This is a HOT episode because we’re exploring the hottest place in the world and bringing you the best things to do in Death Valley National Park.
The travel squad goes on a 48-Hour weekend trip to Death Valley National Park from San Diego. We provide tips for visiting Death Valley National Park and things to do in the nearby small town of Pahrump which surprised us with its entertainment options.
We also share hotels near Death Valley National Park – hello Parhump! And details the cool things to see in Death Valley National Park, because this isn’t a park for hiking, it’s more for sightseeing the cool terrain.
Things to See in Death Valley National Park
- Mesquite Flats Death Valley National Parks Sand Dunes
- Zabriskie Point
- Artists Drive
- Bad Water Basin
Other things to do near Death Valley National Park
- Free wine tasting at Pahrump Valley Winery
- Bingo at the Golden Nugget
- Slot canyon hike at Side Winder Canyon
Things to Do in Death Valley National Park – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today we’re taking you to death valley national park.
2 (1m 5s):
This was a very quick weekend trip, just Saturday and Sunday, driving early Saturday morning from beautiful San Diego up to death valley national park.
6 (1m 14s):
Again, we’re taking you on another national park trip because we’re crossing them off. Our bucket lists and death valley national park is in the desert. There are so many different terrains though, which I didn’t expect. We have dunes Badlands and even salt Plains that are lining the entire desert.
4 (1m 31s):
In this episode, we’re going to take you through our trip, which includes some must dues, such as Bad Water Basin, Mesquite sand dunes is a Brisky point and the Artists Drive. But before we get further into the episode, I do want to just give a little bit of information about death valley. The park occupies an interface zone between the arid great basin and Mojave desert. And it’s protecting the Northwestern corner of the Mojave desert and its diverse environment of salt flats, sand dunes, and the Badlands that Brittany was talking about. And as a matter of fact, death valley is the largest national park of the contiguous 48 United States in terms of size,
2 (2m 11s):
Did not know
4 (2m 12s):
That I always thought it was Yellowstone as a matter of fact. And then I found out very recently, no, no, no. It’s that death valley just protecting that natural desert area makes
3 (2m 21s):
You wonder what they’re protecting.
4 (2m 23s):
I don’t know. Maybe they have alien bases out there or something. Yeah. So close to Nevada might as well.
3 (2m 29s):
So death valley is about five and a half hours from San Diego, which is why we left on a Saturday. We didn’t need to leave on a Friday and give us that extra bit of time. And it made the trip easier to do and cheaper for all of us to
2 (2m 41s):
What’s five and a half hours to us.
4 (2m 44s):
6 (2m 44s):
3 (2m 45s):
Us when I’m sleeping in the back. Yeah.
4 (2m 47s):
Quick little day trip. Apparently
2 (2m 50s):
All you need to do is stop at Starbucks and get some coffee. And then Mickey D’s for some hash Browns,
4 (2m 55s):
Like we were saying, it’s a quick five and a half hour drive from San Diego for us to get to death valley. It does straddle the border of California and Nevada. Most of the park, if not all of it is there, but it borders the state line of California and Nevada. And we want to go over a few tips for you before we get into the episode and recap our adventures. And the first thing that we do want to mention is go in winter where the temperatures are going to be a lot more cooler and moderate because in the summertime, temperatures can exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence the name, death valley hot.
2 (3m 33s):
And when we went, we went in January. So following that advice,
4 (3m 38s):
6 (3m 39s):
If you can’t go in winter, for whatever reason, I do recommend that you do start your day early before the sun reaches its peak temperature.
4 (3m 47s):
One thing I really find interesting just on a side note, in terms of the heat of death valley, I listened to a lot of NPR national public radio, and they were talking about death valley recently because of them exceeding their own average highs. And they had a record breaking temperature. I forgot what it was. And they were talking to a national park guide and they said, believe it or not, one of the top draws for tourists when they come and buy tourists, they’re talking international tourists. They don’t really get to experience this type of heat. So a lot of them do go in the summer coming from Europe because they want to feel that he cause it’s not anything they have access to over in Europe. So beyond it being hot for our own comfort factor, it is going to be more crowded during the summer, which you would think counterintuitive, but it’s not.
4 (4m 32s):
3 (4m 32s):
Just like to feel the burn. Yeah.
4 (4m 33s):
Because they and Europe, where are their deserts? You know? So the national park ranger was saying that, believe it or not, a lot of times during the summer, that’s when they see the influx of tourists because they want to experience that heat.
3 (4m 46s):
6 (4m 47s):
We went and went her and I felt like I was burning up when we were there.
2 (4m 51s):
4 (4m 52s):
So go during winter us Americans, It’s going to be a lot cooler and a lot less crap.
2 (4m 57s):
And unless you’re trying to find a European husband, which in that case go during the summer,
3 (5m 2s):
I don’t have to go back out there.
6 (5m 4s):
Another tip for you guys to know, because we can’t have an episode where we don’t talk about bathrooms is bathrooms are very limited in this national park in some major attraction areas and viewpoints. There were not bathrooms in the parking lot. So do you not count on having a bathroom at every major outlet?
2 (5m 23s):
So interesting because it’s so hot that you would think that we would be drinking more water, which would only create an influx to use the restroom
4 (5m 30s):
Or people are dehydrated. So not going to the restroom cause your body’s absorbing it. That’s
2 (5m 35s):
3 (5m 35s):
Yeah. But just like bathrooms, there’s not really available gas or restaurants or cell phone service. So just be prepared for that one
6 (5m 43s):
To your research and planning in advance.
4 (5m 46s):
Yeah. Death valley is a desert. If you didn’t get it from 120 plus degrees. So really bare and out there, out in, in the national park itself, like Kim said, no gas stations, no nothing. It’s just straight desert and very few roads for you to go ahead and drive on.
6 (6m 2s):
And this is a squad tip from me is if you are doing the itinerary, make sure to plan your route in advance because you’re going to see a lot of things, but they’re all spread out. They’re not in one particular area. So make sure that you’re going from one side of the park to the next and you’re not having to backtrack at all.
4 (6m 19s):
Yeah. And that comes into play because our itinerary of what we did is we drove on a Saturday in the morning. Got there. I forgot around what time, but I think before noon, cause we woke up early, but there are a lot of things to see that don’t involve hiking in the area. So our Saturday itinerary was to do a drive around the park, see the major viewpoints and attractions. And then the next day do hiking easy day, easy day. This one was truly an easy day. I don’t think we did any hiking whatsoever. So I think this first easy day, that really wasn’t easy day, but it took a lot of planning so that we didn’t do backtracking.
3 (6m 58s):
So what was the first thing we did when we got to the park, we
6 (7m 1s):
Went to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
2 (7m 4s):
Don’t let that fool you though, because they’re not so flat. That’s true.
4 (7m 9s):
Those are some high dunes to hike and
2 (7m 11s):
They were hard to hike to.
3 (7m 13s):
And walking in sand is pretty hard.
4 (7m 14s):
It has really fine sand. You just sink in it as you’re walking in it. But it was really cool because living in California, this was my first time to death valley. But when I think of deserts in California, I think of dry. I think of arid. I don’t really think of Sandy deserts. Like you would imagine when you think of the Sahara and Africa or anything. But what I found really unique about death valley is there are so many different desert landscapes and they have big giant sand dunes and then a couple miles away. Then it’s just flat arid, hard dirt. So really, really cool. But we went out there, did some hiking and Kim wanted to take,
6 (7m 48s):
We didn’t do any hiking.
4 (7m 49s):
Well, not major hiking for a trail, hiking up the dunes because we did walk to a few of them.
3 (7m 55s):
Yeah. So when you get to the dunes you’ll park and then there’s just a short walk to get to where it starts to become Sandy and the dunes are, and then you’re just exploring your will. Yeah.
4 (8m 5s):
And that’s what I meant by hiking. We didn’t do an official trail exploring the dunes up and down
2 (8m 9s):
Squads tip, wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. It’s very dusty out there. So don’t worry. You’re good shoes.
6 (8m 16s):
And I wore boots on this trip and I actually wore normal clothing. And I remember when we got back to the car, I had to empty out my shoes because there’s so much sand in
3 (8m 24s):
Them. I had boots and I took mine off.
4 (8m 26s):
Yeah. I thought, I remember you ladies wearing boots. And I thought, oh, that was your way to counteract it because you had your jeans going over a tucked in and it doesn’t get in, but apparently it’s still got in your boots. Huh?
2 (8m 37s):
It’s like glitter. It got everywhere.
4 (8m 39s):
Sands notorious for that. It gets everywhere. Yeah.
3 (8m 42s):
And so, you know, when we’re on these trips, we’re half doing it because we want that beautiful picture of these amazing sand dunes. And then one thing we always worry about in these national parks is just the people in the background and messing up our pictures. But that was not a worry here because it wasn’t that crowded. When we went in January, there weren’t that many people around and we were able to get tons of cool pictures of the dunes and of us there. And no one was in the background at all. No one was even around to take our picture. Right.
4 (9m 8s):
I was taking the picture. I had took the jumping photos that you ladies love to do. But one thing too, if you think you’re going to avoid getting sand in your shoes, by taking off your shoes, you are very mistaken because even in January, the temperatures roughly around 80 degrees, but the sand itself still gets really hot. So don’t think you’re going to go there barefoot and do it. There’s no way you’re walking on that barefoot, let alone more into summer. You’re going to burn.
2 (9m 34s):
So when Jamal says that the sand gets really hot, like minutes counts, I’m just going to share a quick story about Jamal and Brittany’s wedding. They got married here in San Diego and they had a walk on ceremony on the beach here in Coronado. And you know, I was wearing heels. So I had to take off my heels to walk on the sand for the ceremony. And I think you guys got married at 10:00 AM. And I remember by the time we were walking off, which was like 10, 15, 10, 20, that’s like such a short amount of time. I was like running off the sand because my feet were burning so bad. And again, that’s a 15, 20 minute difference. So the sooner you go, it’s going to be better with sand that hot, especially if you’re going in the summer.
2 (10m 15s):
6 (10m 15s):
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes has the largest student field in the parks. So just remember as far as you go in is as far as you have to go back to the parking lot. And if you’re going during the hot summertime, that’s more time on the hot sand.
4 (10m 27s):
And then after the sand dunes, we ended up driving to as a Brisky point. And it’s a very famous overlook point with a beautiful lookout to the bad land terrain below. There is an area for you to park again, no bathroom, but you do have to walk up a little paved hill for the view of the Badlands below the most memorable thing I remember about Zabriskie Point is somebody was flying a drone, trying to get some video. And some lady was yelling at him. You ladies remember that
3 (10m 55s):
She was ultra pissed? Yeah.
2 (10m 57s):
Yeah. But you know what? I felt bad for the guy because there was no like, Hey, I don’t know if you know this, but you can’t fly drones. She just started to like passively aggressively talk to her friend. Like you can’t fly drones in this park. I can’t believe this guy is flying drones in this park. And it’s like, dude, give a brother the heads up.
4 (11m 15s):
Yeah, no, she was just ripping him a new one. Right.
2 (11m 18s):
So he was really kind and he didn’t say anything and he just stopped flying his drone. But no drones
6 (11m 23s):
Is one of the most famous viewpoints in the entire park. And the Badlands that you look out to are a golden hue color. So it’s very beautiful.
3 (11m 31s):
This was my favorite part of the park. It was so pretty.
4 (11m 34s):
I really enjoyed the Zabriskie Point. One thing I just want to say is when we think of desert sometimes, or maybe some people, you just think of a bear and landscape, but until you’ve really been out in it, I don’t think people realize how beautiful a desert can be and just seem down into the bad lands. And like Brittany was saying they were golden colored. They just have a beautiful natural feel to it that I just really can’t explain. The desert is very, very peaceful. Death valley is a very beautiful park,
3 (12m 1s):
Definitely a different kind of beauty.
6 (12m 3s):
So really all you can do there is look out. So after we did the lookout, we drove to a place called Artists Drive and it’s a scenic drive and it’s nine miles a one way from south to north. And along the way are a ton of beautiful, colorful rock formations. But because it is hilly and difficult to navigate and there’s so much to see just that nine miles takes about an hour and a half to go through
4 (12m 30s):
Nine miles an hour and a half. I remember you got to drive so slow because it’s winding through little canyon areas, little Hills, so definitely takes a little bit of time to do. And I don’t think it was fully paved, correct? Correct. Yeah. So you can’t even drive fast because if you don’t have an SUV even to go over that rugged terrain, you have to go slow because it is an unpaved road
3 (12m 52s):
And it gives you time to take in the scenery, which is the point of the drive.
4 (12m 56s):
Yeah. The rock formations. They were just so beautiful. The different colors that they had. And like I said, each area of the park that we did on this day gave you a different type of desert landscape view, made it really interesting.
2 (13m 10s):
It’s just amazing how beautiful mama earth is. And how many years goes into creating all these formations
6 (13m 17s):
Squad tip along the drive, there is a spot called artist’s palette and you can either review it from the car window or take a short walk to it. And it will provide you with the most colorful views of the eroded desert Hills.
4 (13m 29s):
What did we do after Artists Drive
2 (13m 32s):
Bad Water Basin?
4 (13m 33s):
This might be one of death. Valley’s most iconic points. If not the most, the second most iconic or the most is something that we didn’t do, which we’ll touch on later that I wanted to do. But Bad Water Basin is a specific point in death valley, national park, and it’s 282 feet below sea level. And it is the lowest point in north America. It’s so low that the majority of Bad Water is pretty much salt flats that you walk on. So it’s a real crystal like white color,
6 (14m 5s):
Just a quick fact in episode five, where we road trip to Sequoia and Kings canyon national park. We talk about mountain Whitney, which is the highest point in the contiguous United States and how it’s only 85 miles from the lowest point in north America, which is Bad Water Basin. And that’s what we’re referencing. Now.
4 (14m 25s):
I’m glad you mentioned that because I was going to reiterate that fact that it’s 85 miles away from Mount Whitney. Again, the tallest point in the contiguous United States. So again, just crazy disparity of landscape in the world, let alone California itself and our beautiful national parks.
3 (14m 40s):
So when you get there, they have a sign that says death valley national park. It’s a great spot to take a photo because right behind it are all of the polygon salt formations that just fill up this part of the landscape.
4 (14m 52s):
So since Bad Water Basin is one of the more popular spots in death valley, there is a large parking lot area. And once you park, you can walk on what I would equate to almost like a little boat dock area of wooden planks that lead you down to the salt flats and Bad Water Basin. And you can walk on it. I’m exaggerating for miles, but almost at the same time, not really, really far out there to different areas of the salt flats and into the valley. We walked for what seemed to be a mile plus, and we saw people way further out there, but we knew we had more to do. So we turned around and didn’t make it all the way through. But nonetheless, just, you could spend hours literally walking on the salt flats themselves.
2 (15m 35s):
I felt like we walked forever.
4 (15m 36s):
I know. And then people were just so much further out there. Like how long are they going to walk?
2 (15m 41s):
I know. Right. But it’s just so fascinating because it looks like someone threw salt all across the ground. Yeah.
6 (15m 46s):
I just want to point out to, in this parking lot, there is bathroom.
4 (15m 51s):
So many people visiting
6 (15m 54s):
Before Bad Water Basin though. We did try to do another part of the park. It was called the devil’s golf course. But once we started to go down the road, we realized that our car was not equipped for the terrain. It was really Rocky and raggedy and we actually had to turn back around and go back. And so then we just headed on to Bad Water Basin.
2 (16m 14s):
It was crazy. Jamal’s driving like what, five miles per hour? And we are just bumping and grinding along the road. Yeah.
4 (16m 20s):
It’s not paved. It’s almost like they just took small rocks, threw it out as a gravel road, but it was one way. And it’s supposed to take us to formations where I think the salt is spiked up. Almost looks like a little blades of grass, but how slow we had to go on those rocks. We just
3 (16m 38s):
4 (16m 39s):
Yeah, it would have taken an hour. Plus. I mean, like we said, for one of the drives, we did Artists Drive. It took an hour and a half or nine miles. So to get out a little further, which I think was equivalent, we just didn’t want to invest that time because we were going to be doing other things. But that’s one thing to take into consideration is we were driving in our little Honda civic. Maybe if somebody comes out here and wants to do that, you may need yourself a nice big pickup or four wheel drive SUV, something to that effect.
6 (17m 6s):
And like we said, cell service was very limited. So had we been stranded out there? I don’t know what we would have.
2 (17m 12s):
I want you to know that you could eat me. Jamal gets to meet me at Jamal. Yes. Thank you
3 (17m 20s):
Again with the movie quotes. All right. So this pretty much sums up our day in death valley, national park on Saturday. And it’s getting to be about evening time at this point. And so we decided to stay in Pahrump, which is very close and it’s a tiny town in Nevada, very important, but we’re starving at this point. And the only thing that would keep us from eating is that Pahrump winery offers six Free wine tastings and the hours are about to close. So we rush over there, hold our hunger in the Free wine. And we get there. It’s actually really cute winery.
6 (17m 54s):
It was a really good tasting,
3 (17m 56s):
Very good tasting, very good wine. They had a restaurant there, but it was,
4 (18m 1s):
It was closed when we were there. It looked really good because you wanted, well, I shouldn’t say you wanted to go, but it was your recommendation. We looked at the menu and we’re like, oh yeah, let’s go Free wine tasting. It looks like they had a good restaurant menu come to find out when we’re there, that the restaurant doesn’t open for another two hours later. And so we were like, oh shit, man, we can’t wait two hours to eat. We’ve last eaten in the morning in the car, there was nothing to eat in the park. So that just didn’t happen.
6 (18m 30s):
Yeah. We had eaten breakfast early, early Saturday morning and we did not eat lunch. We had limited snacks in the car. We did not plan this. Well,
2 (18m 38s):
We took the snacks out. I’m just kidding. That’s a reference from the Inca trail episode.
6 (18m 43s):
So after we finish our wine tasting, Kim, what did you suggest? We eat
3 (18m 48s):
Thai food. I always love to suggest hi, who would on our trips and who would guess this tiny town in Nevada has a Thai restaurant. So we jam over there. Get in there. We’re like one of the only people in there, It was called chat Thai.
4 (19m 3s):
It was good Thai food. It was
3 (19m 4s):
4 (19m 5s):
Was really, really
3 (19m 6s):
Good. If you like spicy food, you’ll love this place.
4 (19m 8s):
We got it too spicy. I think we could get it without it, but my God was it spicy? It was so fucking hot. Well, first off we got there and Kim has always been running a restaurant, a little indecisive on what it is that she wants and our waiter. It just, it was so funny. He was rude, but not in a purposefully rude way. It was rude in a playful way. Like making fun of us because he can tell that we can take what he was dishing out if you will. So no pun
3 (19m 37s):
4 (19m 37s):
Yes. So yeah, I know. That’s when she said it, I was like, oh wow, that was a good one. So can be an undecided and us being some of the only people in there, she ordered what she wanted and she, what her second item was that she wanted. He just gave it to us for free anyway, but we were asking what spice level there was. And he says, oh, this isn’t too spicy. So we got what was supposed to be mid-level and my God, my mouth was on fire is your fucking fire. That’s a little later. That’s a little later.
2 (20m 10s):
I usually like if I get Thai food here in San Diego, I’ll ask for about a six or a seven and that’s good for me. So I think I did about a five there. And it was just like,
4 (20m 21s):
As I’m getting older, honestly like fucking fours are too hot for me. Seriously.
3 (20m 25s):
Wow. Given thirties a bad name over here, you
4 (20m 30s):
Can’t take it.
6 (20m 30s):
Waiter was really funny. I mean, I think his parents own the restaurant and Kim was so indecisive as she always is, no matter where we
3 (20m 38s):
Go make the right choice.
6 (20m 39s):
And she’s like, gosh, should I get the Curry or should I get the noodles? So he like came up behind her and on one side of her, he was like Curry or noodles and then would go side to side and like put his hands up behind her. And it was just funny.
4 (20m 52s):
And then he brought both,
3 (20m 53s):
You know, what’s funny, I got Curry and noodles last night for dinner.
4 (20m 58s):
That’s right. You came here and talked about how you have Thai last night for dinner Kim and her tie. So after we ate very delicious Thai food, just very, very spicy. We were in Nevada and we went to the golden nugget to play bingo because we needed to redeem ourselves from our last Bingo event that we had when we did our American Southwest road trip. What a shit show that was, if our listeners remember
3 (21m 24s):
First time, very quickly in these small towns.
4 (21m 27s):
Well, Kim’s a bingo veteran. It was her idea. The first time we played and Zayna Brittany and I were just taken aback at how fast these fuckers call numbers. Like, wow, can’t even believe it. So we go to golden nugget. We’re like, all right, we’re going to win some money. We’re going to do it. We’re not gonna fall. Like we did last time and get
6 (21m 46s):
4 (21m 47s):
Time I fell last time
3 (21m 48s):
You guys go back and listen to episode eight, you can hear about Jamal’s freak out during our Bingo.
4 (21m 52s):
Yeah. But I feel like they were just calling numbers fast. They give you so many cards. So we’re like, all right, this time we’re only going to have like three, four cards. We’re going to keep it real minimal. And then still so fast. It was still too much for me.
2 (22m 4s):
We weren’t even drinking this time. Cause I think the first time we had alcohol, so like you have a little bit of a buzz going, they’re calling the numbers so fast. And you’re like, what the fuck is going on?
3 (22m 13s):
Lady? When we bought the cards, warned us, we go fast. And we’re like, all right, we know, we know how fast they go now. And she’s like, we go fast. We were trying to buy a certain number of cards and I’m pretty sure she told us not to buy them all because it was so fast. We wouldn’t be able to do them.
6 (22m 26s):
4 (22m 27s):
She was right.
2 (22m 28s):
I surprised all the winners are the people who played on the computer.
4 (22m 31s):
That’s what I’m saying. You know what you think you want to be a blotter when you played bingo. And I thought that too, and the two times I’ve played it, I’ve come to the conclusion. It’s a fallacy. Every, you just need to play the machine. Give me my fucking drinks. Let me,
3 (22m 44s):
Every time I play at Pachanga and Temecula, it’s always the computers that when yeah.
6 (22m 49s):
So Jamal, do you feel like you got to redeem yourself on this? Bingo.
3 (22m 54s):
Oh my gosh, you guys, I actually played bingo on this cruise. I just came off of, and they were so slow. I was falling asleep, like waiting for the next number to be called.
4 (23m 2s):
And that would have been my perfect type of Bingo. I need that. I need that.
2 (23m 8s):
I want to win out on the computer. Yes.
4 (23m 9s):
Yes. I need a machine.
6 (23m 11s):
Jamal. Would you say you had a freak out during this?
4 (23m 13s):
No. This one was more a panic attack because I was like, dude, I took her advice. I didn’t get as many cards. And then on top of that, I felt like I still played half as many as I did the first time. And yeah. How do people do that?
6 (23m 26s):
I see, I feel like on our last trip where we played bingo, you had the panic attack because he couldn’t keep up. But I feel like because you knew what you were getting into this qualifies for a freakout
4 (23m 36s):
Where you always think of freakouts. When I don’t have freakouts,
2 (23m 39s):
I personally felt like it wasn’t necessarily a freak out, but it was more funny and still being pissed off, you know? Like how, like it’s so fast. So they call like a two and you have 10 cards
3 (23m 55s):
6 (23m 56s):
Seeing it as how to play the game.
4 (23m 58s):
They call out 82 Cena. Bingo, B I N G O. Where’s the a point being, they call out a number and a letter. Yes.
2 (24m 7s):
Yes. They call out something like B And you have to hit the cards in front of you. They say B2. And by the time you realize that you don’t even have B2 on your first card, they’re already on
4 (24m 19s):
Oh, 69. Yes.
3 (24m 21s):
They’re just, they don’t even pause between the numbers. It’s crazy. Crazy. If you ever go to prom, be prepared for that.
4 (24m 27s):
So I think we’ve learned our lesson. I think we all need to go on a squad redemption, bingo and play machines. Can I get a yes,
2 (24m 33s):
3 (24m 34s):
Let’s go to Patrina. All right.
4 (24m 36s):
Let’s do it.
2 (24m 37s):
I think they have all the numbers and letters prepared so they can say it all in one breath, like B2B seven in, I can’t even say it as fast as they were
4 (24m 46s):
Going. Like almost like an auctioneer person. Pretty
2 (24m 49s):
4 (24m 50s):
But I will say this. So that was our night after death valley was our evening in Pahrump. Delicious Thai fun, Bingo, beautiful winery, Free wine tasting. So definitely if you do go to death valley, I would recommend staying in Pahrump versus back on the California side, just stay in Nevada, have a little bit extra font.
6 (25m 9s):
It made sense to you for the route that we took as well.
4 (25m 12s):
Right. And then, so the next day we woke up in the morning and this is when we were officially going to be doing some hiking
2 (25m 19s):
Before we woke up the next day we spent the night in Kim suggestion, we got a suite. So we had a couch in our hotel room. But unfortunately, because we’re so active, we didn’t really get to see the hotel room except for, to
6 (25m 32s):
Sleep and for the breakfast buffet.
4 (25m 35s):
Oh yeah. I got ahead of myself on the hike. I forgot there was a breakfast buffet here. Do you remember the spread?
2 (25m 42s):
All I know is that they had cinnamon rolls and oatmeal and I think they had a waffle maker too.
6 (25m 48s):
3 (25m 50s):
Jam. The breakfast buffet,
4 (25m 52s):
Well, holiday ends usually have a good breakfast buffet. I will say this.
2 (25m 56s):
You can always count on holiday in breakfast buffets to have the waffle maker. Yes.
4 (26m 0s):
Chillin at the holiday Inn. Yes.
2 (26m 3s):
6 (26m 4s):
So you know what I mean? I have to fit in a hike somewhere in every single trip. And so after our breakfast, we went to a place called Sidewinder canyon for some hiking,
3 (26m 13s):
Highly recommend this. This was so fun.
4 (26m 16s):
What’s supposed to be in Sidewinder, Kenyan, Brittany
6 (26m 18s):
4 (26m 19s):
Slot canyons. So you’re supposed to hike up a main canyon and they have offshoots to different side canyons to go through.
6 (26m 26s):
Yes. And what I would recommend is because there is limited self service, make sure you do your research in advance and did some research where it told me where I need to enter, take pictures of the description of where to enter and what to go through and what to expect. It’s very important because it’s super easy to get lost on this trail and not be able to find your way onto the trail.
4 (26m 45s):
So we’ll get more into how we got lost as we started the hike a little bit later, but I know Zayna more particularly wants to throw me under the bus and embarrass me here. Since I embarrassed her on the Inca trail episode,
2 (26m 57s):
I was never told verus you. I wasn’t embarrassed either, man.
4 (27m 0s):
I know, I know I’m just giving you a hard time. Anyway, as we mentioned earlier, not very many restrooms, if any, at all, at the trail heads
2 (27m 9s):
And Thai food was hot,
4 (27m 11s):
Thai food was hot
6 (27m 12s):
And its particular Trailhead. There was no restaurant
4 (27m 15s):
Was a gravel parking lot, no restrooms. I don’t even know what they were doing. Luckily for me, they had few like rocks that they’ve stacked up into piles. I think maybe they were going to put a little gravel parking lot out there versus just a dirt parking lot. I don’t know. But point being that came to save me because all of a sudden before our hike, I was like, oh ladies, man, it’s like, Britney, you look at your map is like, is there a visitor center around? Is there anything I said, I really have to go to the restroom. And my stomach was grumbling. And that Thai food did not sit well with me. That spice came out. Well, I had to go. So I broke NSO tea on this one, but luckily
3 (27m 56s):
No shits on trail. Yes.
4 (27m 58s):
So I broke. It had to go before we started. And luckily Brittany and I always come prepared on our hikes with baby wipes and hand sanitizer
5 (28m 8s):
4 (28m 9s):
Squat. You have to, you have to. And let me tell you something. If that happened in the middle of a hike, I don’t know what I would’ve done.
2 (28m 15s):
You know, this is kind of gross, but at the same time, these are the things that happen in real life. And like, I promise you, this is going to happen to you if you hike just as much as us.
4 (28m 24s):
Yeah. I mean, we’re outdoors peoples. We hike anyone who is a real nature enthusiast, believe me. At some point you’ve had to go out in nature. And so we’re just referencing that it happens to the best of us
2 (28m 35s):
4 (28m 36s):
To be prepared.
6 (28m 36s):
So I’m not sure if everyone knows what slot canyons are, but they are basically canyons where water and wind have eroded through rock and made really tall and narrow passages that you climb through. And to get into this Slot canyon that we wanted to go to, we had to literally get on the ground and crawl through like a small opening just to get inside of the canyon. And so one thing I would recommend to bring is a flashlight or
4 (29m 5s):
Yeah, definitely bring those. But before we first got into the original Slot canyon or the canyon that we had to go up right in front of the parking lot, there is what looks to be the entrance to the canyon that you’re supposed to go up. And we got lost for maybe about 30, 45 minutes trying to figure out like, no, this doesn’t seem right from the descriptions, but this is the canyon that’s there. And so no cell service. So we ended up finding our way. So we had to go further on to the right, to find the right canyon to go up, to do the hike. But we found out later once we got cell service and read a little bit more about the trail that people even talk about that don’t do the first canyon that you see, it’s the wrong one.
4 (29m 46s):
You got to continue going in this direction. So I would definitely recommend this hike, but do a lot of research on it to make sure you don’t get lost. And especially if you went on a hot day, that would be terrible.
2 (29m 56s):
Yeah. So travel Southeast from the parking lot for approximately a hundred feet to get to the entrance,
4 (30m 3s):
We went straight up. Didn’t do that a hundred feet.
2 (30m 5s):
Yeah. And one thing I wanted to say about the slot canyons that we were squeezing and crawling through, like Brittany said, I mean like you are getting down on your hands and knees and I didn’t really have thick pants, so it really hurts. Not that it would stop me from doing it. I’m still gonna do it. But just so you know, I mean like it’s like the Git crawling and squeezing.
3 (30m 23s):
It’s so fun though. You’re like, okay, I have to go through here. And then your, you just figure out your way through it. And it’s really fun. Yeah.
4 (30m 32s):
Really nice explorational hike, if you will. Because again, there’s the main canyon that you go up, but at some points you go to the right and then you go to the left, but they dead end, but they’re just little slot canyons that you hike through. So sometimes you have to climb over rocks sometime you had to climb under it. It goes far enough into a cave at some point that you need those flashlights because it’s pitch black in there. So lots of different things to do, but this one is more physical in terms of crawling over and under things.
2 (30m 59s):
Yeah. And what goes in, must come out. What crawls under must crawl back. Yeah.
6 (31m 4s):
Yeah. I would say that this hike is both physically and mentally demanding.
3 (31m 7s):
I had a lot of fun doing it though.
4 (31m 9s):
Jordan, this one, I want to go back and do this one. Not that there’s not other stuff to do at death valley, but I would want to do this one again.
6 (31m 15s):
And like I said, the entrance to the slot, it looks like there’s a big boulders and rocks that are covering the entrance and you have to crawl through the bottom left of that. So like, it’s just a very narrow entrance where you crawl through. And we basically took a picture of what it looked like and what we saw online to match it up, make sure we were going to the right place
3 (31m 34s):
About how long was this hike.
6 (31m 36s):
It was five miles round trip. And you could definitely make it longer because there’s really no end point. You know, we just kind of made it our own end once we got to, I think it was like a river bed. Yeah.
2 (31m 46s):
We turned around at the Riverbed.
3 (31m 47s):
What a fun hike.
4 (31m 48s):
It really was one thing before we get into Kim’s favorite part, cause I know questions of the week is coming up. But one thing that we didn’t do on our first day when we did some of the major sites in death valley, we didn’t have the time because they are so far away and it takes a long time to get to is the sailing stones. Now this is a really famous part of death valley. Very iconic. You can Google it, do some more research on it. But what it really is known for are stones that apparently move by themselves and create a trail in the dirt. And one of the main reasons why it happens and it used to baffle scientists until they did some more studies on it and figure out why it is
2 (32m 33s):
Because these stones are like hundreds of pounds. We’re not talking about like little pebbles
4 (32m 39s):
And they move on the desert floor and again, create a trail behind it. But the reason why they move is because the ground is so flat that when it freezes, it creates a very thin ice sheet. And then it will be able to move with the wind blowing on it because it is on a top layer of ice. So even though they’re heavy, so they move apparently sailing by themselves. And it was just really far to get to, but we wanted to go see that. So if somebody does go plan a little bit more time to do that, because it was an additional two hours from the location that we were at, because again, death valley, like I said, largest national park in the contiguous United States in terms of size.
2 (33m 20s):
So if you do go let us know when
6 (33m 22s):
The last thing I wanted to say about the hike that I forgot to say earlier is we were out there exploring for about six hours. So even though it’s only five miles round trip, there’s so much to do and see, and just take your time and explore. So it can take quite a bit of time during your day
2 (33m 37s):
Out, give mama nature, some love ground out there. You know where you’re putting your hands on mama earth or taking your shoes off and putting your feet in there and just recharge all your energy.
3 (33m 49s):
Always love a good grounding. All right. Anything else before questions of the
4 (33m 56s):
Week? I won’t take your favorite part away from you and go for it. All
3 (33m 58s):
Right. Questions of the week. Woo. Woo.
4 (34m 1s):
Is that your little tune that you made for yourself?
3 (34m 4s):
I’m trying out different things here.
4 (34m 6s):
We’re going to insert it soon. Okay.
3 (34m 7s):
I need musicians. Any hot musicians out there who have a good melody for question over the week, set me up and let’s, let’s make something happen here.
2 (34m 17s):
What’s make some sweet music.
3 (34m 19s):
Sweet sweet music. All right. So we did get a question from Emily, from Kenosha, Wisconsin.
4 (34m 28s):
Funny story. We wanted to go to Kenosha when we were in Chicago.
3 (34m 31s):
Oh yeah. She must’ve like heard it an episode or something. I don’t know. But what’s up Emily? She asked are all cars equipped for the terrain, which is so interesting of a question. Cause you would think it’s a desert. What do I need to think about cars? But we’ve already kind of mentioned something about this.
4 (34m 46s):
Yeah. I feel like maybe she’s done a little bit of her own research on it because like I said, different desert terrains and we had the one thing that we wanted to do, which was the devil’s golf course. And again, really just a gravel road had to go slow. And even when we did one of the scenic drives, nine miles took an hour and a half because it’s unpaved. So I would say we did it and our Honda civic, but we couldn’t do one of the things we attempted and made another thing go slower. So I would say if you can have a more sport utility vehicle type of car for this event,
3 (35m 23s):
Agreed more room to sleep in the back.
4 (35m 26s):
So it says the sleeper in the back,
6 (35m 28s):
Which that kind of leads us into our second question from a different listener. Okay,
3 (35m 32s):
Cool. So Brian from San Diego messaged us. What’s
4 (35m 36s):
Something your hometown, San Diego.
3 (35m 41s):
He asked what? Something you cannot road trip without
6 (35m 44s):
I can’t road trip without a blanket.
3 (35m 46s):
Me too. I love it.
4 (35m 47s):
Covers your face in the backseat. So we don’t take selfie photos of you or .
3 (35m 53s):
So like if you’re in the front seat and driving, you normally get a little warm and so you turn on the AC, but then in the back seat, you’re cold. And so it’s just nice to have that or just to cuddle up with and use it as a pillow.
4 (36m 4s):
Do you bring your own or do you steal mom’s airplane bank? That’s that she steals.
3 (36m 7s):
That’s not good enough for me. I need my own.
2 (36m 11s):
And the other thing too is just window covers. Oh my gosh. I can’t tell you how many times I put my jacket or like a sweater up through the window because the sun is beating down and no matter how many trips we take, maybe you feel like this Kim, but I always feel like I get the side with the sun. I always
3 (36m 26s):
2 (36m 26s):
Way. I know you probably feel like that, but every time we get in the car, I’m like, Nope, I got the sun. And then I’m thinking to myself, Hmm. Kim probably feels like she has the sun.
3 (36m 36s):
And it’s a battle.
4 (36m 37s):
I would say for me, always being the driver. One thing that I always love to have on a road trip is a red bull. I don’t drink energy drinks regularly, but whenever I’m driving or in the car, doesn’t matter a time of day. Something about having a red bull always completes my road trip experience. I love it. And then I’ll usually get the 12 ounce can, even though the originally 8.4, because Brittany likes to take a few sips. So the fact that she takes a few sips, I still get my full 8.4 ounce original size can.
3 (37m 9s):
2 (37m 9s):
Phone chargers. That’s a big one. Whoever has the lowest charge gets the charges.
4 (37m 13s):
Yeah, because Brittany will usually have the map. Somebody is doing research on an extra thing to add. So the phone chargers are definitely very important for the USB or something like that. That’s UK
2 (37m 25s):
And I have one more thing. It’s not a physical, tangible object, but the question being what’s something you can’t road trip without. I would say playing the state Capitol or world capital game. Yeah. Jamal’s drive.
4 (37m 36s):
Someone always gives me some sort of trivial, which always makes it fun for me.
2 (37m 40s):
Yeah. So we’re always keeping Jamal entertained with trivia.
3 (37m 43s):
And this, this is not something that you can’t road trip without, but I want to give a little squad tip about road tripping and making travel work for you. So if you, you know, need to get stuff done and that’s your reason for not traveling as you’re too busy, you have too much to do. And maybe those things are on the computer, whether that’s work or just various things. If you have this built into your cell phone program, you can make your phone into a hotspot and then work from the car or planes or whatever it is. And then like do two birds with one stone. Don’t let traveling or working, get in your way of making something happen. Just do them both at once and find ways to make it happen.
6 (38m 20s):
In fact, when we road trip, now that we’re the Travel Squad Podcast, we are constantly outlining episodes in the backseat of the car or in the car, Kim and lay back seat in the plane in airports. And between our time outlining or strategizing, Kim is constantly doing work for work too. I constantly see her on her computer doing things out. So she’s killing two birds with one stone
4 (38m 44s):
And we were in hot Springs. She had her laptop in the back working any other final thoughts ladies on death valley?
6 (38m 52s):
Yes, I have one final thought. Just make sure to download offline maps on Google maps so that you don’t get lost in death valley, national park.
2 (38m 60s):
Take lots of water, take food with you. Cause when you do that drive, it’s going to be a little bit of a time before you get to more food and drinks, but it’s worth it. So go out and do it and let us know how it is.
3 (39m 9s):
All right, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us this week. Hope you liked learning about death valley and I hope you’re putting a trip for yourself now.
4 (39m 16s):
Please subscribe to our podcast, leave a review, tell us what you’d like and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.
2 (39m 23s):
And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast,
6 (39m 28s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode because we have a special year end episode that you don’t want to miss out on. Ooh,
2 (39m 34s):
Can’t wait for that one.
3 (39m 35s):
Yeah. Bye guys. Have a good week. Bye