Day 25-27: Death Valley


PROPOSED LODGING: Backcountry camping in the park

DETAILS: First nite in wildrose campground, then go to visitor center to check-in and get permits in the morning. (per Charlie Callagan/phone conversation 29 JAN 10)


  • Backcountry Road Trails – 4×4 trails for access to less travelled areas of the park and backcountry camping areas. Some of the trails take you to pretty cool places to explore on foot as well!


29 JAN 2010: Spoke with Ranger in charge of wilderness program/backcountry at (760) 786-3200.

he stressed bringing A LOT of water. he said we should bring a whole week’s worth of water when we go out in the backcountry roads at that time of year.

he said to check the spare tire, and make sure there is enough air in it. check also that we have our basic tools, and the jack (and make sure we know how to use it), check the fan belt.

he said we should plan on trying to stay at elevations above 4000 ft for the most part.

he said that we should not leave our electronic equipment in the car with the windows closed (either take it with you or crack the windows)

he said to bring “fix a flat” and air compressor

he said they have wifi in visitors center, so we can email and post blogs/video

he said we should make sure to have a check-in person who has all our info and will call the rangers if we don’t make our “check-in” call (otherwise they will NOT look for us)

he told me about a good book on backcountry trails in the park: ”Explorer’s Guide to Death Valley National Park” (2nd edition)

he told us to come in from Bakersfield via 178, and plan on spending the first night at Wildrose Campground (4500 ft), then come into the park to the visitor’s center for permit the following day. [he confirmed we do not need reservation at that time of year]

25 JAN 2010: called the visitor center and spoke to a woman who referred me to a Ranger for more information on summer in Death Valley and where would be the best trails/backcountry locations for us to visit. the ranger is out for the week, but i left a message and will call back in February if i do not hear from him before.

7 JAN 2010: had the following discussion with a guy from Jeep Expeditions (an Arizona jeep organization that sets up jamboree-type trail rides) about Death Valley (his group has done a number of jeep trips there):

<<…Are you sure you want to go to DV in the summer? If so you will need LOTS of water and a minimum of 2 vehicles. You will also need to be in excellent physical condition…>>

<<… was wondering what to bring/do for the jeep itself… if there is any kind of special prep for the vehicle, or special kind of maintenance needed in that kind of environment (am driving my personal jeep –2007 wrangler 4 door unlimited sahara, all stock), so want to keep it in good running order even once we are out of DV…>>

<< …My wife and I both drive JK 4 doors, great rigs!

Check and have your cooling system serviced.

Put on new top and bottom radiator hoses and new fan belt. Keep the old ones and carry them with you as spares.

You should have a great trip!…>>

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