Day 25 – Death Valley National Park

May 16

An incredible sunset

Death Valley National Park

The next day we drove through Nevada to reach Death Valley National Park. It required driving through the endless traffic and suburban sprawl.

We stopped in Pahrump for supplies before taking Highway 190 into Death Valley. 

It is a good way to get lots of picturesque views of the park. 

The weather was very cooperative, too. It was hot, but in the 90’s hot rather than the 100 + temperatures. And it wasn’t windy. A couple of years ago, we were here during a big dust storm. Even once the storm was over, there wasn’t much visibility for at least a week. 

The air was clean so we could see all the important features, like Zabriskie Point

The iconic, vintage Furnace Creek Inn was currently under construction. We stopped at the Visitor Center. Their sign claimed that it was 92 degrees. The displays are interesting. 

We stopped by the post office to mail a letter. How many letters have a Death Valley postmark?

We continued north following the Scotty’s Castle Road up to Grapevine where the road to Scotty’s Castle is closed. We continued up the Death Valley/Big Pine Road to Eureka Dunes, our planned campsite for the night. 


After following us most of this drive, Marc and the guys went ahead.  It didn’t take Marc and the other vehicles to get out of sight. 

This section of the Death Valley/Big Pine Road is gravel, not paved. As expected, it was almost all washboard. It was a bone jarring experience. Thank goodness the views along the way are interesting, especially from a landscape and wildflower perspective.


We caught up with them, not too far from the turn off onto South Eureka Valley Road. They had been stopping to take photos of the Cube and the other two XP vehicles. 

Since the light was fading, we headed out to Eureka Dunes. 

The XP vehicles took off in front of us again.


The light on the mountains as we came into Eureka Valley was beautiful.

Eureka Dunes are in an enclosed basin. They are appropriately three miles wide by one mile deep. At over 680 ft, they are the tallest sand dunes in California and among the tallest in North America. One unusual feature is that under the right conditions, they sing.

Eureka Dunes

One of campsites was occupied, but all the others were available. We picked one near the end.

We took several photos of the area.

Marc cooked a very fancy dinner which included filet mignon, asparagus and a grilled Caesar salad.

We all ate and drank well and went to bed.


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