon and visited the Red Cathedral.
After we had completed the 4.8 km long hike, we were happy and called it a day quite early. In the shade with lots of water we were curious if Death Valley would beat Melbourne in terms of the hottest day on our trip. In Melbourne we had reached 41° Celsius at the beginning of March (in Australian summer). And at 41° Celsius the thermometer also stops in Death Valley. Not bad for an April in the northern hemisphere.
We sat outside for a long time, enjoyed the sunset and drank a toast to my Dad’s (second) birthday.
Due to the temperatures we were not really too sad that we had to leave Death Valley the next day. We drove through the western exit towards the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range in California. On the way we made a stop at Salt Creek.
Afterwards we stopped at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
We spent the night near Lone Pine. Here we found a nice free campground in our App Wiki Camps. And the Alabama Hills bordering Lone Pine were really beautiful! The rock formations reminded us of the Joshua Tree National Park. With the exception that the Alabama Hills still had the snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the background. We stayed two nights on two different campsites.
At the end of our roadtrip through the USA we put on our hiking boots again and visited Mobius Arch. Unfortunately the hike was way too short (even for Christiane). But the snapshot of Mount Whitney through the rock arch was still worth it 🙂