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John Lundemo
(Jibbs) - F

Locale: Nevada
Death Valley Memorial Day Weekend? on 05/15/2011 18:10:13 MDT Print View

I was thinking of heading down to Death Valley this memorial day weekend. Anyone have any idea as to how many people I might encounter out there if I tried to go? If there's a zillion others I might look into somewhere a little more remote, so anyone have any experience with being down there then?

Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Death Valley Memorial Day Weekend on 05/15/2011 18:17:40 MDT Print View

It should be crazy there on Memorial Day weekend, and potentially hot.
For something more remote and cooler, check out the canyons out of Panamint Valley- Surprise Canyon, Happy Canyon, all very nice and VERY remote.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Death Valley Memorial Day Weekend? on 05/15/2011 18:26:03 MDT Print View

John, I guess you know that it can be very hot there, even in May. There will be many more visitors there over the holiday weekend. However, most of them will limit their visit to the lowest and hottest part of the flat desert. Instead, if you get up into the surrounding mountain ranges, you will avoid the worst of the heat. You might even be able to find snow in the Panamints. In fact, you need to plan on cool windy weather once you get above 8000 feet or so. There are many places to go where there are so few people that if you die, your body won't be found for a long time.

I recommend hiking across the Stovepipe Wells Sand Dunes, but only very early in the morning (dawn) and finish before 10 a.m. However much drinking water you think you need to carry, double that.

--B.G.--

John Lundemo
(Jibbs) - F

Locale: Nevada
Death Valley on 05/15/2011 18:34:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies. Its either that or the Black Rock again. Maybe I oughtta do some research in the next few and figure it out.

John Lundemo
(Jibbs) - F

Locale: Nevada
Thoughts on 05/17/2011 16:50:23 MDT Print View

do you think a lot of people will be up near the campgrounds at Wildrose or Thorndike/Mahogany Flat campgrounds? I was also thinking of Marble Canyon. Any other thoughts on where to ditch people at? I picked up a couple of books on Death Valley and am in process of reading through them.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Thoughts on 05/17/2011 17:08:22 MDT Print View

In general, the Wildrose Canyon is a decent place to go at this time of the year. I haven't checked on the road up to Mahogany Flat lately, but that is a great place to go when the summer heat on the desert is bad. Sometimes the trail up to Telescope Peak is good, and sometimes not. It is not a stupid place to take some microspikes, since the last trail mile up to Telescope Peak can be icy.

I like the Cottonwood Canyon area for warm hiking, especially for those all-day hikes.

I haven't checked on the road to Racetrack Valley lately, which is one of my favorites.

Actually, you can't go wrong if you follow one of the guidebooks to find your way to some ghost town that is 100 years old. Try Skidoo.

--B.G.--