MoapaPk wrote:We've branched a lot in this thread...
There are lots of places one can pull off the road into a secluded area near Charleston Peak -- most are on the Deer Creek Road or Lee Canyon Road. Obviously, I'm not going to mention all of them on a public forum; but the Mack's Canyon Road (in Lee) is a start (2wd gravel for 1st few miles). A lot of "official" campgrounds will be closed this year so the USFS can upgrade plumbing.
Mahogany Campground on the way to Telescope is about 8200'. You won't really acclimate in just one night, but it will give you a feeling for the altitude. From there to Telescope, it's just a trail; at worst, there will be slippery snow spots. The grade is low for most of the trip.
Lots of folks in coastal CA live near sea level, and make the pilgrimage to the Sierra each weekend; yes, some do get high altitude sickness, but most don't.
Good summary^^^. I'm guessing Charleston would be more advisable during the week if wanting to avoid weekend crowds from Vegas and elsewhere.
Most of the suggestions in this link may be negated by a stretch of 115F days, but here is the best DVNP website for those who enjoy activities besides peakbagging: http://www.panamintcity.com/recommendations/deathvalleyhikes.html
After Telescope, if DV is living up to its unpleasant hot season reputation, check out the Sierra (prettier, but snowier and more distant), or rember that you also have an opportunity to meet these folks over near Zion at Water Canyon/Canaan Mountain:
One more tip: top off fuel before leaving Nevada. If you must buy fuel in DVNP, Stovepipe Wells will probably be cheaper than Furnace Creek. Prices are better over in the towns along the Sierra, but not as cheap as near Las Vegas.
This thread is approaching classic, but is a confusing introduction for a new guy. The last time Cecilrhodes came out of the woodwork, he was blasting someone who rarely appears outside of off-route anymore, but he does seem knowledgeable.