I'm not a desert guy, and got dragged into going to Death Valley as part of a three day Univ. extension course that my wife wanted to take.
It is one of the most interesting, strange, weird places in the world. There are a number of very worthwhile places to visit - the Ubehebe crater, the Racetrack, Scotty's castle, Badwater, etc. etc. We've been back several times, stay at the Furnace Creek Inn (good restaurant, GREAT pool) and I'd be happy to go again.
But not in July. It's killing hot - as in hot enough to KILL you if anything goes wrong with your trip. And more than hot enough to make a visit to any of the above (except Scotty's castle) pure misery. A typical clip from a newspaper story...
"It's important for people to know that only a tiny portion of Death Valley has cell phone reception," search and rescue coordinator Micah Alley wrote in an e-mail. "GPS units are not only fallible but send people across the desert where no road exists."
Over the past 15 years, at least a dozen people have died in Death Valley from heat-related illnesses, and many others have come close. Another hiker vanished last June in Joshua Tree National Park. His body has not yet been found.
These are not just stories of unimaginable suffering. They are reminders that even with a growing suite of digital devices at our side, technology cannot guarantee survival in the wild. Worse, it is giving many a false sense of security and luring some into danger and death.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/30/336...#storylink=cpy
Go between mid October and mid April and actually enjoy it.