Desert Gold lines the Badwater Road with snowy Telescope Peak in the background. Photo credit: Kurt Moses

We’re going to be tackling National Park #3 this weekend with a trip to Death Valley National Park, the country’s hottest, driest, and lowest national park. Because of all this rain we’ve had in Southern California, we’ll be there for a peak wild flower bloom. We also will try and swing through Lake Elsinore on the way home Monday for more wild flower viewing.


Our plan is to camp in the Furnace Creek area of the park. We both have to work Friday so we are going to drive our near the park late Friday night and stay in a hotel near the park entrance so we can head out early and find a campsite. We are going to be staying in an area that is first come, first serve, so hopefully we don’t have much trouble finding a site.


It’s about 5 hours from our house to Death Valley. Friday’s plan is to head out right at bed time for the kids (7pm) and drive about 4 hours to our hotel. We’re hoping that the nighttime driving allows us to get more exploring done on Saturday and reduces the chances of a vehicular meltdown on the drive to the park. Our plan Monday is to come home later in the day. 

Kid factor

We’ve been checking the weather and the high temperatures will be in the low 90s and the nighttime lows will be in the low 70s. The heat during the day will have us focusing on hydration, both for us and the girls. We’ll do some exploring, but it might be shorter hikes or exploring in the car.

Another factor is that the girls are starting to walk around which will keep us more busy while hanging out around the campsite. Last time we went camping was at Joshua Tree, the girls were crawling around a bit, but were very easy to keep corralled. Their mobility is a new factor to consider for us!


We’re hoping that we will find a campsite near the Furnace Creek Visitor Center so we can check out some ranger led programs.

It’s not necessarily a kid focused activity, but Death Valley National Park is hosting a hiking challenge for people to accomplish a variety of hikes and they get a special decal. So we might give it a shot.

Well, we head out Friday night. Wish us luck, and as always, any suggestions are always welcome!

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