We finally made it to Death Valley towards the end of our 2021 travels. We usually run out of time heading back into California from where ever but I finally wrangled an extra week out of our schedule and we were able to plan for a visit.

Our visit covered a lot and I mean a lot of ground. We did multiple sites, hikes and jeep trails. Breaking up the visit in logical groups seemed to make the most sense for a series of posts.

What We’ll Cover

There was so much we did that I’ll cover the trip in a few posts which will cover:

The categories are helpful to focus in on how you may want to plan a trip.

Free Camping and Echo Canyon Jeep Trail

Although there are a few camping areas within Death Valley, we set out to find dispersed camping. I didn’t find a lot of options but settled on checking out Echo Canyon Road which was the closest to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center and the more central location for several main attractions. We were mostly alone except for a couple adventurous campers that ventured beyond us to camp.

Dispersed Area – Echo Canyon

Death Valley is one of the few parks that actually allows dispersed camping with the caveat that you are at least 1 mile away from a main road. The camping is in a wash and the road in was bumpy and slow going. Although there was an established campsite before a mile we continued until we were definitely beyond the 1 mile.

Nighttime Stars

Echo Canyon Trail

Echo Canyon road is also the route back to the Inyo Mine. It’s a 17+ mile out and back jeep run (from camp) where we found numerous natural windows, a small colorful canyon, and many small mine shafts leading up to the mining area. The mining area was quite intriguing to explore.

Echo Canyon Trail is #1

Eye of the Needle and other natural window formations were found in the canyon.

We did a couple other dirty drives during our stay and if you get the chance to do the same, make sure you plan for lots of time. The routes are long and there are no shortcuts.


Here’s a 1 minute clip on YouTube:

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