Richard Golding
Travel – Death Valley 2009

Dates: 20-22 March 2009

Photos: collection deathvalley200903

Craig and I took a road trip from San Francisco to Death Valley. This was done as a long weekend, starting Friday afternoon and getting back late Sunday. The drive was a little too long, but worth it for being in the desert.

The flowers this year in Death Valley were not as numerous as they were a few years ago when I was last there—though that was a particularly spectacular year for flowers.

We stayed in Bakersfield on Friday night, getting to Death Valley in late morning. We hiked the Golden Canyon trial up to Zabriskie Point, then drove back to the dunes near Stovepipe Wells around sunset. The evening winds were kicking up a lot of sand. We drove back over the Panamints and stayed in Lone Pine that night.

We followed the Extreme Day Hike tradition of eating at the pizza place in Lone Pine, and stayed at the Best Western Frontier Motel.

On Sunday we drove back over to the Panamint Valley and hiked up to Darwin Falls. The dirt road from the highway to the trailhead is just on the edge of what is passable in a standard car; a high-clearance truck would be better. The trail to the falls go up a pleasant green canyon. The falls themselves are nice, though it's a small area and a few people fills it up.

Places stayed:

Town Hotel Notes
Bakersfield Holiday Inn Express Decent, generic.
Lone Pine Best Western Frontier Motel A nice old-style motel. This is where the Almaden Extreme Day Hike group has stayed. On the south edge of town; they have a decent breakfast. Lone Pine is a nice place to stay.