The Best of Death Valley: The South Entrance

9 Jan
2012
Posted in: California, Drives, Parks
By    2 Comments

As tempting as the town of Death Valley Junction, CA, sounded, we decided to enter Death Valley National Park from the southeast, via Shoshone, CA.  If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, this is the way to go (just make sure you have a full tank of gas — unless you want to pay $5.10/gallon).  We found some very interesting spots, from natural hot springs (clothing prohibited), a date palm plantation with a charming junk shop, to a museum in Shoshone that had actual mammoth bones and lots of cool rocks.  After Shoshone, it’s 70 miles of lonely road through the park before the first named attraction, Badwater.  When we got to Badwater, it was like a rude awakening — it was absolutely packed.  We’ve got more stories to share from this leg of the journey — for now we’ll whet your appetite with a few snapshots.

Want to be the only ones around?  Just park your car and take a few steps.

Want to be the only ones around? Just park your car and take a few steps.

Climb a small hill above the town of Tecopa for a sweet view of the sewage lagoon.

Climb a small hill above the town of Tecopa for a sweet view of the sewage lagoon.

Colorful date palms at China Ranch.  Try the date nut bread.

Colorful date palms at China Ranch. Try the date nut bread.

Fill up first!  Or, worst case, drive over to Pahrump, NV like we did.

Fill up first! Or, worst case, drive over to Pahrump, NV like we did.

Ashford Mill

Ashford Mill, in Death Valley. Lonely ruins of a gold mill.

Ashford Mill

Ashford Mill

Ashford Mill

Ashford Mill...I love me some ruins.

A small, salty pond.

A small, salty pond.