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Encampment, become

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Death Valley '49ers.

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Encampment Program

2016 Example

Down the Trail



November 4th-11th, 2018


General Meeting


March 10, 2018, 2:00pm

Heritage Inn

Ridgecrest, CA

~ ~Over Herd~ ~


2016 Keepsake

"The Passionate Creation of

the National Park Service"

by Steve Hale


"Death Valley - A Winter's Journey"

by Jackie Keller

Available Now!

The Water Hole


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Pioneer Costume Contest

A popular annual event, the Pioneer Costume Contest is family friendly and fun for all. Dress up as your favorite character and join the fun competing for awards & ribbons. Past participants have come as Harvey girls, shifty-eyed snake oil salesmen, rugged mountain men, military soldiers, cowboys, lawmen, and pioneers.

This contest is not just about sharing your costume with others; it's also about the story you tell of how you made it, what was funny, difficult, inspiring about making it, and any other anecdotes that may bring a smile to our faces. So make sure to invest as much energy and creativity in your storytelling as you do in creating your costume!

Gold Panning

There's a gold rush going on at Furnace Creek! All you need is a gold pan and the desire to have some fun.  Black sand and gravel swirl as participants celebrate Death Valley's rich gold mining heritage at the Death Valley '49ers Gold Panning Championship. 

Contestants pan for pea-sized nuggets as family and friends cheer them on.  The fastest time wins, and the top finishers in each division receive trophies and prizes!

Chairpersons Ann and Dan Barnes invite young and old alike to learn how to “pan fer gold", then enter our contest “Pan to Win”.  The contest is conducted in accordance with international championship rules. 

Wheelbarrow Race

C'mon down folks and try your hand at an obstacle course with a wheelbarrow full of water. You will start the race by telling the waterboy how much water you want in your wheelbarrow, remembering that you need enough water to fill a five gallon pail to the drain hole in the side when you reach the end. On GO, you will grab up the handles of the old steel wheel wheelbarrow and take off for a race over and around 3 obstacles. The wooden ladder laying on the ground may give you a much needed shower, minus the soap of course. If you tackle this with water left you will weave around 6 rebar rods trying not to spill soo much of your precious cargo, and don't run over the rods. Let's assume for a moment that you make it through this portion of the course, you now kick into high gear and race to the wooden bridge. Don't fall off before the end or you will incur a 5 second penalty. From here the end is in sight. Race as quick as you can to the 5 gallon pail, tip up the wheelbarrow and hope the judge waves the flag as the water pours out of the hole in the side of the pail. Remember that all the time you are running the course the crowd will be cheering you on. Bring a sense of humor, a lawn chair and a possible bribe for the judge and the MC and let the good times and the wheelbarrow roll. Participant ribbons are awarded to all comers and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the Mens, Womens, and Boys and Girls classes will get a ribbon.


Pampered Pet Parade

For many years, encampment-goers of all ages have delighted in this entertaining event — the Pampered Pet Parade!  From lap dogs in biker outfits to an iguana on a leash, the Pet Parade provides wholesome fun and entertainment for the entire family!

We hope that you will join us under the tent at Furnace Creek Ranch & Resort (just south of the pool).  There is NO entry fee to take part, but membership is required, so be sure to wear your Membership Badge. All pets must be under control and on a leash.