Friday, March 7, 2014

Death Valley National Park & Scotty's Castle

Scotty's Castle, Death Valley National Park
Friday, March 7, 2014, Texas Springs Campground, Death Valley National Park, CA, Day 2 - 0 miles , 5802.1 For the Trip

Very windy last night. It blew the propane stove off the picnic table, the trailer was rocking, and around 10:00 I heard my folding solar panel sliding along the gravel even though I had a couple of 10 lb rocks on the legs to hold it down. I ended up folding it up & stuffing it into the RAV4 for the night.

I decided today would be a good one for a trip to Scotty's Castle. While I've been to Death Valley a couple of times, I have never visited the castle. So, off I went. There was a big flashing programmable sign at the start of Scotty's Castle Road announcing that the road was closed at Scotty's Castle, and there was no gas available. Still, while I was stopped taking photos along the way, a Class A with a toad stopped & complained that he drove all the way (a good 50 miles) and discovered the road was closed. Not sure why he missed the sign.

The last 5-6 miles to the castle are gravel. It looks like they are rebuilding it which is probably why it is closed beyond the castle. It does make it difficult for those wishing to explore the park and continue north on US 95.

On the way back from the castle I stopped at the Ubehebe Crater. It is a big hole about 500' deep. I hiked to a smaller crater about 1/2 mile above Ubehebe but it wasn't as impressive as the main crater. There is a faint path leading to the bottom of the main crater. Unmarked, but it looks like many have hiked down. Very long & steep - I prefer hikes that put the downhill portion at the end, so I didn't take it (that's my excuse!)

I shot a panorama of the valley floor on the way back to the campground. I stopped at the market at the Furnace Creek Ranch. A reasonable amount of stuff at unreasonable prices, as is the gas - $5.65 per gallon, not that there are alternatives! Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was spaghetti & meatballs.

Until tomorrow -


  1. Hi Jon.Death Valley Morning Report stated the road was going to be closed months ago. I was planning on coming in that route until I read that.That other RV can only blame himself unless he expected to be personally notified.
    Glad you are having fun..

  2. Hi Jon,
    It's a bit of a drive, but Beatty, Nev., just outside the park, has reasonably priced gas (but no groceries). Combined with a trip to rhyolite, the ghost town, it makes a practical day trip! (For the next time you find yourself in death valley)