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Flying into Death Valley's Stovepipe Wells !

Bellanca Super Viking N4201B in Death Vally CA
Looking down the runway from the approach end of runway 23.

Best time of the year to go? Fall though early spring.  Typical temp in the summer 110F with hot days reaching 130F.
Flight time in a Super Viking from KAJO? 1.4
Food on the airport? Within walking distance
Fuel on airport? No
Landing or Handling fees? No
Comments about arriving and departing.  Make sure to tie down. Desert winds can come up without warning. Runway condition fair.
Things to do at or near the airport. Hiking, camping, and a place to eat.
Rate this stop with 10 being best, 5 average. 7.5 - Late winter into early spring is the best time for Death Valley destinations.

Final Approach into Stovepipe Wells Airport 


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Things to do at Stovepipe Wells.

For pilots in the Southwest US a trip to Death Valley is a must do during cooler weather. The unique landscape of the valley, high snow capped mountain peaks, lack of vegetation and unique colors makes Death Valley a very special place. The air is usually crystal clear distorting distance and depth perception. Death Valley's Furnace Creek is my first choice but don't discount Stovepipe Wells.

Stovepipe Wells
The village of Stovepipe Wells is an easy half mile walk from the airport. You'll find a motel, gas station, general store, gift shop, ranger station, a restaurant and a saloon. The motel has a van and seems happy to take you to surrounding locations. All of Stovepipe Wells services are operated by Xanterra Parks and Resorts. Within a few minutes of landing a car from the motel arrived and suggested places to visit, we had never called for a car. Javier(?) became our transpiration dropping us off at a location and asking when we wanted to be picked up. He always showed up on time taking us to the next place. Be sure to tip the driver so pilots continue to get this great service.

The Toll Road Restaurant has limited hours. Breakfast  7:00 to 10:00, Lunch 11:30 to 2:00 and Dinner 5:30 to 9:00. I suspect these hours may change as the season changes and suggest you call ahead. Naturally, we arrived at the restaurant at 2:05 so we made due at the General Store across the street. 

Mosaic Canyon
Located 2.5 miles from Stovepipe Wells (3 miles from the airport) on a washboard filled dirt road though the desert. The road ends at a parking lot, the mouth of Mosaic Canyon. From here it's a 4 mile round trip hike back into the canyon. The hike is pretty easy with lots of shade and places to stop. Bring some water, don't forget this is Death Valley. Lots of polished marble on this hike, watch where you step, polished marble can be slippery. Stay out of the canyon during rain fall.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Located 1.5 miles from Stovepipe wells (2 miles from the airport) on a paved road. There is a new visitor area with parking and bathrooms. It screams for benches since everyone's shoes are full of sand. The Sand Dunes are what you want to make out of it. They can been seen from the parking lot but I suggest you walk out past the footprints of others and take some photos. I didn't find the need to climb the highest dune but you may. It would be best to photograph this location at sunrise or sunset.

My other Death Valley pages: Click for Leadfield, Scotty's Castle or Furnace Creek .

Pictures from our trip !
Bellanca Super Viking N4201B N4201B on the ramp at Stovepipe Wells Airport. The village beyond.
L09 Stovepipe Wells Airport We came over the mountains southwest of Stovepipe Wells and had to circle to loose some altitude. Good time for some pictures.
Stovepipe Wells from the air Taken from the approach end of runway 5. You can see the village of Stovepipe Wells and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes beyond.
Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park Entering Stovepipe Wells from the north.
Adrienne Ayles Entering Mosaic Canyon one gets their first look at canyon walls of polished marble.
Frank Holbert More polished marble walls.
Mosaic Canyon Death Valley Hikers along the trail.
Mosaic Canyon Death Valley Hike About a half mile up the canyon it opens up to a wider wash area. Two people in the photo.
Hiking Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley 2010 was a very wet year. For Death Valley this is lush foliage.
Hiking Mosaic Canyon near Stovepipe Wells You would not want to be in Mosaic Canyon during periods of rain fall. A flash flood here would be fatal.
Mosaic Canyon Death Valley About 1 mile into the Mosaic Canyon.
Mosaic Canyon Death Valley Returning to the parking lot. Death Valley below
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Entering the San Dunes near Mesquite Flat.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes A very surreal place.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes The sand was surprisingly firm to walk on.
Mesquite Flat in Death Valley Being mid March and a wet year plants were in bloom.

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Last Updated
February 10, 2012

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Frank Holbert
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