USA – South West (Death Valley NP, Joshua Tree)

I have visited the South West a few times, twice I took a few days off from work (after a work trip), then rented a car and did as much exploring as I could do. With more time up my sleeve I would definitely do more camping and exploring in the area.


  • Death Valley, Trying a back route to the Racetrack Playa. It was the toughest and riskiest off road drive I ever done. I was driving on back road into the park, parts of the road were covered in either thick mud, or icy water, and some parts were very steep. Some hairy moments but I somehow made it through (although the rubber on one of the suspension coils had melted!). Seeing the moving rocks at Racetrack Playa was nice, although the mystique of them has recently been removed as a theory explaining how these large rocks are ‘dragged’ across the lake is becoming accepted.
  • Joshua Tree NP – remote scenery with some interesting looking trees, some nice remote day hikes.
  • Admiring the massive wind farms near Palm Springs. In some of the valley there are literally thousands of wind farms.
  • Admiring the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, especially around Big Pine, Mammoth Lake and Lake Mono.
Coyote in Death Valley NP, he was impressively calm. This was on a reasonably remote road, he was chilling next to the road with a companion. I stayed in the car as we gave each other the eye. There was some depth to his gaze.
Racetrack Playa, Death Valley NP. It is famous for the rocks which appear to have been dragged large distances in straight lines. So of the rocks are quite large. It was a mystery until recently as to how this happened.
Ballarat! No not in Victoria Australia, rather this is in the Death Valley NP. However it was named after the gold mining town in Australia.
Death Valley, leaving the valley – one of the many impressive vistas.