We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Irene, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Irene is from Switzerland, and submitted the following report about Death Valley. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: English
Reasons to go: The Death Valley is the driest and hottest place in North America, with large sections of it below or at sea level. The extreme temperatures during most of the year can make hiking quite strenuous or even impossible. Late fall or winter, however, are great times for exploring the valley.
I hiked Golden Canyon and Fall Canyon (both day hikes) and visited the famous salt flats of Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282ft/86m below sea level. If you're visiting mid-week, chances are you'll be by yourself on the trail and will be able to enjoy incredible silence found in few other places. For safety, let someone know of your plans and/or leave a note on the dashboard of your car with the name of the trail you're hiking and your return time and date. Since you're in the middle of the desert, water is definitely key. Always make sure to have plenty with you while hiking and in your car for when you return.
I set up my tent at Furnace Creek campground but there are plenty of other options throughout the National Park. There's a small general store near the Furnace Creek Visitor Center that also sells firewood (a campfire is a must!) and some basic camping supplies. It is highly recommended to stock up on food and gear before you make the long drive to Death Valley as the selection is small and very expensive.
Special tip: If you're flexible on dates, try to visit Death Valley during new moon. No moonshine (and no light pollution) makes for excellent stargazing!
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 1 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 2 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)