Location: Mesquite Springs Campground at the North end of Death Valley near Scotties Castle. Mesquite Springs camping is on a first come basis. There are 30 sites in the campground. Some campsites are pull through
Finding the Rally Site: The SNU now provides the means for you to put its rally sites on your electronic map. If you don't have a GPS or a PND or a computer with a mapping program, you can still take the file and use it to find coordinates on your paper maps.
What to expect at an SNU rally : Never been to an SNU rally? This page will give you information on arrival and departure times, meals, activities, and other information that will help make the rally an enjoyable experience.
Boondocking SNU Style: SNU rallies are a great way to experience camping “off grid” Our usual rally sites have no electricity or other hookups. Water is frequently not available. For the SNU, this type of camping enhances the experience and we are never without all the comforts of home
Don's article for the September 2013 SNU Newsletter Regarding the Death Valley Rally
Please mark your calendars for the Sierra Nevada Unit’s annual Death Valley Rally at the Mesquite Spring Campground near Scotts Castle in the north end of Death Valley National Park, hosts are Don and Gail Williams #14207. Unlike last year in which the Sierra Nevada area experienced its first major storm of the season, we expect (hope for) great weather in the Valley. Note that the rally is one week earlier, in part to seek better weather and in part to avoid the Thanksgiving weekend on the 28th. There is a SNU fee of $5 per rig per night and attendees may join us anytime during the weekend. There is a $20 access fee for Death Valley National Park or FREE if you show your America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior, Access or Yearly Pass plus a camping fee of $12 per night ( half that if oyu have one of the aforementioned passes) paid directly by each rig at Mesquite Spring Campground. The campground has 30 campsites, available on a first come first serve basis; two centrally located bathrooms with flush toilets and large dishwashing sinks and a dump station. Mesquite Spring is lightly used on non-holiday weekends but we cannot guarantee a campsite, arrive as early as you can. Overflow camping would be Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek or for those preferring hookups Stovepipe Wells.
The Death Valley Rally will feature a Saturday morning Sourdough Pancake Breakfast! Not to boast and in deference to Bobbi Kingsland’s (San Fernando Valley Unit) fried egg sandwiches, but the cook believes his pancakes were the hit of Obsidian Dome. We will endeavor to have a bottomless coffee pot each morning during the breakfast hours, coordinate Friday and Saturday Happy Hours (BYOB if desired) and an official potluck dinner Saturday evening. Newcomers to SNU rallies should note that informal potluck dinners or gathering together to eat evening meals are common.
Tours to the lower valley, Scottys Castle and possibly the Race Track featuring the nature, geologic and historic sites will interrupt our daytime lounging in the campground, kicking tires and telling lies. Backcountry hikes above the campground are even within our itinerary if you are able to spend an extra day with us. Options for the lower valley tour, a loop of about 150 miles are:
Sand dunes and Historic Stovepipe Wells;
Harmony Borax Works;
Furnace Creek Inn (tour and lunch recommended;
Extensions adding another 50 or so miles include:
Devils Golf Course;
The tours of Scottys Castle last about an hour and are only 5 miles away.
Lastly, for the less faint at heart (high clearance vehicle, truck, SUV or 4X4 maybe preferred):
Teakettle Junction 27 miles;
The Racetrack and Grandstand 34 miles;
Titus Canyon and Leadville (ghost town) tour 65 miles.
To learn more about Death Valley visit the website (www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm) or contact Don and Gail Williams at 951.264.0219 or firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to let us know if you plan to come early, shorten or extend your stay.
Note for those planning their trip, as I write this several roads are closed in Death Valley. Scottys Castle Road, the winter shortcut to US-95 used by many SNU members is open but the south entrance using the Badwater Road is closed due to flood damage. Plan to come in from US -95 using the Scottys Castle Road, Owens Lake using CA-136 or CA-190 off CA-395 or CA-190 from Death Valley Junction. Check the latest road conditions by clicking the “Read More” link in the Morning Report on the Death Valley home page at http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm or visit the Facebook social media page http://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyRoadConditions (the new WBCCI).
Arrival time - anytime after noon on Thursday November 2014
Fees: Kitty Kall: $5 per rig per night payable at the rally plus $10 per night individual campground fee.
Events and activities: Morning coffee klatch is from about 7 to 9 on Saturday and Sunday. Happy hours will likely occur on Friday and Saturday starting about 5 p.m. All gatherings will be informal and BYO (bring your own) to share as suits your karma. If you want to coordinate and plan, then form your own conspiracy with whomever is handy!
Weather: moderate, can be cool at night.
Facilities: Good gravel parking spots, flush toilets, dump station
Nearby attractions: include Scotties Castle, Stovepipe Wells, all sorts of geological and historical points of interest to explore.
If you can't make it for the entire time, feel free to join us for a few hours, one day, or whatever time frame fits your schedule.
Thank you for supporting the SNU.
If you plan to attend please notify the SNU via e-mail email@example.com. It helps our planning to know how many people to expect.
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