Death Valley National Park Overview

We try to take advantage of the 4-day weekend during Thanksgiving every year by going on a trip. This year, we decided to stay close to home and visit Death Valley National Park. Located in eastern California within a couple hours of drive to Mount Whitney (the highest peak in the lower 48 states), it is also known as the hottest, driest and lowest point in the U.S. This would be our first time visiting the national park. Our plan is to car camp and drive each day to our planned destinations.

Mesquite sand dunes

Mesquite sand dunes, Death Valley National Park

Finding a car camp spot at Death Valley was relatively easy. The only campground that takes advanced reservation is at Furnace Creek while the others are all first come first serve. Since it was Thanksgiving weekend, the Furnace Creek campground was already fully reserved for the weekend by the time we started looking.
Our camp spot at Texas Springs

Our camp spot at Texas Springs, Lisa and Robert slept in the tent while we slept in our Xterra.

We dropped Dakota off with my parents Wednesday after work and headed out to Death Valley around 8:30PM with Lisa and Robert. We arrived at the national park that night at 1:30AM and found a nice campsite at the Texas Springs campground. Texas Springs campground is located right next to the park visitor center and general store which made it a very convenient central location to stay. The campground also has flushing toilets and running water which was a big plus for us. Camping at Texas Springs was $12 a night, which was not bad considering the large campsite and running water amenities we had.
Our itinerary for the long weekend are outlined below. Due to the large amount of area we have to cover at Death Valley, we tried to visit one area a day to limit the amount of driving. Nevertheless, we still drove a total of 1,200 miles for the trip.
Sunday

 

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