Fall In Death Valley Signals Start Of Peak Season As Temperatures Drop And Inn At Furnace Creek Opens

Fall In Death Valley Signals Start Of Peak Season As Temperatures Drop And Inn At Furnace Creek Opens

While the end of summer means many vacation destinations slow down or even close for the season, it’s just the opposite for Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park.

During the summer in Death Valley, high temperatures result in a distinctly different type of visitor and less time spent on strenuous outdoor activities such as long hikes and even golf. As the temperature begins to drop, however, guests begin to spend more time golfing, hiking and touring. Recent new offerings supporting these outdoor activities include bicycle rentals as well as guided and self-guided off-road vehicles.

While July is the hottest month of the year with an average high of 115 degrees Fahrenheit, temperatures drop to average highs of 106, 92 and 76 in September, October and November, respectively when the evenings cool down to comfortable levels.

“While people may view it is a cliché, that ‘dry heat’ that we experience here really does make all of the difference in the world,” said Phil Dickinson, director of sales and marketing for Furnace Creek Resort. “The lack of humidity also has a moderating effect so that the highs don’t feel so hot and the low temps are quite comfortable.”

The seasonal opening of the Inn at Furnace Creek in early October is the start of the resort’s high season. This year the Inn opens Friday, Oct. 8 and closes May 8, 2011. Built by the Pacific Borax Company, the Inn opened February 1, 1927 with 12 guest rooms, a dining room and lobby area. Over the years, additions were constructed and improvements made until the Inn reached 66 rooms in 1935. Since 1982 the hotel has received the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Award. The award recognizes the quality of the facilities and the level of service that Inn guests have come to appreciate over the years.

Last year Furnace Creek Resort introduced bicycle rentals at the Ranch at Furnace Creek. The bicycles are available from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Rates for rentals are $34 for a half day and $49 for a full day. Kids’ bikes are available at $5 per hour.
For those who want to explore some of the park’s remote attractions, self-drive Jeep rentals are now available to resort guests and Death Valley visitors. The new Jeeps give visitors who arrive at the park in rental or two-wheel-drive vehicles an opportunity to explore some of the park’s rugged backcountry areas.

Provided by Farabee Jeeps, the vehicles can be rented for 24-hour periods for $175 for a two-door vehicle and $195 for a four-door model. All of the Jeep Wranglers have been customized with two-inch lifts and highly durable six-ply tires. The Jeeps can be reserved by calling toll-free 1-877-970-5337 or locally at 1-760-786-9872.

Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the continental United States, with more than 3.3 million acres. Only two percent of the park is developed leaving huge areas open for exploration. There are several hundred miles of unimproved roads that can best be accessed by four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicles. Vehicles are not permitted to drive off roads within park boundaries.

Several backcountry attractions that can only be accessed by four-wheel-drive vehicles. They include the Racetrack, where rocks mysteriously slide across the dry lake bed leaving behind long tracks; Titus Canyon, featuring a ghost town, ancient petroglyphs, and deep, winding narrows; Geologist’s Cabin, a remote stone cabin; and Barker Ranch, a private ranch that was the last holdout of Charles Manson and his followers before his 1969 capture.