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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2012 02 Home On The Road Part 1 Map 2 Page 1
What We Missed: The Death Valley National Park Loop

Forced to cut three days from our original itinerary, we had to eliminate the 500-mile loop north from Ontario International Airport (A) to Death Valley National Park and a one-night stay at the historic Furnace Creek Resort (C).

Furnace Creek features a Perry Dye-designed golf course, 216 feet below sea level. As balls do not travel too far in Death Valley, Furnace Creek ranks as one of the 50 toughest courses in the United States. And yes, there are water hazards.

While most GPS units will direct you up I-15 towards Las Vegas, I recommend heading north on U.S. 395 in the direction of Ridgecrest instead. Once en route, set Trona, California (B) as a waypoint, and top off your rig there.

Gas and diesel are $1.50/ gallon cheaper there than filling up at one of the two service stations within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park.

The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is Badwater Basin (D), 282 feet below sea level. Heading south, stop in Shoshone at *the Crowbar Café (E) for the best prime rib between L.A. and Las Vegas. The route south passes through Amboy (F) and Roy's, a Route 66 landmark, as well as Joshua Tree National Park (G) before you arrive at the Emerald Desert RV Resort (H).