Death Valley and Owens Valley

Yesterday, after finishing my work for the day, I decided to go grocery shopping and then bail out of the general Las Vegas area. I ended up driving through Death Valley to get to Owens Valley. After one night stay at the magnificent Alabama Hills, I headed north towards Bishop to stay at the Volcanic Tablelands.

Lake Mead is cool and all, but I was ready to be done with it! The weather was shitty on Friday, and the heat there just hasn’t been any fun. So, I decided to head west, towards the Eastern Sierras region, and go check that out. But to do so, I also wanted to go on a scenic drive and experience some things. So, a scenic route it was!

First, I drove through the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Sprint Mountains Recreation Area. I ended up a little bit bummed that I haven’t checked those areas out more, because they were absolutely gorgeous. I stopped to take a few pictures, but that was all I could afford with the already long day ahead.

From that area, I headed up to Death Valley, taking a route through Pahrump, NV to CA-190, which I followed all of the way through. I don’t know why I have these brilliant ideas to not spend more time at these places, and not even really give myself enough time to enjoy them more while driving through. Oh well!

I stopped at Zabriskie Point and the Mesquite Sand Dunes, but otherwise kept driving, only taking in the occasional view along the way otherwise. I had no idea that the park was so amazing!

Making my way out of Death Valley, I then decided to set out towards the Alabama Hills area. It was an area that looked really cool, and I have been wanting to see it for a while now. Looking up at Mt Whitney–the highest point in the contiguous US–right after spending time in Death Valley–home to the lowest point in the contiguous US–was special, and the view of the mountains was spectacular!

Once again, I didn’t quite spend the amount of time in Alabama Hills as I might have liked. I wanted to make sure that I had ample time to get up North and explore. It turns out that I could have easily spent more time exploring that area, but I’ll just have to return at some later date.

Leaving Alabama Hills this morning, I headed north through Owens Valley towards Bishop. I had never driven on US-385 for this section before, and I found it remarkably special! The whole drive was beautiful, all of the way into Bishop, where I ended up at the Volcanic Tablelands, setting up camp.

This is an area at the very North end of Owens Valley composed of a remarkably interesting land formation. It was formed by an enormous amount of volcanic output from the Long Valley Caldera–a supervolcano to the Northwest of this location. It’s really cool!

While first setting up camp in here, I came to realize that I had initially chosen a spot with what appeared to be horse or mule poop everywhere. That sucked! But no worries! I just packed back up and moved to another, more quiet and secluded spot–without a bunch of poop everywhere! It’s a lovely campsite, and I’m happy to stay here for a while.

2 thoughts on “Death Valley and Owens Valley”

  1. wow gourgous pics how are you finding all these spots are you just driving to certain spots and there it is, or are you resurching knowing its there or 50/50?

    1. It’s a mix. A lot of just looking at maps and heading into a spot. There’s places like http://www.campendium.com that have awesome resources for finding good campsites, too, and I use those a lot. Along with just general word of mouth from other travelers, and the occasional walking into a Ranger Station and talking to whoever is on duty to get their input of a good place to go.

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