Every year there are travelers who venture into the arid, scorching climate of California’s deserts without understanding the full magnitude of how dangerous these deserts truly can be. Since Ayres Hotel Barstow is a desert property, we want our guests to be informed and prepared for the desert’s harsh climate. Consequently, below is a list of precautions and warnings you should consider before traveling in desert regions.
Death Valley is certainly California’s most notorious desert. The desert’s extreme temperatures and miles of arid land are what make it so fatal to unprepared travelers. Even short, easy walks to Mesquite Flat Dunes and Mosaic Canyon can be fatal if temperatures exceed 100oF. The park’s 3.3 million acres contain mountain-size dunes, below sea level salt flats, and colorful sandstone canyons. While it certainly attracts many visitors, those who wish to visit should know their facts. Death Valley is the hottest and driest region in America with summer temperatures soaring above 120oF and has an average rainfall of 2 inches per year. The park’s elevations are also extreme: Badwater Basin, the park’s lowest point, rests at 282 feet below sea level whereas Telescope Peak reaches 11,049 feet.
When traveling to very arid regions, such as Death Valley, or one of California’s other deserts, here is a list of guidelines you should follow:
· Have a large supply of water: it is important to constantly drink water to avoid dehydration. Ensure you pack plenty of water because there is no guarantee you will have access to water as you travel through the desert.
· Avoid exerting yourself during peak temperatures: when the weather is at its hottest, make sure you do not embark on any long, challenging walks. It is best to undertake these activities during the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.
· Check your vehicle: ensure that your vehicle is in good mechanical condition and that your fuel tank is full before beginning your journey each day. This is especially important because within the park gasoline is only sold at three locations: Furnace Creek, Panamint Springs Resort, and Stovepipe Wells Village.
· Do not rely on your cell phone: since cell phone coverage is extremely limited, and oftentimes nonexistent, it is imperative that you are prepared before you depart because your chances of receiving help are unlikely. It is also recommended to bring a first-aid kit to treat any injuries until you can reach the nearest medical center.As with all trips, it is crucial to be prepared to ensure that you do not encounter any issues along the way. It is our hope that all desert travelers take precautions so that they have a safe and enjoyable journey!