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Great Basin & Mojave Desert Trip Reports

A Morning in the Northern Snake Range

Saturday & Sunday, July 16-17, 2022

After hiking Telescope Peak and leaving Death Valley National Park earlier in the day, I stopped for a quick dinner in Tonopah and then continued driving east across the Great Basin of Nevada as I made my way back home. I made another quick stop for fuel and food in Ely and then continued on into the northern portion of Snake Range to find a place to spend the night at a higher elevation where it would be cooler out. After leaving the paved highway and driving across the bottom of Spring Valley, I ...
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Telescope Peak: Towering Above Death Valley

Highpoint of the Panamint Range & Death Valley National Park
Friday & Saturday, July 15-16, 2022

For the past couple of years I have been trying to make plans to hike Telescope Peak, the highest peak in Death Valley National Park, but so far all of those plans had fallen through for one reason or another. However, now that I was in California for the past week, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me to finally make it there, although I was a little worried about hiking the peak after spending five days at sea level because ...
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Griffith Peak in the Spring Mountains

Saturday & Sunday, July 9-10, 2022

After spending Saturday morning hiking in the Tushar Mountains it was time to continue on the next leg of my journey to San Diego with a hike in the Spring Mountains just west of Las Vegas. I grabbed an early dinner in town and then drove up Kyle Canyon to the small mountain town of Mount Charleston to get a feel for the area and figure out the camping situation. I checked out the trailheads in the area so I knew where I’d be going early on Sunday morning in the dark and then ...
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Back to the Mojave: The Pahranagat Valley

Rock Art of the Basin and Range National Monument II
Thursday – Monday, January 15-18, 2021

Even though my heart belongs to the Colorado Plateau, I do occasionally like to get out to the Mojave Desert at least once each year, especially during the colder months at home! Back at the beginning of last year I had started making plans to return to Death Valley National Park this holiday weekend, but since COVID is hitting California hard right now and they are asking for out-of-state visitors to stay away, I honored their request and decided to visit the Pahranagat Valley ...
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White River Narrows & Mount Irish Petroglyphs

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Rock Art of the Basin and Range National Monument
Friday & Saturday, September 4-5, 2020

Once I left the White Mountains behind, it was time to visit a few rock art sites in the Basin and Range National Monument as I drove back home across the Great Basin. After stopping in Tonopah for gas and food I continued east on US Route 6 for a little while until I reached Warm Springs and then turned off onto the Extraterrestrial Highway. If you want to drive a lonely ...
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The Highest Point in Nevada: Boundary Peak

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Thursday & Friday, September 3-4, 2020

After hiking to the top of White Mountain Peak in the morning and then stopping in Bishop for food and gas in the afternoon, it was time for me to head back into Nevada on US Route 6 so I could climb Boundary Peak located at the very northern end of the White Mountains. Since I had hiked Wheeler Peak on Wednesday which is considered the ‘highest peak’ in Nevada, I figured that I might as well climb the ‘highest point’ ...
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The White Mountains: White Mountain Peak

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Wednesday & Thursday, September 2-3, 2020

After hiking to the summit of Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park on Wednesday morning, I continued my ‘Loneliest Road Trip in America‘ across the Great Basin as I drove to the west end of Nevada. My next destination would be in the White Mountains located along the eastern edge of California so that I could hike to the summit of White Mountain Peak on Thursday morning, which is the third highest mountain in California at 14,252 feet. Since it ...
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Great Basin National Park: Wheeler Peak

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Tuesday & Wednesday, September 1-2, 2020

Last summer I got the idea in my head that I wanted to hike a couple of high peaks in Nevada and California over the Labor Day weekend and started putting together rough plans for a road trip that would take me Across the Great Basin and Back. Although many of my spring trips got cancelled because of COVID-19, I decided I was still going to go on this one since I would be alone and visiting more remote places during ...
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Warming Up in The Mojave

From the Muddy Mountains to the Red Mountains
Friday – Monday, January 17-20, 2020

Back a few months ago when I started thinking about where I wanted to go during this extended weekend, I figured I would probably head over to The Needles or Cedar Mesa, like I usually do. However, as the holiday weekend got closer I realized there was probably going to be too much snow on the ground for any hiking I would like to do there, plus we had been stuck under an inversion in Grand Junction with cold temperatures and gray skies for a while, ...
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Bring Me The Mojave

President’s Day Weekend | Friday – Monday, February 15-18, 2019

The plans for this extended weekend trip began way back in August of last year when I purchased tickets to see Bring Me The Horizon at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Bring Me The Horizon is one of our favorite bands and we were looking forward to seeing them again since the last time we saw them was in 2017, also in Las Vegas. The concert was on Saturday evening and Monday was President’s Day, so we took Friday off from work to have a four-day ...
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Gold Butte National Monument Petroglyphs

Saturday, April 8, 2017

After work on Friday, Diane and I headed out of town again and drove through Utah right back into Nevada. It felt like we were just there recently? This time we would be staying in Mesquite for two nights so we could attend a concert in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Since the concert didn’t start until later in the evening and it was only an hour and a half drive to get there, we spent a few hours in the morning hiking within the newly created Gold Butte National Monument. This Monument was created at ...
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Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs

Tour of the Deserts | Honeymoon Adventure
Monday, March 13, 2017

After spending the night along the Colorado River at the Colorado Belle Hotel & Casino in Laughlin, Diane and I got up early and headed up to Christmas Tree Pass in the Newberry Mountains for a sunrise drive. Today would mostly be a driving and resting day for us, but we did manage to find a little time in the morning to visit the petroglyphs found in Grapevine Canyon before driving to Phoenix.

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Mojave National Preserve

Tour of the Deserts | Honeymoon Adventure
Friday – Sunday, March 10-12, 2017

After leaving Death Valley on Friday afternoon we headed south to the end (the beginning for us) of the Mojave Road, which starts just outside of the Mojave National Preserve near Camp Cady, which isn’t too far off of I-15 east of Barstow. I had planned and hoped to drive the entire Mojave Road this trip, but again, thanks to the recent rains, that would prove to be impossible. By the end of the weekend we would end up driving most of the road in different segments, ...
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Honeymoon in Death Valley

Tour of the Deserts | Honeymoon Adventure
Tuesday – Friday, March 7-10, 2017

After getting married in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area just outside of Las Vegas, Diane and I left for our honeymoon on a tour of the deserts of the southwestern United States. We started off our journey by spending a couple of days in Death Valley National Park. While I have been to Death Valley a few times before, this was Diane’s first visit, so we made sure to stop at a few of the popular locations so she could get a nice overview of the ...
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Mount Whitney

Friday – Tuesday, August 22-26, 2014

Mount Whitney- at 14,508 feet it is the highest mountain peak in the contiguous United States. While I have always thought about climbing to the summit of Mount Whitney at some point in my life, I really had never seriously planned a trip or time frame to do it. About two months ago my friend Geoff sent me a message and asked if I wanted to join him on a day hike of Mount Whitney. He had received a few permits in the lottery earlier in the year, but all of his hiking companions ...
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Leaving Death Valley

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 9 & 10
Sunday & Monday, February 17-18, 2013

For my last morning in Death Valley I decided to head back up to Dante’s View to catch the sunrise. When the sun was up I headed back down from the mountains and started the drive through Greenwater Valley to leave the park.

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All Around Death Valley

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 8
Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today would be my last full day in Death Valley National Park. I spent the day visiting a few popular areas of the park I had skipped over earlier in the week so I could at least check them out. While I would spend much of the day visiting new locations I did decide to return to Zabriskie Point again to catch another sunrise this morning. As usual, I arrived at Zabriskie Point well before the sunrise and before anyone else was there. Instead of going up by the ...
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Eureka Dunes to the Mesquite Dunes

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 7
Friday, February 15, 2013

After spending much of the week exploring Death Valley and not running into many people, things would finally change today. I would start seeing quite a few more people and even getting stuck behind slow drivers and traffic on the park roads. At first I wasn’t sure why all of a sudden there were more people in the park, but later I remembered that Monday was President’s Day and that this would be a long weekend for a lot of people wanting to get out. I guess my time ...
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Volcanic Tablelands to the Eureka Dunes

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 6
Thursday, February 14, 2013

On Thursday morning I was up early (yet again!) and hiking back to the Sky Rock petroglyphs well before the sun would come up for the day. I was hoping to capture the photo of Sky Rock that I was really after on this little side trip from Death Valley.

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The Racetrack to Bishop

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 5
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Up before dawn again…I’m not really sure when I became a morning person? When I got in my Jeep after taking down camp, the LCD screen in my dashboard told me it was 23 degrees out, the coldest morning of the trip so far. It really didn’t feel that cold when I got out of my sleeping bag? I drove a few miles down the road and then hiked across the playa to photograph the moving rocks again. I had the place to myself, it was very peaceful.

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Badwater to The Racetrack

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 4
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

As usual, I was up and taking down my campsite while it was still dark out. Thanks to the long nights this time of the year I still managed to get plenty of sleep and was wide awake. I drove back to Badwater and hiked out to the salt polygons before dawn.

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Zabriskie Point to Badwater

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 3
Monday, February 11, 2013

My alarm woke me up a few hours before sunrise on Monday morning. I quickly got my camp loaded back in the Jeep and started the short drive over to the popular Zabriskie Point. As usual, I was the first to arrive with plenty of time to scout the location in the dark. I guess I should mention that it was my birthday. I had purposely planned this trip to coincide with my birthday, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day.

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Falling Man to Dante's View

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 2
Sunday, February 10, 2013

After a good night of sleep my alarm woke me up before the sun was expected to rise. When I got out of my tent I noticed that some thin clouds had moved in overnight and the sky was completely overcast. I had originally planned to spend some time photographing Little Finland this morning, but with the overcast skies I decided to cancel those plans. Instead, I had a little breakfast, packed up my camp and started driving towards my next destination- the Falling Man petroglyph site.

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Kohta Circus & Little Finland

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 1
Saturday, February 9, 2013

It’s been an unusually long and cold winter this year in Grand Junction. That’s why I’m glad I started planning my first trip to Death Valley a few months earlier. It would be nice to get out hiking and camping in temperatures that were a bit warmer than back at home. Though my main destination on this week-long trip would be Death Valley, I planned on spending the first weekend exploring a few locations in Nevada. On Saturday morning I left home bright and early and started my drive ...
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