Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 17

with domestic groups, possibly because
of its doleful name or a multitude of
other touristic options.
What highlights should a
tour include?
The valley itself is a desert filled with colorful geological features, surrounded by
the towering Amargosa Range to the east
and the Panamint Mountains to the west.
Arriving on NV-372/CA-178 from
Pahrump, visitors pass the Ashford Mill
ruins, then reach Badwater Basin, "a surreal landscape of vast salt flats," according
to the National Park Service. Next comes
the Devil's Golf Course, an expanse of
rock salt eroded into a land of jagged surfaces, accessible by a short gravel road.
Golden Canyon features an easy, scenic,
two-mile round-trip trail for students and
adventurous adults. Just off the CA-190
junction is Zabriskie Point, the valley's
famed viewpoint, offering outstanding
panoramic views of colored badlands, salt
flats, and distant mountains.
Besides lodging and dining facilities, the
park's Furnace Creek area features two
important attractions, the main visitor
center and the ruins of the Harmony Borax
Works. Farther west near Stovepipe Wells
are the magnificent Mesquite Flat Sand
Dunes, ideal for a sunset stroll. Farther
north is the elaborate, Spanish-style
Scotty's Castle, a 1920s retreat built by
showman and prospector "Death Valley
Scotty" filled with original artwork and
fine furnishings. Guides conduct hour-long
living-history tours dressed in 1939 attire.
Where and how long should we stay?
On a lengthy day of travel between Las
Vegas and Bishop, Mammoth Lakes,
Ridgecrest, or Bakersfield, there's only
enough time for stops at Badwater Basin
and Zabriskie Point, as well as a lunch at
Furnace Creek.
On an overnight stay at a lodge, all of
the above sights except Scotty's Castle
can be included. The historic Inn at
Furnace Creek (66 rooms) is on the
expensive end of the spectrum. The
Ranch at Furnace Creek (224 rooms)
is pricey but optimum for most groups.

Tales of prospectors with
burros, wagons pulled by
mule teams, deserted mines,
and ghost towns continue
to fascinate visitors.
Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel (83
rooms) is more affordable and basic,
although less convenient.
On a more relaxing two-night stay,
include a day trip to Scotty's Castle as
well as the Goldwell Open Air Museum
and the picturesque Rhyolite ghost town,
both located near Beatty, Nev.
How does Death Valley fit into a tour?
Traveling from Las Vegas, Death Valley
makes a great addition to a tour featur-

ing these options: Los Angeles and San
Diego; Palm Springs, the Coachella
Valley, and Joshua Tree National Park;
Mammoth Lakes, Lake Tahoe, and Reno
via U.S. 395; or Sequoia/Kings Canyon,
Yosemite National Park, San Francisco,
and Sacramento, all via Bakersfield,
even during the winter.
-Bob Hoelscher
Former tour operator Bob Hoelscher
may be contacted at bobho52@aol.com.

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Only miles from New York City
Easy on/off Access to Routes 80 & 46
Private room for 60 guests
Bus parking
Close to: George Washington Bridge,
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and Yankee Stadium, Liberty Science
Center and other New York Attractions!

For group rates, pricing and reservations call

201-375-4949
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JULY-AUGUST 2014

Catering
to travelers
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\ DESTINATIONS 17


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Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014

Contents
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - BB1
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - BB2
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 1
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 2
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 3
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - Contents
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 5
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