Death Valley
Driving to Death Valley
We planned a full-day trip to Death Valley National Park, so we decided to head out early. We drove north through Pahrump and into the small mining community of Beatty. After a brief stop at the information center and bought a thin book on the local ghost town, then headed west into Rhyolite. We walked among the remains of the bank, jail, and other buildings of this once thriving mining community. The highlight of the town was a small house made out of glass bottles known as the "bottle house."
We continued down highway 374 toward the park. Along the way, we passed a turnoff to Titus Canyon and decided to save that for another time. Instead we continued into the heart of the park, past the sand dunes into the area called Stovepipe Wells Village.

Mosaic Canyon
Our guidebooks all said that the hike in Mosaic Canyon is one of the best in the park. The gravel road leading to the parking lot is located just past the Stovepipe Wells Village. The 3-4 mile round trip hike was magnificent. The trail starts off wide and narrows into a high-walled canyon of colorful slickrock and polished marble. The rock formations were created when rock fragments became cemented together into what's called a mosaic breccia. Many people turn around when the canyon becomes steep, but this is where we thought it got interesting. We hiked until we reached a dry waterfall that we couldn't climb without ropes.

Furnace Creek Area
The Furnace Creek Area of the park is south down highway 190. We stopped at the Harmony Borax Works Interpretive Trail and enjoyed the history of the area including the huge borax wagons. We continued to the visitor center for more information. It was getting late, so we spent a few minutes at the smelly Badwater stop (lowest elevation in the US at -282 feet) before heading back to Las Vegas. We decided that we needed to bring the RV back next time and spend a few more days exploring.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 7/01.
Updated 5/02.
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