Week 1 – Portland to Death Valley

Day 1 – Portland to Tumalo State Park

Easter Sunday morning we left Portland and made our way south towards Bend (with a stop in Madras to watch the Blazers playoff game!). We stayed at the Tumalo State Park Campground, which was just outside of Bend. A great park with a small river and canyon running through it. The abundance of rain was very noticeable based on the picnic table that we saw in the middle of the river…guess the river is a bit higher than it normally is supposed to be!

Day 2 – Tumalo State Park to Rocky Point/Klamath Falls

We spent the day in Bend so Michael would have good internet access for work, while Tracey walked around town exploring. After lunch we made our way further south towards Klamath Falls. The original plan was to go to Crater Lake, but we were tight on time and the weather wasn’t looking so great (snow in the forecast) so we kept going south and ended up at Rocky Point Resort campground. A bonus of it being off-season was there was only one other camper at the place.  We were able to park the van with a great view of the lake.

Day 3 – Klamath Falls to McArthur Burney Falls

Unexpectedly, Rocky Point campground actually had pretty good wifi, so Michael was able to work a few hours in the morning, meaning we could enjoy the great view a little longer.  It was so quiet, with the exception of all the birds and the occasional otter swimming by.  After lunch, we continued on and made our way to McArthur Burney Falls, where again we almost had the place to ourselves.

Day 4 – McArthur Burney Falls to South Lake Tahoe

Since there was almost no cell service at the park, we got an early start to the day. After a quick hike to see the falls, we left the park and made our way to Burney, where Michael could get a few hours of work in before heading to Tahoe for the night.

Day 5 – South Lake Tahoe

As expected, Tahoe is beautiful.  We took the gondola up to the top of the mountain to get a high view of the lake.

Day 6 – South Lake Tahoe to Lake Crowley

After leaving Tahoe, we had a few campgrounds in mind to stay for the night….unfortunately, because of the time of year all of them ended up still being closed for the season.  So we ended up finding an RV resort (although it was the least-RV resort we’ve seen! It was more of a side yard of a small cabin with hook ups).  It overlooked Lake Crowley and again we had almost the entire place to ourselves. We’re really getting spoiled with this off-season camping and avoiding the crowds.  Summer is going to be quite the shock.

Day 7 – Lake Crowley to Stovepipe Wells

Following a pretty sunrise over Lake Crowley, we made our way towards Death Valley.  We stopped in Lone Pine at a park for lunch, before continuing on.  After a few stops at view points and one hike up to Mosaic Canyon, we found the campground and settled in for the night. The first week of our trip is done, and we have gone from the cold, wet temperatures of Oregon to the dry, hot desert of Death Valley. Our poor Portland skin is begging for hydration!


  1. Marlene Sivyer

    Beautiful pictures! Glad you are in Death Valley before it gets really hot.
    Looking forward to your future posts.

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