California, January 2024

Having completed Route 66 we hightailed it out of Los Angeles as quickly as possible and headed back into nature – California does have the most diverse landscapes. 

Wild camping at
The Trona Pinnacles

We went from the snow covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada to below sea level in Death Valley (one place we keep returning to!).  

We visited the huge redwoods in Sequoia National Park and hiked out to Moro Rock where unfortunately the cloud cover gave us pretty much zero visibility.  

Not much of a view but still worth the hike up Moro Rock

As well as the largest trees we also tried to visit the 4,000 year old trees in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest but were sadly defeated by snow (there will be an amusing/nail biting video of us trying to turn the van around on a narrow, snow covered mountain road on YouTube in due course).

Retreating from the deep snow

Manzanar National Historic Site is the site of a former internment camp which held US citizens of Japanese heritage during WWII following the attack on Pearl Harbour.  Some of the buildings have been restored and descendants of the camp residents plus volunteers are working in the grounds to bring the gardens back to life.  A fascinating place to visit.

Manzanar National Historic Site
Manzanar National Historic Site

Our second visit to Death Valley this month took us to the northern section and we managed to get in some hiking.  We walked around the Ubehebe Crater and into Mosaic and Titus Canyons.  This was definitely a good time to visit before temperatures start to become unbearable.

Ubehebe Crater
Great hikes in Death Valley


Driving an RV in the southwestern US outside the big cities is so easy.  The roads are wide (even the “narrow” roads are 2 lanes) and the choice of overnight spots is beyond words.  We’re using iOverlander on a daily basis to find park ups, water, grocery stores and laundromats.  

Many of the campgrounds in the national and state parks have service points outside their entrances and therefore accessible to everyone, so we’ve had no problems finding water.

We have paid for a couple of campsites in the national parks but these were very basic with no facilities (as above the service points were outside the actual campgrounds).  Many campgrounds are currently closed but we used Potwisha Campground in Sequoia NP, USD32 a night, and Mesquite Spring Campground in Death Valley, USD14 per night.

Fuel has remained cheap right up until the California border where it immediately increases by a couple of dollars a gallon, if not more especially in the more remote places – the most we paid was $8.50 whereas back in Arizona it had been around $3.90!

LPG, or propane, is easy to get and prices are pretty much as they are at home.

2 thoughts on “California, January 2024

  1. Shug and Karen

    Is it because of California has a bigger tax on fuel? Those are crazy prices. We’re definitely having a look at those redwoods when we’re over. Keep up the great work guys.

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