Happy Friday! So, if you’ve been keeping up with my Instagrams or latest blog post, you would have seen that my family and I decided to road trip to Death Valley last week. A part one itinerary can be found here. A quick refresher — we stayed in a Comfort Inn in Lone Pine (it has absolutely stunning views of Mt. Whitney!) that was about 1-2 hours from Death Valley, depending on where you’re headed. Day 2 took us to Stovepipe Wells, which was only about an hour from our hotel. The whole road there is a spectacle in and of itself — long and sinuous — so we stopped to check it out.
We officially began our activities at Darwin Falls. If I learned anything from the previous day, it’s that Death Valley is seriously dry — of course it’s a desert — but chapstick and hand lotion are a must. Darwin Falls was a short hike (roughly 2 miles) to one of the few water sources in the park. Parts of the terrain are muddy or entrenched in water, and there is some scrambling over rocks. Needless to say, the duck boots were perfect seeing as the rubber soles made it easy to trudge through the wetter sections. The falls and natural pool were exquisite. If it wasn’t so chilly, it would’ve been the perfect place for a quick dip. We had packed sandwiches, which we enjoyed on the way back before heading to our next stop!
Next on our itinerary was Mosaic Canyon. This was definitely one of my favorite places we went. The hike extends pretty far, but the most impressive section is in the first mile. Ancient waters have essentially carved out this canyon, polishing the rocks so that they’re ridiculously smooth with stripes of color and curve in and out in this maze-like pattern. It’s beautiful to navigate and marvel at, and then it eventually opens up into a huge canyon that reaches several miles back.
After, we headed to Salt Creek, home of the endangered pupfish. This is a short walk that rounds through highly salinated water (aka SUPER salty!). All of the water is much saltier than ocean water, making it a rough habitat to live in. It’s believed to be the last habitat of a small fish known as the pupfish. We didn’t see any pupfish, but it was so pretty to walk along, especially in the evening during golden hour.
Our final destination of the day was the Sand Dunes. It’s the strangest thing! Out of nowhere, you spot mounds of sand with little people sprinkled upon them. Walking along the dunes was so neat — I felt like a kid again playing in a sand box! Heading to them around golden hour was breathtaking…something I will never forget.
On final day, we checked out some of the sights in Lone Pine before leaving to go back home. The Alabama Hills was a huge highlight of the trip and such a great note to end on. Rock formations lie at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas, right under Mt.Whitney. There are a few trails you can get out and walk, and it’s worth it to check out all of the structures. A lot of movies have been filmed in this area, and you can find a map here.
If was a trip for the books, and something I definitely suggest adding to your bucket list. Nature truly is amazing, and the sights of Death Valley are like no other!
Talking about my outfits: I’m kind of in love with this white mock turtleneck (and I have the exact same one in black!). The weather changed so frequently throughout the day from 30/40 degrees, all the way up to 60 degrees. A turtleneck provided the best balance. I also wore my favorite pair of jeans (TJMaxx and Marshalls sometimes carry them for $25, so check them out!). These duck boots are affordable versions of the L.L. Beanclassics, which for a college girl on a budget is a win-win. Plus, they are so comfortable. For my hair, I braided the top section and then pulled it back into a ponytail and added a gingham ribbon for a femme touch!
Natural White Mock Turtleneck // KanCan Jeans // Duck Boots (similar affordable pair also found here!)// Gingham Ribbon // ‘H’ Gold Bar Necklace // Hydro Flask in 24 oz size (I couldn’t find it in pink anymore in that size, though it is in pink in this smaller size!) // Hydro Flask Sports Sip Topper // Army Green Jacket (similar found here!)
For our last day, I opted for something casual that would be comfortable during a 5-hour drive. You may have noticed something familiar about the wine-colored shirt I’m wearing. It’s actually bell-sleeved (such an amazing detail!) and was featured in this post a few weeks back. I wanted to feature the color, and by adding this cute wool-blend jacket with faux fur trim, it’s transformed into a totally new outfit! I wore it with simple white sneakers and if you look closely, maroon socks. Full disclosure — I didn’t bring enough socks this trip. Normally, I wear these maroon socks (they have little hedgehogs on them hehe 🙂 ) when I’m lounging in my pajamas, but seeing as I was out of socks and I was already in the purple color spectrum, I went with it. I don’t mind how it looked either! For my hair, I pulled it into a cool topknot. (Pro-tip: If you are struggling with topknots — I totally was before this — first pull your hair into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic, then twist the ponytail, wrap it around, and secure with another elastic!)
Wine Bell-Sleeve Turtleneck (also seen in this post!) // POOF Black Leggings // Wool-Blend Bomber Jacket (similar found here, here, and here!) // White Tennis Shoes // Maroon Socks // ‘H’ Gold Bar Necklace
Did you head anywhere this winter? If so, where? Comment below!