Been to the Desert in RV with a name, felt good to get out in the rain? Death Valley National Park surprises

Desert = Hot, Dry, Sand. We canceled plans to see the Grand Canyon because the weather turned cold and rainy there.

Instead we head to Death Valley National Park and find it’s not hot or dry…

This was our second trip to the park but the first was short and we didn’t explore much.

With RVoyager that changed. Big advantage taking one’s house along.

RVoyager hit a jackpot at this space port

Longstreet Inn Casino & RV Resort

  • Pool access
  • Hot tub
  • Casino
  • Restaurant
  • Lounge

Rating: 5 out of 5.

On the first trip into DVNP we roasted. Not this trip.

We could see the rain falling a couple of miles away. The wind gusted and it cooled. We wore long sleeves.

The drive into the park seemed to go through three different climates:

We know Death Valley offers the enigma of extremes.

From the lowest point in the US to painted mountains and jagged crazy salt formations we raced off to our second exploration.

Scored a quick Passport stamp and sticker right at closing time of the Visitor’s Center, but forgot to grab a paper map, so snapped a map pic. Then we ventured south…

Cold day in hell before you’ll par the Devil’s Golf Course

Not too far along Badwater Road, again a Devil called to us but this time especially to AJ, with the temptation of a refreshing round of golf…

  • AJ with a long stick in swinging position at the Devils Golf Course sign
  • Jagged salt formations for miles of level basin ahead.
  • More rough terrain, mountains in distance
  • AJ in hoodie on salt formation holding up four fingers.
  • Crystallized salts compose the jagged formation of this forbidding landscape. Be careful walking.
  • Sun comes out briefly and casts golden glow on the salt formations.
  • Bill in foreground on formations, mountains and the field of salt mounds  dwarfing
  • More rough terrain and mountains.
  • Closeup of features.
  • closer up it looks like fudge swirl

Badwater Basin, lowest point on NA continent

From the highs of our scores on the Devil course to the depths of the basin we went.

Gravelly and dusty hike into Natural Bridge Canyon rewards

It’s not that Death Valley is dead. But signs of life are few and far between. We found a few blooming weeds like dandelion in parking areas, and some possibly invasives seeded by visitors.

We were able to ID one of the two wildflowers we spotted on this hiking trail.

  • Tall stem with tiny leaves ending in purple flowers.
  • Sign about the force of water. Map of the longer trail.
  • Bill and AJ selfie as canyon narrows.
  • AJ looks up from under the bridge.
  • Smooth and shiny like clay wall
  • Green plant low in rocks with yellow buds.

We also loved how this trail ascended so it was downhill return. Caution though: the trail surface is loose and gravelly.

Artists palette paints desert pastel in twilight

Artists Drive played tricks on the eyes as the rarely glimpsed sun set somewhere west with hardly a glow until we were leaving this eerie place.

The palette this time of day in this soft light seemed more like a chalk artists choice.

  • Colorful canyon walls.
  • Blue chalky powder like rocks
  • Another strange powdery hill
  • Dimmer color walls
  • Sunset glow beyond chalky blue dust palette ridge
  • Higher ridgeline
  • Bleak but subtle colors in the mountain walls.
  • Sign explaining why the rocks are colored.

Back in Nevada, Longstreet’s Casino

“Home” by dark, we grabbed a decent meat and three at the diner. For fun we tossed in a couple fun shots of Jack’s kitsch we took when we checked in.

Little did we know… the next day we would learn more about the gamblin’ hall’s namesake, Jack Longstreet.

Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, CA 92328

(760) 786-3200
DVNP Website

Death Valley NP News Feed

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