Travels with Tucker

Travels with Tucker

Friday, March 31, 2017

Death Valley Daze Revisited

We first visited Death Valley National Park in 2014, our first full year of full-time RVing.  We fell in love with the place--the vast distances, the stark mountains, the colorful and weird rock formations, the remote dirt roads, the dark skies and the sense of an indifference to human beings and their comfort. Last year was a so-called super-bloom of wildflowers in Death Valley, an event that happens about once a decade. We were hoping to get a repeat of that in this wet year, but in that we were disappointed. Secondarily I was hoping to photograph the full moon on the Mesquite Springs sand dunes, and that did happen as planned.
Camping in Death Valley is rough, with most campgrounds being exposed gravel parking lots without any amenities.  There is a real sense of peace, though, being in the middle of the desert with dunes and sun-baked sand and sparse vegetation as far as the eye can see.  'Course, we also had access to swimming polls at both Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek, so there was an aspect of a mini-vacation while camping here.  We'd hike or explore by truck in the morning, come home to eat lunch and head to the pool in the heat of the day. And it did reach 95 degrees most days we were in the valley, so the pools were welcome relief.
We repeated some favorite hikes like Mosaic Canyon and the Mesquite Dunes, and explored some new areas like the Chloride City mine site and Desolation Canyon. We also visited the Devil's Golf Course and the Badwater salt flats by the full moon for some amazing views.  Enjoy some highlight photos below and check out the Outdoor Project adventures I published while there.

Huge dune in Death Valley

Late day sun on the dunes

Mesquite dunes at sunset

The day before the actual full moon is the best time to photograph it at sunset

Full moon rising at sunset

Full moon rising over the dunes

Dunes at sunrise

The lonely path of a landscape photographer

The full moon setting at sunrise, Mesquite Dunes

The Devil's Golf Course by moonlight

Desolation Canyon

Badwater salt flats by the full moon light

The Devil's Golf Course by the light of the full moon

20 Mule Team Canyon

20 Mule Team Canyon

20 Mule Team Canyon

Sunrise on on Zabriskie Point

Sunrise from Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point badlands

Gower Gulch from the Badlands Trail

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