We had just arrived in LA from our Pacific Highway roadtrip and were ready for the next one. LA is a very big city, there are a lot of things to do. We’ve been in LA before, so this time we just did a couple of things we’ve missed before.
First place we went to was Santa Monica Pier. We spent a nice couple of hours there, contemplating the hundreds of people walking up and down the Pier. Watching from the top of the Pier, they looked like little ants walking around.
The sun had set when we left to the apartment. We decided to have a good night sleep because next day was going to be the beginning of our next adventure.
We woke up early to go to the Hollywood Sign and take some pictures. As we approached the top of the Hill the access to the sign was closed, so we couldn’t go as near as we wanted. But we still took pretty nice shots!
It was around 10am when we headed towards Las Vegas. Last time we took the I-15, like most of people do. You go through Mojave Desert and at some point you even cross with the legendary Route 66. But this time we decided to do things differently.
This time we wanted to visit the Death Valley National Park, so we took the CA-14 towards Ridgecrest.
Ridgecrest is a small town where there is a Naval Base. Inside the Naval Base you can visit The Naval Museum of Armament & Technology, which preserves and interprets the history of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and its heritage of advancing Naval aviation armament and technology.
We tried to visit but there are a few procedures you have to go through to go inside the base and we couldn’t spend that much time there.
Death Valley National Park is part California, part Nevada. The Park doesn’t have barriers to get in but there is a fee you need to pay either at Furnace Creek Station or at automatic machines along the way.
As we approached the park you start to feel the heat. It is a desert after all.
Our first stop was at a point we don’t even know the name. There were only 2 cars stopped there plus our. It was an overwhelming feeling. We felt as if we were inside a painting. Unfortunately the pictures do not do justice to the sight.
During our day at Death Valley we visited places like Panamint Springs, Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek.
One of the places we really enjoyed to visit was Badwater Basin.
It is “the lowest Point in North America, with an elevation of 282 ft below sea level. At Badwater, significant rainstorms flood the valley bottom periodically, covering the salt pan with a thin sheet of standing water. Each newly-formed lake does not last long though, because the 1.9 inches of average rainfall is overwhelmed by a 150 inches annual evaporation rate.”
It was awesome to take a walk 282 ft below sea level, on a salt boardwalk, but make sure you wear a cap and some sunscreen.
Just above Badwater Basin is Dante’s View, at nearly 5500ft above sea level. It is considered one of the best spots for amazing photos in Death Valley. On a clear day you can see both the lowest and the highest points in the contiguous United States from there.
In my opinion seems like Death Valley is a little underrated. People tend to compare it to Grand Canyon because they are both not far from Las Vegas (Death Valley is 140 miles away and Grand Canyon is 275 miles). We’ve been in both and in my opinion, because they are completely different, you can’t choose one over the other.
When we booked our trip, we were looking for a place to spend the night inside the Death Valley. There are only a few, and because of that they are not exactly cheap :/
So we decided to stay in a small town called Pahrump. It is less than 30 miles from the border and the hotel we stayed in was much cheaper and pretty nice.
Next day we drove straight to Las Vegas for a whole new adventure …
… Someone got married 😉