Death Valley Hiking over Thanksgiving (strenous hikes)

  • Nov 26, 2009 · 7:45 AM

Just for FYI, I changed the date on this meetup to Thursday, that way the info will stay up a day longer, as we all know we will be camping from the 24th to the 27th
there is no change!! I just wanted to make sure the campsite numbers will stay here until Thursday morning

Anyone who has not send me a check or at least contacted me about going has been dropped to the waitlist. if you are still serious about going you can e-mail me

Look for the Meetup sign at the campsite table

DIRECTIONS: google link below.

Fees: $15
fee break down:
$10 for camping, $2 meetup fee, $3 for some firewood.

I will ask you to send me a check for $15 (you will receive my address via e-mail)

Refunds: At least $12 if you cancell by Nov. 22nd, after that it depends how may members show up.

Depending on how many members actually show up there could be some refund on the camping fee.

I am driving down to Death Valley on Tuesday

I think chances to secure 4-5 campsites are much better on Tuesday, once I have the campsites I will try to update the website with the numbers and place, before everybody else leaves on Wednesday and Thursday.

The main hikes will be Thursday and Friday, with some short hike(s) and exploration by car on Wednesday.

I am planning on leaving Death Valley Saturday morning, in order to beat Sundays traffic,

Anyone who wants to stay longer can take over the Campsite(s) on Saturday

Death Valley is approx. 500 miles and 10 hrs drive time from the Bay Area (Walnut Creek)

My hiking plans are

Telescope Peak, approx. 14 miles rountrip with around 3000 feet elev. gain, we start the hike around 8000 feet and the peak is 11049ft and the highest point in death valley.
Since it is almost December you can expect some chilly temps up there!!
I will check with the ranger station before the hike to make sure it's not all snowed in yet.


Second hike

Fall Canyon
Length: 14-16 miles rountrip
Starting Point: Titus Canyon Mouth parking area, 3 miles off Scotty's Castle road on graded dirt road. Description: Deep and spectacular canyon north of Titus Canyon. Walk 0.5 mile north along base of mountains to large wash, then 2.5 mi. up canyon to a 35 ft. dryfall. Using caution, you can climb around the falls on the south side. This will give you access to some of the most beautiful narrows in Death Valley. You can follow the canyon up another 4 or 5 miles. No Trail

CAMPSITES: (from $12-18 per night) divided by members attending

The only sites which can be reserved are at Furnance Creek, (and they are all booked at the time) there are a 190 sites at stove pipe wells (which is closer to the hikes anyway) and some smaller sites nearby, if that is all filled up we would try our luck at sunset campground with 270 sites next to furnance creek.
Since those campsites are on a first come basis I am thinking leaving early Wed. am would be the better option (seems like most campers arrive on Thursday, while Thursday and Friday is booked solid there are still open sites for Wednesday on the campground with on-line reservations.)

Death Valley weather


I guess we want to carpool as much as possible it's a long drive, and it helps to share the cost for gas.

I can take 1 or 2 in my car

Tents (4 per site) 8 campers, 2 cars

I can share my tent, I have shared my tent on the 2 Yosemite camping trips this year with women
My tent is for 5-6 ppl and for 2 or 3 there is plenty of room, you can probably fit almost 3 queen airbeds in there.

Please answer my questions that way I will know what days work for you.

Planned by Chris J.

Please e-mail me with your ideas, concerns, questions etc.

Carpool Updates:

If you don't want to see your name on that list, let me know.
I am posting the days everyone is planning to camp at the valley (based on the answers I got), that should help to get members together for carpools.

You can use the meetup e-mail to get in touch with members.

Gayatri Tuesday to Friday (planning on carpool with Chris J.)
Shirley Tuesday to Friday (planning on carpool with Chris J.)
Jurgen Wednesday to Friday
Elena Wednesday to Friday (planning on carpool with Mark, Carla, Grant)
Mark Wednesday to Friday (with Elena and Carla, Grant)
Carla Wednesday to Friday (planning on carpool with Mark, Grant, Elena)
Grant Wednesday to Friday (with Elena, Carla and Mark)
Adam Wednesday to Friday
Rachel "flexible"
Ali Wednesday to Friday
Carley Wednesday to Friday (with Ewelina)
Ewelina Wednesday to Friday (with Carley)
Chris Tuesday or Wednesday to Friday
Juergen Wednesday to Friday or Thursday to Sat.
Dini Tuesday to Friday
Kerrie Tuesday to Friday
Neil flexible , arrive early and or leave later
Babs flexible
Bardha Thursday to Sunday or Wednesday to Saturday
Mika Wednesday to (ask)
Yafit Leave Wednesday evening and arrive Thursday morning?? to Sunday
Catherine, leave either late Thursday night or early Friday to Sunday

If you haven't updated your answer yet, please do so, you should have received an e-mail on Monday Nov. 1,
figuring out who arrives when and how long helps with the planning a lot!!

Confirmed for hike (check received) as Monday 11-23

(Most likely I will hang on to the checks until after Thanksgiving)

Peggy +1

I got a note from a member today about dinner at Death Valley

Anyways, I know you didn't
mention anything regarding food, but I was thinking it could be
fun to have a plan for Thanksgiving dinner.

Death Valley has great places to eat such as the 49er and the
Steakhouse and they are open for meals and for Thanksgiving
dinner. Also, the dining room at the Furnace Creek Inn is open
and they are serving a 4 course dinner with soup, salad, coffee
or tea, and dessert with 5 different entrees to choose from one
of them being turkey dinner. I called tonight to find out if
they were open and if they could take a party of 10 people.
The cost for dinner is $57 a person, which is a bit steep, but
could be a fun memory. I put us down for a reservation at 7pm
on Thanksgiving just in case. Could you put out an e-mail to
see if people might be interested in this? Or in grabbing
dinner at one of the other restaurants.

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  • Chris J.

    if anyone has more PHOTOS to post, let me know I can add another album------------------------------------------------------------------and if anyone needs some ballast on the next hike, my backpack is always available to be carried :)

    December 2, 2009

  • Mark

    Now that's a good idea next time we climb Teloscope Peak. ;)

    December 2, 2009

  • Elena

    Thank you Chris for organizing such a great trip. Couldn't wish for anything better!

    December 1, 2009

  • Terrie

    Mark, does this mean I can't borrow that heavy-duty paper weight to use as ballast the next time we hike in gale-force winds?

    December 1, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    great trip to spend thanksgiving with a group of super-fabulous people. Thanks, Chris J for organizing this event. I was very lucky to see both rain and snow at Death Valley. The only regret was that I couldn't get day off on Wednesday to leave early to hike fall canyon. Hope we could have another chance in future.

    November 30, 2009

  • Mark

    What a great trip! A fun group of people to camp and hike with as well as spend 20+ hours with in a car. LOL Weather was perfect with a little excitment at the end. ;) Wow and the desert sky's held up to their reputation and then some! One final note, I would like to say that all National Park property was left in the park. :)

    November 30, 2009

  • Chris J.

    it was great camping with the group at death valley, temp ranged from 38 to 80, the weather was great, the rain and snow at the higher elevation moved in the day most of us departed. the campground has about 29 tent only sites, half of them are big with tables and firepit, arriving early did pay off, I was able to get 3 sites next to each other with plenty of room. Exploring death valley from the lowest to highest point was amazing, the valley has plenty of different "faces" from awesome canyons, to waterfalls, springs, sand dunes, bristle cone forests, salt flats to peace and quiet and more.

    November 29, 2009

  • Bardha

    It was very well organized, beautiful hikes, and a wonderful group of people. I had so much fun.

    November 29, 2009

  • Terrie

    Death Valley has to be seen to be believed; and talk about extremes! On the way into the Valley on Wednesday I laid in the sand in my tank top. Today on the same road out I wore my thermals while standing in the snow. I'm giving thanks to Chris J. for putting together such an incredible holiday, and thanks to those Super-Fabs who made it so very memorable.

    November 29, 2009

  • Mark

    Just got a message from Chris and he has 3 campsites T15, 16 and 17. They are easy to find and he will have a meetup sign on one of the tables.

    November 24, 2009

  • Yulee

    hi everybody! it looks like my work has thrown off my plans to leave early on Wednesday and instead i am able to leave after 11am or 12noon on WED or THURS anytime. If you have room in your car, I would love to catch a ride. I am willing to share in the cost for gas. Please contact me at [masked] or[masked]

    November 24, 2009

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