Re: Where to Stay
Posted by NoKarma4U on July 24, 2003 at 11:46:43:
In Reply to: Re: Where to Stay posted by Jeff Lloyd on July 22, 2003 at 12:41:13:
In all fairness, a lot of us folks kinda like to bag on the NPS concession-run facilities like Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. I can assure you that if you decide to stay at Furnace Creek Ranch you will in all likelihood have a very nice time. The rooms are somewhat over-priced, and what you might expect from your average motor inn (of course, there are cabins available too, if that is more your style). The grounds and amenities are generally very nice, though the food at the concession-run restaurants is hit-and-miss at best.
I believe that all of us who have frequented the Furnace Creek Ranch over the years can recall at least a handfull of unpleasant experiences -- generally with rude staff in the stores or restaurants. But this is still the exception to the rule. In spite of the potential draw-backs, it does have the added befefits of being centrally located, and the hub of ranger services for the park. Ranger programs, interpretive exhibits, and activites are plentiful which is nice for first-time visitors, or if you have kids or just prefer this type of camping/vacationing experience. All things considered, my family patronizes the Furnace Creek establishments at least once per year.
Panamint Springs remains the perennial favorite for most of us desert/Death Valley enthusiasts. It is far-removed from the hubbub and distractions of a high-density tourist draw such as Furnace Creek. It serves as an excellent "base camp" for backcountry explorations. The staff and food are both generally exemplary, as are the libations and scenic beauty of the Panamint Valley. And the friendly atmosphere extends to both staff and visitors alike. I believe any of us who have frequented Panamint Springs for any length of time would be hard pressed to recall incidents where the staff or service have been less than enjoyable. Just like Furnace Creek, my family stay's at Panamint Springs at least once a year as well (the more stays...the better the year ;-)
I hope this helps to provide a balanced perspective of Panamint Springs versus park concession services, and a little insight into the views and sentiments of many of us who post regularly at DeathValley.com