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Old 03-08-2020, 02:12 PM   #1
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Question Death Valley GPS: scenic dispersed backcountry *roadside* camping?

Death Valley GPS: scenic dispersed backcountry *roadside* camping?

Hi all - in April I am planning on spending 1 night camping in Death Valley. (sadly I can’t stay longer)

I will be in a self contained, 4x4 high clearance vehicle, so I would prefer a private, safe, silent + scenic place to camp. I need no hookups. I am not towing anything.

Anyone have any GPS co-ordinates to share? That way it would be hopefully easy to find. :-)

As i only have 1 night to camp, and don’t need any facilities at all… I’d rather be on my own, with just stars and silence. I know I need to be at the side of a dirt road in an already disturbed place. (see below)

Here is more info as to where i can NOT boondock - there are a lot of places I can’t boondock.
https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/backcamp.htm

and… I am aware that “Off-Road Driving is prohibited. The desert environment is extremely fragile and slow to recover from vehicle damage. If pulling off a road to camp, choose a place that has already been disturbed.”

and… I am aware: “Where is dispersed backcountry roadside camping allowed?
Along dirt roads at least one mile away from any paved road or "day use only" dirt road.
Camp only in previously disturbed areas and park your vehicle immediately adjacent to the roadway to minimize impact. The wilderness boundary is 50 feet from the center of most dirt roads.”

Thanks. :-)
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:23 PM   #2
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Death Valley if a very large park. I've got extensive experience riding dual sport motos and my 4x4 van along most of the park's dirt roads. It would be easier to provide meaningful suggestions if you could give us a general idea of your route thru DV and what area would be most ideal for you to stop for the night.


Also, do you want to do the minimum driving off your route to be legal and secluded? Or willing to spend more time for a better spot?


--Joe
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:28 PM   #3
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Also, are you just making camp for the night and staying with your vehicle, or planning to make a basecamp leaving gear behind for a few hours while you do some exploring?
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by joefromsf View Post
Death Valley if a very large park. I've got extensive experience riding dual sport motos and my 4x4 van along most of the park's dirt roads. It would be easier to provide meaningful suggestions if you could give us a general idea of your route thru DV and what area would be most ideal for you to stop for the night.


Also, do you want to do the minimum driving off your route to be legal and secluded? Or willing to spend more time for a better spot?


--Joe
Thanks so much Joe Sorry to be not more specific initially

So my ambitious plan is to arrive to Panamint Springs area about 2 pm-ish…. on a Thursday. Early April coming up.

Probably best if I stop for the dinner / camp / crash out a little ways east of Panamint Springs… but ideally somewhere silent and scenic… then hit the road early the next morning.
Probably dont want to dive more than about maybe 20-ish minutes on a dirt road to get to a campsite for the night.... i will have been driving all day and will be quite tired.

Maybe I camp somewhere just east of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes + adjacent Stovepipe Wells?

Things I’d love to see the next day if I can somehow squeeze it all in

Zabriskie Point
Devils Golf Course
Badwater Basin
Artists Drive / Artists Palette (at sunset)

(likely won’t have time for Dante’s View)
(likely won’t have time for Rhyolithe Ghost Town in NV outside of the park, sadly - too far north east for the time I have)
(I would love to see The Racetrack but sadly i know it is a 28 mile dirt road trip, so sadly I will not have time for it.)

Then exit out the east side on the 190 to drive 2 hours that Friday early evening… to overnight camp at Lovell Canyon. NV, near Vegas.

Thoughts? Thanks. :-)
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:29 PM   #5
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also - for anyone else reading this thread.... I just got this web link - helpful info for the area.....


https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvis...ry%20Roads.pdf
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:11 AM   #6
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That's very useful info. Its getting late so I'll post a reply with some suggestions tomorrow.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:35 AM   #7
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That's very useful info. Its getting late so I'll post a reply with some suggestions tomorrow.
Thanks so much Joe - I'm stoked

and in a related question... how well does GPS work generally? I'm confident that there is no cell service in large parts of Death Valley, of course

so i guess general directions will always be important in DV... you know... take this road to here then turn here and go this many miles...

John
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Old 03-09-2020, 01:34 PM   #8
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We camped off Hole in the Wall Road. Not the most scenic spot, but plenty of dispersed camping. We were there 2 weeks ago. Link is directions from Furnace Creek visitor center.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Furn....4051388?hl=en
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:59 PM   #9
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Since most of the sights you want to see on Friday are in the Furnace Creek area, my top two recommendations are Hole in the Wall Rd and Echo Pass Rd. Both have numerous roadside areas for boondocking at least one mile from 190. I have boondocked on both of them. I liked Hole in the Wall Rd a little better than Echo Pass Rd. There seemed to be more boondockers on Echo Pass as it is a little closer to Furnace Creek. Recommend arriving before sunset for best selection and to locate the road turnoffs on 190. Echo Pass is route #1 on the first map link you posted and Hole in the Wall is #2.


If you have time add 20 Mule Team Canyon (across 190 from HITW Rd) to your list of things to do. Its a short scenic drive in the area.


Zabriske Pt is a good spot for sunrise/sunset photos, as are the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.


If you're running late or don't want to drive to the Furnace Creek area Thursday evening here are some other options, starting near Panamint Springs:
  • Lake Hill Rd (#12 on map). I've not camped here, nor seen anyone camped out there, but have ridden it on moto. First 5 mile are very level and seem like it would be easy to find a spot to stay. Avoid in rain or if muddy.
  • Lemoigne Canyon Rd (#7). No personal experience. Google maps sat view makes it look a little rough getting started as it crosses some small washes but looks better after that.
  • Tucki Mine Rd (#8). No personal experience. Looks very hard to find on Google maps.
  • Don't see any other legal boondocking between these roads and Furnace Creek area.
GPS works great in DV, as long as its routing you via paved roads. Be sure to compare GPS routing to paper map to verify. There's an amusing tale of someone in a rental car being routed to the Racetrack via Saline Valley Rd and Lippencott Rd (serious 4x4 road). His girlfriend was not amused and he caused extensive damage to the car. They survived, but others blindly following GPS or Google Maps have perished in DV.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:33 PM   #10
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Super duper helpful - thanks!! all sounds great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joefromsf View Post
Since most of the sights you want to see on Friday are in the Furnace Creek area, my top two recommendations are Hole in the Wall Rd and Echo Pass Rd. Both have numerous roadside areas for boondocking at least one mile from 190. I have boondocked on both of them. I liked Hole in the Wall Rd a little better than Echo Pass Rd. There seemed to be more boondockers on Echo Pass as it is a little closer to Furnace Creek. Recommend arriving before sunset for best selection and to locate the road turnoffs on 190. Echo Pass is route #1 on the first map link you posted and Hole in the Wall is #2.


If you have time add 20 Mule Team Canyon (across 190 from HITW Rd) to your list of things to do. Its a short scenic drive in the area.


Zabriske Pt is a good spot for sunrise/sunset photos, as are the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.


If you're running late or don't want to drive to the Furnace Creek area Thursday evening here are some other options, starting near Panamint Springs:
  • Lake Hill Rd (#12 on map). I've not camped here, nor seen anyone camped out there, but have ridden it on moto. First 5 mile are very level and seem like it would be easy to find a spot to stay. Avoid in rain or if muddy.
  • Lemoigne Canyon Rd (#7). No personal experience. Google maps sat view makes it look a little rough getting started as it crosses some small washes but looks better after that.
  • Tucki Mine Rd (#8). No personal experience. Looks very hard to find on Google maps.
  • Don't see any other legal boondocking between these roads and Furnace Creek area.
GPS works great in DV, as long as its routing you via paved roads. Be sure to compare GPS routing to paper map to verify. There's an amusing tale of someone in a rental car being routed to the Racetrack via Saline Valley Rd and Lippencott Rd (serious 4x4 road). His girlfriend was not amused and he caused extensive damage to the car. They survived, but others blindly following GPS or Google Maps have perished in DV.
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