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Annual Death Valley Wagon Train Encampment
Old 06-21-2008, 06:58 PM   #1
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Annual Death Valley Wagon Train Encampment

One of our favorite trips each year is in early November when we take our RV to Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley for the annual Death Valley 49'ers encampment. In past years, thousands of RV's have packed the campgrounds for several weeks leading up to the actual encampment which lasts from Wed through Sun - we're hoping this year will be no different. Some folks have been going for 30 years or more meeting up each year with old friends from all over. We didn't see many children there except at the fiddle/banjo competition - it mostly seems to be a senior crowd.

There are free concerts every night, a really good Western art show and an artists area for those who want to paint the gorgeous ever - changing desert scenery, there's all kinds of talks about Death Valley and its fascinating history, quilting exhibits, and jamming in special areas for acoustic musicians - (mostly country/gospel/bluegrass music) - and much more. One of the highlights is the wagon train re enactment which re creates the first wagon train across Death Valley in 1849.

The weather at that time of year is usually very pleasant - though you probably need a sweater at night and it's still quite warm during the day. There's lots to see - we love Scotty's Castle and going up to the Furnace Creek Inn for a drink and a reminder of Hollywood's Golden Days. The Inn used to be a popular hangout for the stars of that era, and hasn't changed much physically - but very expensive.

At the other end of the spectrum, if I remember correctly it's only $5 or so a night to camp with a Golden Age pass - maybe gone up a bit this year. It's dry camping but there are dumpsites and water and restrooms and also showers in the swimming pool area. There's golf and tennis and cabins if RV'ing isn't your style. There are a couple of quite nice restaurants and also a store to buy provisions.

Highly recommended for a serene unforgettable vacation. There's a lot more info on the Death Valley 49'ers website. Has anyone else been there?
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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I've never been there but it really sounds interesting . Where is the closest airport ?
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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Not quite, but did do DV in January for a motorcycle rally. It was one of the best riding experiences I ever had. You have never seen the sky until you do DV on a moonless night. And the return trip to Tucson with Las Vegas in the valley , sun rising over Lake Mead... wow.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:45 PM   #4
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I went to Death Valley last December for the first time and fell in love with the place. I've always hated the desert and said I'd never go there, but I "caved in" and went, and wow, what a cave. We camped at Furnace Creek and even though the days were short and cool, the whole place made up for it. I can't wait to go back.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I've never been there but it really sounds interesting . Where is the closest airport ?
As far as we can tell the nearest airport of any size would be Las Vegas and it's maybe a couple of hours drive from there.

Moemg, if you decide to come - it's probably a good idea to call soon about the availability of accommodations at Furnace Creek Ranch - or there is a motel at Stovepipe Wells which is probably 30 miles or so away from most of the action at Furnace Creek Resort. It's hard to tell what the effect of the gas prices will have on the numbers this year.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
One of our favorite trips each year is in early November when we take our RV to Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley for the annual Death Valley 49'ers encampment.
One of our favorite trips each year is to climb to the top of Telescope Peak (highest in Death Valley at 11,000 and change) and look down on you RVers and wonder why the heck you all travel in such BIG packs!

Now that I know what you're all doing down there, it sounds like fun! Maybe I'll give it a try some day when my knees go out. In the meantime, your RVs make lovely little sparkles in the sunshine -- thanks for the show!
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