Leaving Death Valley for Lone Pine, CA
By our fourth day, we realized we could stay in Death Valley for a week or two at least. However, this trip was a reconnaisance to plan for the future. Next time we will arrive in February to avoid the heat and the crowds of March. The big question was how to drive over to Lone Pine, our next objective.
We did our research online as well as talked to quite a few travelers and rangers about the best route. On the map, it looked like 190 was the way to go. Comments about this route varied from "insanity with a motorhome" to "an easy way to go." I decided to go for it, rather than spend several extra hours going through Beatty, Tonopah, and then over to 395.
By going slowly and using second gear, it was an easy trip going through Panamint Springs up to Owens Lake and connecting with 136 to Lone Pine. The views are spectacular, well worth the ups and downs on excellent roads.
Lone Pine and Tuttle Creek Campground
It's an amazing journey to the Eastern Sierras from the desert observing Mt. Whitney as our navigational beacon. Comfortable temperatures and sunny conditions welcomed us to route 395, one of our favorite drives in the USA. Last year we had explored a number of campgrounds in the region and we had settled on Tuttle Creek, a BLM campground nestled beneath the shadow of Mt. Whitney, just above the Alabama Hills, and a few miles from Lone Pine, California. This is one of our very favorite campgrounds in the American west. For a fee of $2.50 a night (dry camping), we were snuggled into a site with shade trees not more than ten yards from a trout stream recently stocked with 12-14 inch Rainbow Trout. It just doesn't get much better than this!
View from Lone Pine past the Alabama Hills to Mt. Whitney
At Home at Tuttle Creek BLM Campground
Tuttle Creek, a few yards from our motorhome
A 13 inch Rainbow Trout for Dinner
Views past the Alabama Hills to Inyo Mountains from our Campsite
Evening Sunset towards the Sierra Nevada