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Accessible Sights and Drives in Death Valley

Death Valley may be known for its ruggedness, but it is still possible to experience many of the park’s natural wonders and historical sites without going into rough backcountry or traveling on a trail that does not meet ADA standards. These recommended destinations include drives and sights easily seen from parking areas as well as two ADA-accessible trails.

A weathered, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk in Death Valley
A weathered, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk follows the miraculous Salt Creek, winding 0.5 mile toward pale, eroded mud hills through an expanse of pickleweed, a salt-resistant desert plant. Photo © Hilda Wege/123rf.

Access for Travelers with Disabilities

An Access Pass is available for free to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Passes can be obtained at a visitor center or ranger station in Death Valley. The pass is part of the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series and can be used to cover entrance fees at 2,000 other locations, including national forests and national wildlife refuges.

All museums, visitor centers, and contact stations within the park abide by ADA-compliant guidelines and are accessible to all visitors. Most developed campgrounds within the park have accessible sites and accessible restrooms, including Furnace Creek and Sunset Campgrounds in the Furnace Creek Area, Stovepipe Wells Campground, Emigrant Campground in the Panamint Springs area (which does not accommodate RVs or campers), and Mesquite Spring in the Scotty’s Castle area. For the most scenic and pleasant accessible camping, Mesquite Spring is the best bet. Most sites are paved, widely spaced, and flat—even those not designated as ADA compliant. There are accessible restrooms with flush toilets.

Throughout the park, accessible restrooms with flush toilets are located at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, Stovepipe Wells General Store, Scotty’s Castle Visitor Center, Grapevine Ranger Station, and Emigrant Campground picnic area. Pit toilets, located at many sights and campgrounds throughout the park, are also accessible, including those at Badwater Basin and the Eureka Dunes.

There is only one accessible hiking trail in the park: the Salt Creek Trail in the Stovepipe Wells area. A small parking area leads to a boardwalk trail that covers a one-mile loop alongside Salt Creek. Outside the park boundaries, the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge has wheelchair-accessible boardwalk trails. Although accessible trails are limited in the area, there are many sights and drives available to visitors with physical disabilities.

Accessible Sights in Death Valley National Park

Roads are paved or graded dirt, and in most cases there are no formal parking spaces.

  • Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge: Graded dirt roads throughout the refuge lead to wheelchair-accessible boardwalks through the Mojave’s largest remaining oasis. Roads should be accessible for any vehicle, including a van with a lowered floor; however, road conditions are always subject to change.
  • Badwater Basin: A paved road leads to a paved parking area, where a wheelchair ramp allows access to the salt flats.
  • Devil’s Golf Course: A graded dirt road leads to a small parking area with close-up views of strange salt formations.
  • Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes: A paved road to the parking area offers close-up views of these dunes.
  • Eureka Dunes: A graded dirt road leads to the foot of spectacular sand dunes.
  • Ubehebe Crater: A paved road leads to a small parking area at the edge of a colorful volcanic crater.
  • Trona Pinnacles: A graded dirt road leads to haunting tufa rock formations left over from an ancient lake bed.
  • Artist’s Drive: A short, scenic drive on a paved road with beautiful views of colorful hills.
  • Titus Canyon Road: This one-way, 27-mile road may not be appropriate for a van with a lowered floor. Carefully consider this drive, check road conditions, and proceed with caution.
  • Harmony Borax Works: A graded dirt road leads to a small parking area. The road should be accessible for any vehicle, including a van with a lowered floor; however, road conditions are always subject to change.
  • Wildrose Charcoal Kilns: A graded dirt road leads to a parking area. The road should be accessible for any vehicle, including a van with a lowered floor; however, road conditions are always subject to change.
  • Warm Springs Camp: A graded dirt road. Depending on road conditions, this drive may not be appropriate for a van with a lowered floor. Carefully consider this drive, check road conditions, and proceed with caution.
  • Goldfield: A paved road leads to the small Nevada mining town. There are dirt roads throughout the town.
  • Ballarat: A graded dirt road leads to the mostly abandoned mining town and a general store run by a caretaker. The road should be accessible for any vehicle, including a van with a lowered floor; however, road conditions are always subject to change.
  • Rhyolite: A graded dirt road should be accessible for any vehicle, including a van with a lowered floor; however, road conditions are always subject to change.
  • Salt Creek: A graded dirt road leads to a parking area; a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk traverses a one-mile loop along the banks of Salt Creek. The road should be accessible for any vehicle, including a van with a lowered floor; however, road conditions are always subject to change.

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HBG Big News This Week: September 24-28, 2018

Following is a recap of major news at Hachette Book Group for the week of September 24-28, 2018:

Bestseller news:  Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, aka J. K. Rowling (Mulholland/LB) debuts at #1 on the Hardcover Fiction and Combined P&E lists. Sally Field’s In Pieces (GCP) debuts at #2 on the Nonfiction list. We have 22 titles on the NYT list overall. HBG’s distribution clients have five titles on the list this week, including one #1—Princesses Save the World by Savannah Guthrie & Allison Oppenheim (Abrams), on the Picture Book list. Lethal White also debuts at #1 on the Indie Bestseller list. And HBG has 16 titles on the USA Today list overall. See the full list here.

Kirkus Prize: Dopesick by Beth Macy (LB) has been named a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize, one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 given annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature. The three winners will be announced on October 25.

Major release: Neil Patrick Harris’ The Magic Misfits: The Second Story (LBYR) went on sale this week, with Harris doing great appearances on the TODAY Show and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Interviews still to come on Entertainment Tonight and Sirius Radio’s Entertainment Weekly channel. The book has also been featured in USA Today’s “5 Books Not to Miss This week” column, Good Housekeeping, Entertainment Weekly, EW.com, CBS.com, MarketWatch, San Diego Reader, Austin Monthly, the Denver Post, the San Francisco Bay Times, and more.

Media Blitz: Mika Brzezinski was busy promoting her new book Know Your Value (Hachette Books) this week, with appearances on NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhl, ABC’s The View, CNBC’s Power Lunch, and WNYC’s Brian Lehrer. On October 1, she’ll appear on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Additional coverage for Mika and the new book include a Time magazine/10 Questions feature, InStyle essay, Forbes Q&A, Marie Claire column, and Real Simple Q&A.

Best Nevada Ski Resorts

The first dusting of snow in late October sends Nevada residents scurrying for the ski wax and the mountain resorts fielding reservations calls. Most Tahoe slopes open around Thanksgiving, but you can bet the lifts will be running any time an early cold front dumps a foot or so of the white stuff. Ski season lasts until mid-April—or until temperatures rise high enough for all the snow to melt.

Here’s a look at the best Nevada ski resorts and snowboarding destinations.

two snowboarders enjoying Heaveny ski resort in Tahoe
Heavenly is a top pick for snowboarders. Photo © Yue Liu/Dreamstime.

Lake Tahoe

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: The closest ski area to Reno, Mt. Rose is perhaps the best overall resort on the Nevada side, considering cost and variety of runs. With a base elevation of 8,260 feet, it’s positively arctic at the top and chilly enough along the runs to keep the snow in optimal shape even when the sun beats down. Families will find something for everyone, with 43 runs evenly divided among beginner, intermediate, and expert. The 16 chutes—all black diamond or double diamond—are favorites for advanced snowboarders.

Diamond Peak: This resort is family-oriented, with special touches for children, such as private and group lessons, indoor and outdoor play areas, and all-day ski and day-care packages.

Northstar California: With lots of tree-lined runs sheltered somewhat from the wind, Northstar boasts perfectly groomed corduroy conditions. One of the most upscale of resorts, it’s nevertheless a fine choice for families. The slopes are not particularly steep or challenging, and there are plenty of beginner and intermediate trails and terrain.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows: This resort spans six summits with more than 270 trails and 43 lifts. Two-thirds of the runs are rated for beginners and intermediates, but as befitting the former host of Olympic alpine events, it challenges experts as well. Open bowls abound above the tree line, but the resort makes a name for itself with gnarly steeps and innovative terrain parks.

Heavenly: Downhill junkies rejoice, as more than one-third of Heavenly’s trails are rated for experts, and the more than 40 intermediate runs will challenge even the most proficient of alpine aficionados. The undulating, swaying blue runs are long and wide, perfect for snowboarders.

Kirkwood: It’s all about the powder at Kirkwood; the shopping is mundane compared to other ski villages, and you can’t see the lake from here. But you can see challenging runs, ridges, and cornices hotdoggers love. More than two-thirds of the trails are rated advanced and expert.

Ruby Mountains

Ruby Mountain Heli-Skiing: Virtually inaccessible other than by helicopter, the Ruby Mountain backcountry slopes guarantee pristine snow and awe-inspiring precipices. Choose your own terrain: steep drops, narrow tree-lined corridors, glades, open bowls, and more.

Las Vegas and Vicinity

Lee Canyon: A welcome respite from the heat and bad beats, Lee Canyon is just an hour north of Las Vegas. Pending an environmental impact study, the resort will begin expanding in 2019, adding three lifts and dozens of runs—many in Mount Charleston’s upper elevations—that will double the amount of skiable terrain. The $35 million addition also would see installation of mountain bike trails, zip lines, and a “mountain coaster” thrill ride.


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5 Forever Author Recs for September

Our job at Team Forever is to ensure you are never without a book to read. In September, we released five brand new titles (and one re-issue) and just to be safe, we asked our September crew to recommend the books they have been loving lately. We hope you add a few of these to your nightstand or favorite tote bag.


Annie Rains (Christmas on Mistletoe Lane)

Book pick: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

if you only knew by kristan higgins

Love, love, love this book and the book that followed it, On Second Thought. If You Only Knew  follows two sisters, Rachel and Jenny, as they work through their love lives and their relationships with each other. The romance between Jenny and Leo keeps the pages turning in hopes that both of these deserving characters, who’ve experienced so much hardship in their pasts, find their happily ever after in each other. Rachel’s story is a heartbreaking one of a wife trying to keep her marriage and family afloat after infidelity. Rachel and Jenny’s stories weave seamlessly, creating a book that’s hard to put down and that sticks with the reader long after turning the last page.


Kelly Bowen (Last Night with the Earl)

Book pick: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Tying together the past and the future, Bellewether is written with exquisite historical detail and all the genuine heart you could ever want in a love story.


Natasha Lester (The Paris Seamstress)

Book pick: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

I was lucky enough to receive an early reading copy of this novel and, given it’s written by Kate Morton, I expected good things. But she exceeded all of my expectations. It’s a tricky story to summarize as there is so much going on, but the book follows a cast of extraordinary characters over a two hundred year period, all of whom are connected by a house, and the ghostly voice of Birdie Bell. If you love grand narratives, tragic love stories, artistic mysteries, and the dramatic sweep of history, then I can thoroughly recommend losing yourself in this book.


Kathy Lyons (Bound to the Bear)

Book recommendation: THIRDS series by Charlie Cochet

This series lives in a world where shifters were accidentally created by the government in the 1950s. THIRDS is a police agency designed to deal with shifter threats. The love story is handled slowly over multiple books, the suspense is SMART because it is also handled over multiple books, and the action keeps me entertained. Best of all is main character Dex’s sense of humor. He’s really, really funny without being slapstick or stupid. I laugh out loud often at the most startling times. I can’t recommend this series enough. Great read!


Carolyn Brown (Cowboy Honor)
Book recommendation: The Last True Cowboy by Laura Drake (coming soon!)

Laura Drake’s upcoming book, The Last True Cowboy, will grab you by the heart strings and keep you turning pages until the very end. It’s one of those books that will stay on your bookshelf and be reread many times. I can’t wait for you to read it!

How to Write Suspense Based on True Events

By Susanne Jansson, author of The Forbidden Place

 

I first learned about “bog bodies” by watching a documentary about the phenomenon in Northern Europe—humans who were sacrificed to the gods during the Iron Ages were buried in bogs, and the unique biology of the wetlands preserved their bodies. I knew instantly after watching that I had found the theme for my very first suspense novel, The Forbidden Place.

Bog bodies felt almost too mysterious and enthralling to be true, but true it was. Here’s how I took those eerie real-life events and transformed them into a suspense novel.

 

How to Write Suspense Based on Real-Life Events

 

#1: Marry the right person (or gather expert knowledge from your inner circle)

My husband, who is a biologist, had no choice but to sit through my seemingly endless questionings on the composition and functioning of wetlands. We’re talking years, off and on.
 

#2: Find other experts you need

If a story is based on real-life events, you’d better get your facts straight. The experts will most likely enjoy talking to you (although maybe not for years). In my case, the most important person was the archeologist and now retired director of a museum in Denmark where one of the most famous bog bodies, The Tollund Man, is displayed. Bog bodies had, more or less, been his (professional) life.
 

#3: Don’t overdo it

You can approach your subject from different angles; you can talk to experts, read reports and visit important places, you can look for other people’s creative take on the subject, poetry, movies, arts, whatever. Great. But before you get exhausted, make sure you have energy left for the most important part, which is…
 

#4: … make the subject your own

Don’t let the stories stay untouched on the surface just because they are “real life ones.” Sit with them, sleep with them, walk with them—let the essence of it all dive into your being and see what it brings out. You’ll be surprised (which to me might be the most precious gift of the whole writing process). In the beginning, I did just enough research to light this spark, and it actually wasn’t much more than watching the documentary and taking notes. It wasn’t until later that I did the rest
 

#5: Don’t force it, but don’t wait for too long

If you’ve found an interesting subject that wasn’t created by your fantasy, chances are someone else has too. It took me about six years to finish The Forbidden Place since I was working as a freelance journalist at the same time (and learning how to write a book). I was increasingly nervous that another writer had gotten hooked on the same subject, and would publish a book before me. Luckily it didn’t happen, at least not to my knowledge.

 


Books by Susanne Jansson

9 Self-Care Gift Basket Ideas

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From forest bathing to outdoor meditation, we’re all coming to understand the importance of getting outside and unplugging from the business of our daily lives. It’s a sensation for a reason: there’s a unique serenity to be found in nature. Here are 9 self-care gift basket ideas to help your loved ones tap into the outdoor wellness world (or just go ahead and treat yourself—you deserve it).

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Moon USA National Parks

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From misty mountains to lush forests to colorful canyons, there’s boundless beauty to be found in America’s wilderness. Give the gift of inspiration with Moon’s guide to all 59 national parks!

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Rite in the Rain Bound Notebook

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While you’re out there…Journaling is one of the best forms of self-care, and what better place for creative expression than the great outdoors? This journal is filled with all-weather, wood-based paper that repels water, oil, mud, and just about everything else, leaving you free to soak up the wilderness.

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Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

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This highly-rated yoga mat is perfect for the yogi that likes to take their practice outdoors. It comes in 15 different colors and is sustainably made in the USA with renewable resources and no synthetic plastics—and the best part? Through their partnership with Trees for the Future, the company plants a tree for every mat sold.

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Sloth Yoga Travel Mug

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This insulated, stainless steel mug keeps coffee or herbal tea hot (or cold!) for hours—and will definitely add some zen cuteness to anyone’s day.

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Beyond Yoga x Parks Project Woodland Candle

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This soothing candle’s scent of freshly chopped wood, mountain stone, cedarwood, and wildflowers will transport anyone straight into the calm of nature. It’s the perfect addition to a meditation practice, and proceeds go towards conservation projects in our national parks!

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The Clarity Cleanse

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The Clarity Cleanse is the powerful book written by Gwyneth Paltrow’s very own health and spiritual advisor. It makes an excellent gift for anyone starting their journey to self-love and self-compassion.

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Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation

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Help your loved one start their days on a more peaceful note with this colored sunrise simulation alarm clock. They’ll wake up gradually, with natural light and sounds filling their bedroom. Ahh.

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Classic Mini Waterproof Ugg Boots

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Treat their feet! These classic Ugg boots are updated for outdoor wear, with waterproof construction, a non-slip traction sole that’ll keep them balanced even on wet ice, and a sheepskin lining that feels like walking on a cloud.

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Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

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Taking care of your inner self also means taking care of your outer self—and protecting your skin while outside is top priority! Not only is Babo’s zinc sunscreen good for you, it’s also good for the planet: the sulfate-, paraben-, basically-everything-free formula is totally ocean-safe.

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5 Thrillers with Unforgettable Female Leads

By Hollie Overton, author of Baby Doll and The Walls

 

Long before I began writing thrillers, I was a voracious reader, reveling in the twists and turns and rooting for the heroines to succeed. Fortunately, the thriller genre continues to offer up incredible stories featuring dynamic female leads.

 

You Might Also Like: 10 September Releases for Mystery, Thriller and Suspense Fans

 

Related: Kate Kessler on Crafting the Most Compelling Thriller Characters

 

 


About Hollie Overton

Hollie Overton is the author of Baby Doll and The Walls. Hollie is a television writer and resides in Los Angeles.

 

 

10 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Most of the best hikes in Acadia National Park are moderate to easy hikes of two to six miles, so you can fit a few into a weekend.

Mount Desert Island’s Best Hikes

Hiking the Beachcroft Path on Mount Desert Island
Beachcroft Path. Photo © Hilary and Tom Nangle.
  • Ocean Path: This popular trail is both easy and easy to reach. Best to time an early morning arrival for this 4.4-mile round-trip that mirrors the shore, taking in Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, and Monument Cove.
  • Jordan Pond Shore Path: A mostly level 3.2-mile loop, the shore path navigates a counterclockwise circuit of Jordan Pond. Plan your hike for fall, for a supremely colorful palette, and reward your efforts with popovers at Jordon Pond House.
  • Gorham Mountain Trail: This 1.8-mile round-trip hike covers the trail directly to the summit of 525-foot Gorham Mountain, with a return via Cadillac Cliffs for views of Sand Beach, Egg Rock Light, the Beehive, and Champlain Mountain.
  • Beachcroft Path: Fifteen-hundred beautifully engineered pink-granite steps and slabs ease the moderate 2.4-mile round-trip climb to Huguenot Head on the west side of Mount Desert’s Champlain Mountain. Savor the views over Frenchman Bay before the more difficult ascent to the summit, where the views are even more spectacular.
  • Penobscot and Sargent Mountains: This 6-mile round-trip hike takes in two summits on the west side of Mount Desert Island. The terrain is difficult to strenuous, but you can take a swim break between peaks in Sargent Pond, and the views are worth the effort.
  • Flying Mountain Trail: Despite being the lowest of Acadia’s 26 peaks, this west-side mountain delivers gorgeous views over the mouth of Somes Sound via this 1.5-mile loop. The descent brings you to Valley Cove, a place to cool tootsies, before the easy walk back to the parking lot.
  • Perpendicular and Razorback Trails: Ready for a workout on one of the park’s most engineered trails? Start on the Perpendicular Trail, which has more than 1,000 steps and snakes up Mansell Mountain from the shores of Long Pond. Return via the steep Razorback Trail to make it a 2.7-mile loop.

Schoodic Peninsula’s Best Hikes

A rocky beach off the Schoodic Head Loop
A rocky beach off the Schoodic Head Loop. Photo © Hilary and Tom Nangle.
  • Schoodic Head Leap: The Schoodic Head Loop connects three trails for a 2.7-mile round-trip hike that travels from woods to the summit for expansive views.
  • Schoodic Mountain: Not to be confused with the Schoodic Head Loop, this moderately difficult 2.8-mile loop in the Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land rewards hikers with panoramic views of Acadia’s peaks on Mount Desert Island across Frenchman Bay.

Isle au Haut’s Best Hikes

Hiking trail on Isle au Haut
Hike in relative solitude on Isle au Haut. Photo © Hilary and Tom Nangle.
  • Western Head and Cliff Trails: For terrific shoreline scenery, day trip to Isle au Haut, and hike these two trails for a nice loop around Western Head. The route follows the coastline, ascending to ridges and cliffs and descending to rocky beaches, with some forested sections.

Related Travel Guide


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