On her five-day adventure to Death Valley National Park, Ready Set Jet Set's Haley Plotkin saw the highlights of the "Discovering Death Valley" itinerary (as featured in California Road Trips: 50 Life-Changing Adventures). Along with her friend Hannah, Plotkin explored the unique landscapes and otherworldly terrain of Death Valley National Park, Alabama Hills, Trona Pinnacles, and Red Rock Canyon State Park as she road tripped from Los Angeles to Lancaster to Inyo County and beyond. She shares highlights from her road trip below.
1. What was the top highlight of your California road trip?
Death Valley was absolutely amazing to finally experience. I've wanted to go for years, and it did not disappoint. I think my biggest highlight was looking up at the Milky Way crystal clear right above me one night at Zabriskie Point. It was magical!
2. What were your impressions of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park?
It seems like a cool area to explore. We didn't get to stay too long, but it was fun to shoot some content there. There was actually filming going on while we were there too, and I'm very curious what it was for.
3. Do you have any advice for exploring Death Valley National Park?
I'd say it's worth it to get up for sunrise. Plan accordingly to visit spots like the sand dunes or Zabriskie Point for an amazing sunrise.
4. What did you like most about your stays at The Oasis and The Inn at Death Valley?
It was so nice to be able to go back and relax at the pool or in our very nice room between all the exploring. Since we were packing so much into just two days, being able to decompress there was fantastic.
5. What were a few of the best things you ate or drank along the way?
The meal we had at The Inn had to be my favorite. It was especially nice to sit down after a long day of adventuring for a proper meal. All the food we had at the hotel was delicious.
6. Did you have any favorite viewpoints near Alabama Hills?
The Movie Road Trail everyone photographs was definitely worth the hype. We went at sunset, and I can only imagine how amazing it as at sunrise. I also loved the drive up Mt. Whitney Portal Road, which had spectacular views of Mt. Whitney and was an unexpected gem.
7. Did you discover any hidden gems?
All of Red Rock Canyon State Park was an unexpected find for me. I can't believe those beautiful red cliffs are just on the side of the road. There was practically no one there either. I probably could have spent a whole day hiking around the park.
8. Which picture or social media post best sums up your trip and why?
It's hard to choose, but maybe this one [above] just because the car gives it all the road trip vibes.
9. Would you recommend this as a girls’ trip to others and why?
Definitely! Hannah and I had so much fun exploring together and taking lots of pictures. As long as the girls in your group are into adventure, you'll have a blast.