National Parks road trip

Halloween Greetings from the Depths of Death Valley

The depths of Death Valley, the lowest land surface elevation in the USA, seems like an appropriate place to spend Halloween. This will be my third trip to Death Valley National Park this year and the first time the temperature will be under 100F. Today the weather should be only in the low 70s.

Death Valley NP

I used to think Death Valley was on the way to nowhere until I realized that the drive is only two hours and 70 miles longer between Las Vegas and Monterey than driving the most direct 500 mile route.

If all goes as planned I will be in Death Valley today experiencing the lowest, driest and hottest place in the USA on a day when it is low and dry, but not hot. That sounds like a cool Halloween to me.


Death Valley National Park on the outer edge of life.

Tomorrow my plan is to stand next to the largest living beings on earth – giant sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park which grow in scattered groves on the southern slopes of the western Sierra Nevada of California at an elevation of 4,500 to 7,000 feet.

Happy Halloween from Loyalty Traveler.

Post trip 10/31 update: I learned today that it is tarantula mating season in Death Valley. How appropriate for Halloween that I came across a tarantula spider up close today.

Tarantula Death Valley







An even more karmic encounter was meeting my friend coyote, the trickster, in almost exactly the same spot of Panamint Valley, the adjacent valley west of Death Valley and within the National Park, where I encountered a coyote on the road last May.

Death Valley Trick-ster-Treat
Death Valley Trick-ster-Treat


  • dlnevins October 31, 2013

    “Hottest, Driest, Lowest!” And also the spookiest, at least on Halloween! Enjoy your Death Valley evening. (It’s on my list of places I want to visit some day.)

  • iahphx October 31, 2013

    What’s your lodging solution for Death Valley? I’ve become increasing annoyed that in-park lodging rates are going up about 10% a year lately, with almost all rooms north of $150. When you’re used to getting deals at the chain hotels/motels, those prices seem outrageous, especially given the modest nature of most Death Valley accommodations.

  • Ric Garrido November 1, 2013

    @iahphx – Camp on the ground with the tarantulas and coyotes.

    Or drive to the Best Western which is the brand usually nearest to the National Park entrances (Best Western Pahrump, NV for Death Valley).

    Wawona Lodge in Yosemite National Park had $72 rates this past week. Best deal I have seen in some time.

    $400 per night at many of the park lodges is beyond my means. I can buy a new camera lens, bike or computer for that price.

    I can even buy a new tent for camping in the National Parks.

  • Alan November 1, 2013

    I’ve bitten the bullet and opted for the Furnace Creek Ranch (I couldn’t justify the Lodge at 3x the price!). Will be driving in from LAS and interested in any tips/suggestions you have!

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