Since I went to Death Valley on the back of CJ's report, I will try not to duplicate too much yet add my pics to his report. I went the first days of January 2009.
We were on vacation in Southern California and the Grand Canyon previously and we caught a good AlaskaAir price back from Las Vegas to Seattle so all the girls flew home rather than drive back to Washington.
Since I was driving home by myself, I went via Death Valley.
Following CJs advice, I visited the rangers in Furnace Creek and they provided both a map and good advice. The first night was in Echo Canyon
which did require both the high clearance and , at times, the 4wd due to the deep sand. That said, it wasn't nerveracking and resulted in a spectacular campsite in the canyon.
A canyon with a neat moonrise.
It was very quiet with no wind noise, other traffic or anything. Just perfect.
Night two I spend on the alluvial fan of Hanuapah Canyon. I wanted the view across the valley. While windy, I didn't see anyone else for the entire day and it was great.
The third night was heading toward 395 and Big Pine. I had judge my diesel poorly and didn't make it to the dunes so I camped in the Eureka Valley. It was cold. That isn't a drip but rather an icicle.
but pretty in the morning.
Through the trip, I tried to take a long bulb picture that would show the magnificent stars and the van but none turned out.
All in all, Death Valley is my favorite 4wd destination National Park yet. Lot's of dirt road, very few people using them.
The only thing that would have been better is having my family along to share the fun