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Old 01-15-2013, 08:10 PM   #29
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We were at Death Valley last year during the budget showdown. We were told that we'd be allowed to keep our trailer in the park for a day or so but all of the side canyons and support systems would be closed. So we did two days of hiking and sightseeing in one day.

We were sitting, exhausted and achy, drinking beer and eating lots of medium rare protein and our waiter kept us apprised of the latest budget developments.

The next day, even though we could have, we were too tired to hike. So we hung out at Furnace Creek and I got to watch a road runner try to attract females with a dead lizard. He seemed annoyed that all he could attract were human photographers.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:10 PM   #30
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Lumatic, try the concessionaire's number to get info if the Furnace Creek CG is run by a concessionaire. Or, maybe the reservation people can tell you. Or, finally, the park service must have a phone number somewhere.

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Old 01-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #31
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Lumatic, try the concessionaire's number to get info if the Furnace Creek CG is run by a concessionaire. Or, maybe the reservation people can tell you. Or, finally, the park service must have a phone number somewhere.

Gene
I have not found the secret CG number. The CG number sends you to the reservation line. The reservation people are absolutely no help. I'm sure the park service has a number somewhere, but you must need a security clearance to get it. It all seems pretty intentional to avoid phone calls. I would like to think they don't have the staff, rather than they don't want to be bothered.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:07 AM   #32
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Secret number revealed....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
I have not found the secret CG number. The CG number sends you to the reservation line. The reservation people are absolutely no help. I'm sure the park service has a number somewhere, but you must need a security clearance to get it. It all seems pretty intentional to avoid phone calls. I would like to think they don't have the staff, rather than they don't want to be bothered.

After having just stayed at Furnace Creek CG for a week (2-9JAN); we found the "Secret Number" as I was executing the planning process.

There is a temporary entry portal manned with a US NP Ranger at FC and the number there is:

706-786-2441

The Ranger there will be able to give the caller the most accurate stats for the conditions and reservations at the camp ground.

Good luck!

Art
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:07 PM   #33
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Lumatic, it may well be a security thing. I have run into that with e-mails to gov't systems where it goes to a guy in a sub-basement office somewhere who reads all the e-mails to anyone in the government, then he deletes every other one just because he can. Glad to see Art got you a number. I was beginning to wish I hadn't even mentioned this, but I'd want to know what to expect if I were going to Death Valley.

We've been there a couple of times. It was some time ago and we didn't have a trailer then. It is a fascinating place and just about everything is worth seeing. If you're lucky, it'll rain a week before and the flowers will appear by the time you are there. We've talked about going back with the Safari, but haven't gotten back so I'll be interested to see how you like the campground.

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #34
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Max, thanks for that DV phone number. We are planning a southwestern trip in February-March, and can vouch that nobody at the NPS Lake Mead office answers any email. The parks' concession revs. people are really nice but who knows where their call centre is.

But the good news is that Congress is working on a wee budget extention that hopefully will at least get us through DV, Lake Mead/Mojave, and Zion NP. Our fall-back appears to be a few state parks, a visit with some snowbird friends near Yuma, AZ, and hopefully unregulated BLM camping.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #35
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Death Valley is truly a magical place

It is worth the effort to visit in the winter. We went in our Subaru the year of the 100 year wild flower event (maybe 2004 April-May). There is a huge overflow type parking lot campground that has flush toilets and no hookups (I think it is called Sunset) and we slept in our stationwagon....fast forward a few years....maybe 2007, we had a rally there over the New Year. We had full hookups behind the Furnace Creek Lodge....not fancy and it housed a lot of the staff. That said, we were in our cars/trucks every day going to some wonderfully beautiful place--Titus Canyon, Badwater, Scotty's Castle, etc. And we took in a lot of the Ranger talks and hikes....the Rangers in this park truly have a love affair going with the place and the are so excited to share it. Your first stop should be the visitor's center to get the schedule.

That said, be careful about parking just anyplace. Flash flooding can and does happen. One year the road from Las Vegas that goes close to the Furnace Creek Inn washed out and several people were killed....a concrete bathroom was washed away. That road was closed for months. Titus Canyon is another one way road that you don't want to take if it is raining. Parts of that road have very steep narrow slot canyon walls.

Enjoy the park...it is truly unforgettable. paula
PS: This is a Five Spot Flower with tiny critters on it we saw in DV
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:31 PM   #36
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But the good news is that Congress is working on a wee budget extention that hopefully will at least get us through DV, Lake Mead/Mojave, and Zion NP.
The extension is for the debt limit. If the debt limit isn't increased, things would shut down gradually or maybe fast. That is extended to April 15. The budget is different and is only authorized until the end of March. That would cause a shut down. There is also the sequester at the beginning of March, but that just defunds many things you have come to expect from the government. If that one isn't solved, I expect eventually many parks and monuments would be closed permanently. You might have problems getting weather reports too.

The budget seems to be the place the House of Representatives wants to take a stand and many of the representatives seem to want to shut the government down to show how powerful they are. I think in the '90's they shut it down for three weeks at one point and for brief periods other times.

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:32 PM   #37
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After having just stayed at Furnace Creek CG for a week (2-9JAN); we found the "Secret Number" as I was executing the planning process.

There is a temporary entry portal manned with a US NP Ranger at FC and the number there is:

706-786-2441

The Ranger there will be able to give the caller the most accurate stats for the conditions and reservations at the camp ground.

Good luck!

Art
Hi Art, Any chance that area code is wrong ? I am heading west next week, I tried to use the number you listed, it's a Georgia area code and its disconnected. Thanks
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:05 PM   #38
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Area code is 760 for DV

Try 760 area code. paula
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:13 PM   #39
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Try 760 area code. paula
Thanks for the help
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:46 AM   #40
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Thanks for the explanation, Gene! I was thinking of that year when the parks did close down for a short while. We were planning to camp and hike in Zion NP but we couldn't get in. The locals in Springdale were truly annoyed to the point of having a symbolic protest march because they count on park visitors for their income. Way to go, Congress.

Stespot, that is good advice about flash flooding. We were backpacking in a slot canyon in the north San Rafael Swell in Utah in 2006 and got stranded by a flash flood. Fortunately we knew enough to camp above the high water mark (though just barely, as it turned out) but we never would have survived had it come down earlier when we were hiking in the canyon. It started at dusk and most of it came down at night when we couldn't see it, and roared like a jet engine for hours before it subsided. There was a log cattle gate near the canyon mouth, and the flood took it out completely. We developed a healthy respect for flash floods!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:01 PM   #41
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Try 760 area code. paula
Its 760 area code ... sorry!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:59 PM   #42
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That said, be careful about parking just anyplace. Flash flooding can and does happen. One year the road from Las Vegas that goes close to the Furnace Creek Inn washed out and several people were killed....a concrete bathroom was washed away. That road was closed for months.
Last time in DV there were a couple of vehicles that got caught in that flood that also washed away and closed roads for months. They were packed inside floor to ceiling with boulders and debris.
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