Canyons 2015: one mile up

The day started in a relaxed manner. With checkout time being 11am, we weren’t in a rush and sat on the balcony drinking coffee and admiring the Panamint mountains until after 9am. 

Once packed up and checked out we headed to the Borax museum which is located at the ranch itself. Here we first talked to a volunteer who was making and sharpening flints in the traditional Shoshone way, before looking at the exhibits. These included a 255 horsepower engine and an oil locomotive, as well as other equipment from the Borax mining era. All sadly in need of some TLC.

 We eventually left Furnace Creek Ranch and headed up to Dante’s Viewpoint, which is a 13 mile five off the main road, the last bit of which twists tightly up a 15% gradient. It also takes you up to around 5,500 feet. Once there we took a short hike along the ridge. The views were amazing. Death Valley is the largest of the national parks and it certainly looked it from our viewpoint. It was one mile straight down to Badwater where we were yesterday and you could make out the main ‘trail’ that gets the heaviest foot traffic into the salt basin.

 We dragged ourselves away and said goodbye to Death Valley, a little more reluctantly than the original pioneers. We drove back towards Las Vegas, stopping for lunch at Pahrump on the way. The desert basin that you drive through after Pahrump is vast and seems to be filled with mile upon mile of cactus. There must be thousands of them.

We descended from the mountains past Red Rock Canyon and down into Vegas as the sun was setting, arriving in time for Friday night rush hour. Despite this, the traffic wasn’t totally horrendous, apart from around a section of roadworks and we arrived at the hotel shortly after 5pm. 

After checking and bringing in all of our bags ready for the great repack tomorrow, we showered and then headed to REI. A happy hour or so was spent browsing and buying and then we went to a nearby Denny’s for dinner before returning to the hotel. Tomorrow will bring a bit more shopping and then it will be time to fly home!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s