Death Valley Divinity Re-Visited

Death Valley National Park Sand DunesI just returned from another 1000+ mile weekend ride to, through, and back from Death Valley National Park. (This trip was inspired after writing Death Valley: Divine Motorcycle Riding a few days ago). March is often one of the best months to visit with an average high temperature of 80 degrees. However, this visit was unseasonably warm with afternoon temps reaching into triple digits. Expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine when you visit as the average rainfall is less than 2 inches a year. However, if you happen to be riding through any of the back roads on a rare day when it does rain — beware! Flash floods through the canyons can very quickly wash out roads as well as become a significant hazard in and of themselves if you are in the wrong place when it rains.

Speaking of water, drink plenty of it. Any motorcyclist riding all-day and exposed to this level of heat and especially with this level of dryness is risking serious dehydration and reduced abilities. (Headaches, dizziness, fainting and even death are some of the symptoms). If you are thirsty, you have already past the point of having enough water.

Death Valley offers a grand mix of entertainment for varied motorcycle riders: On any day you can see tourers, cruisers, sport-tourers, dual-purpose riders and adventure riders taking advantage of the seemingly endless ribbons of asphalt and many hundreds of miles of unpaved back roads, all inter-woven through grand, western panoramas. (This chunk of federally protected real estate is more than twice the size of the state of Delaware).

On this particular trip I tent-camped in the park. There are several campgrounds to choose from at a variety of elevations, from minus sea level to 8200 feet above sea level and over 1/2 dozen options in between. I’ve toured by motorcycle all over North America and camping in this desert is one of the best places I’ve ever been for experiencing the boundless infinity of nighttime stars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *