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Panamint Valley Camping

East of the Eastern Sierra Hwy. 395 is Panamint Springs and the impressive Panamint Valley, California. An awesome desert valley that is way less traveled than Highway 190; Located just west of Death Valley National Park and without all the National Park restrictions, it makes this a perfect place for wheelin. Although Panamint Springs is not a hot spring resort (like you had maybe hoped for), it is a decent place to stop for food, gasoline, or an excellent RV park, well positioned just outside the National Park boundary.




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Visiting the National Park may be an hours drive away, but you can camp almost anywhere you want in Panamint Valley. There aren't many homes, developement or services, so you can have the whole place to yourself. There are plenty of old mining operations to explore and discover. But be careful hiking around old mine shafts & pay attention to 'No Trespassing' signs. There still might be a few old hermet or miners hidden back in these canyon, with a shot gun.


Several wide dirt roads are great for motorhomes who don't mind roughin' it. Those who want to stay over night primtive style, (no facilities or amenities) Nadeau Road is paved for miles & has many places to pull off & camp with out the crowds. If you have your SUV & wanna explore there are plenty canyons with dirt roads leading to them. Camping out on the wide open areas are great on calm nights, but be warned the wind can really pick up out in these parts. Finding a spot up against a canyon wall is your best bet.

Death Valley NP Map
Death Valley NP Map
Inyo National Forest Map
Inyo National Forest Map
Death Valley Map
Death Valley Map
Mount Whitney Zone Map
Mount Whitney Zone Map
Mojave National Park
Mojave National Park

Panamint Valley

Grab a good map of the area. Both Delorme and Benchmark California Atlases have primary dirt roads as well as secondary dirt roads listed. Of course, some of the dirt roads will be washed away over the years. They may even disappear & you may come upon a situation asking 'is this even a road?' Bring a topo hiking map for even more topograhic detail, maybe an old fashioned compass and a updated GPS wouldn't hurt either. WATER is rare out here, so bring plenty. And Death Valley cell phone coverage is always doubtful.

Area activities include:


Garmin eTrex Legend
Modeled on Garmin's popular eTrex, but adds the same base map found in Garmin's III+ and eMap models, along with 8 MB of memory.

Panamint 4x4 Camping

NOTE: Setting up your tent in a nice soft sandy wash might seem appealing, but remember not to do this if there is serious rain predicted.

Always check the weather:
Mojave Weather
Death Valley Weather

Side Trips:

A must see Red Rock Canyon State Park with it's jagged cliffs & varied colors. Backroad exploration, hiking trails & campground. Trona Pinnacles is a great stop too

Ancient cinder cone volcanoes spewed lava into the icy cold Owens River, causing a deep ravine of shiny black bizarre lava forms. This area called Fossil Falls is now a dry river bed with traces of obsidian glass & cool natural formations.

Death Valley's closest (paved) entrance is Wildrose Canyon, with the historic and most well preserved charcoal kilns, plus 3 higher elevation National Park Campgrounds: Wildrose, Thorndike, & Mahoghany Flat
Mojave Desert Camping


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