Part of the fun of planning your trip is getting out a good map and choosing where you want to explore. Guide books are very helpful in deciding where to drive and camp. Just be aware that back roads and campsites can change dramatically due to the harsh elements.
A favorite 4×4 road into Death Valley was impassable the last time we visited Goler Wash in 2015. A large rock slide had enveloped the road making progress so slow and rough it took the fun out of the journey – nearly an hour to travel 1 mile. We like the Goler route as it usually a “short cut” from the west side of the Panamints to visit the Barker Ranch, Stella’s Cabin, Stripped Butte and other scenic campsites. Otherwise, it is a very long way around via the Park’s main highways. So, have a plan B for camping if the desert has changed the terrain from what your favorite guide book reads.
Sample itinerary with menu
I am posting a sample itinerary of a trip we took that you can customize to your own liking. This itinerary includes several places to take a break from camping to get a hot shower, get gas, do laundry, restock the ice chests, and get a prepared meal. These locations also have telephones in case the family needs to leave us a message.
Click on the “Sample Itinerary” link for a PDF file to give you some ideas for places to explore and for simple food preparation:
Death Valley Sample Itinerary
I send out our planned itinerary to family in case we don’t come out of the backcountry and are in need of help. We have had to walk and hitchhike out in the past due to a disabled vehicle.
a favorite Camp Recipe
What are the “camp potatoes” listed on my menu? These are a traditional staple on our menu that I prepare before our trip to cook on the BBQ while we sit outside to enjoy our camp spot with a drink and good cigar. The potatoes take a while to cook giving us plenty of time for conversation and relaxing. We don’t cook these if we need to eat dinner in less than an hour.
Roger’s Camp Potatoes
Yukon gold or russet potatoes
wash and scrub potatoes
split each potato with a knife lengthwise being careful not to completely cut in half
insert an onion slice(s) inside the slit
wrap the potato with 2 slices of bacon
then wrap the potato with aluminum foil, wrap once and then wrap again with another 2nd square of foil
Set the foil-wrapped camp potatoes on the BBQ for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon the size of your potato.
Squeeze (or poke with a fork) the potato to test if it is done. Unwrap and prepare your taste buds for a delicious treat.