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American on Walkabout

Camping at Mesquite Springs

USA | Tuesday, 22 March 2016 | Views [301] | Comments [1]

Death Valley has recently gotten a lot of attention in the media for the superbloom that is currently happening in what seems like a desolate wasteland. This superbloom of wildflowers occurs only once every ten years or so. So naturally I wanted to witness this before having to wait another ten years. 


A lot of people had this same idea though. So all of the hotels in and surrounding Death Valley were entirely booked as well as the one campsite that takes reservations. That left the 8 other campsites that function on a first-come, first-serve basis. All the campsites were highly competitive since the park was so unsually busy. My dad and I first checked in at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to pay the park entrance fee and get a map of where the superbloom was occuring. We thought we could get ahead of the majority of the weekend crowd by getting there on Thursday morning, but by then the first three campsites we checked out (Furnace Creek, Texas Srpings, and Sunset campgrounds) were already full with each site containing well over 100 sites. We then drove out about 50 miles from Furnace Creek to Mesquite Springs in hopes that one of the 40 campsites would be open.


We were lucky that we were early enough to get a spot. We were worried that the campground was so far away from the nearest general store (it would be a 100 mile drive to get to Furnance Creek and back if we needed ice or a cell phone signal to make a call). But being that far removed was somewhat nice and Mesquite Springs offered a decent bathroom with flush toilets, a picnic table, a firepit, and a drinkable water pump so the camping itself wasn't too rough. The spots were fairly spaced out, but sound traveled really well since there were barely any bushes to absorb it. So that crying kid at 6 am woke up everyone in the campground. 


My dad and I ended up setting up two tents. We realized after setting up the first one that the all mesh sides were going to leave us really cold at night even with the fly up (temperatures drop to the low 50s F/12-13C at night in March). So we set up a second tent to sleep in and decided to keep the first one up for storage and dubbed it the "garage."


While we were there, we saw a number of cars and RVs circling trying to get a spot, but the campsite had filled up by about 3pm probably. Night fell and people were still looking for spots after having come out 50 miles just to check. We ended up letting a group park their car on our site while they camped the night in the brush nearby. I was really glad that we had gotten up so early to get a spot.

Tags: california, camping, death valley, hiking, national park, superbloom, wildflowers




How's the back old man?

  Uncle K Mar 22, 2016 11:35 AM

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