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Old 10-26-2017, 12:17 AM
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Hey guys! I'm an east coast guy taking a trip to SoCal for about a week in late February and early March. I love visiting the area and this will be my third trip, the other two having been in May '15 and September '16. What's the weather typically like in late winter? Also is this a good time to check out the mountains? I loved driving and walking through Angeles and Cleveland national forests. Will there be some snow up there? And how about Death Valley? I'm thinking about taking a day trip out there. Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:52 AM
Location: Orange, California
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Winter is a great time of year in SoCal, particularly if you will be visiting the inland areas that are too hot in the summer. Definitely recommend the desert areas but would say Death Valley is pretty far for a day trip. Would recommend Joshua Tree National Park and nearby Palm Springs instead. Much closer to LA/OC and many people would say JTree is the better park. The big mountains north of LA may be cold and snowy but if you are looking for temperate hiking the Santa Anas in Orange County are a good choice in the winter. One note: bring a jacket as it can get chilly at times (50s in day and 40s at night). Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:17 AM
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It's generally a nice time to visit, although is still well within window where we get chilly, rainy winter storms.

The "average" day during that period will be sunny, low 70s inland, and upper 60's at the beach. Nights are usually in the 50s.

But, it's also not uncommon to get warm spells (80s) or a chilly blast of winter weather from the north (rainy, 50s during the day).

That is about the time of year when the low elevation areas of the desert (Palm Springs, Death Valley) will start warming up -- with highs in the upper 70s and 80s many days -- with periods of warmer weather (90s). Joshua Tree is a little higher elevation, so will be cooler (upper 60s, or low 70s).

Most years there will still be snow on the ground in the mountain areas, with cool days (40s, 50s) and cold nights (20s, 30s).

I agree with the above, a day trip to Death Valley would be a challenge, as its about 4 hours each way. That being said, I'm a pretty ambitious traveler when I'm on vacation, and I've taken day trips that involve several hours of travel each way, so I won't rule it out for you. If you hit the road at 7am to beat most of the traffic, go there at around 11am, and then started your drive back at 6pm, you could make a long day out of it.

However, I also agree with the above poster, that a day trip to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree would be a good alternative (Palm Springs is about 1.5 hours away from OC). You could even mix in a trip up the tramway to hike around Mt. San Jacinto mountain near Palm Springs. If you hit the road early, you could spend the morning hiking/walking around Joshua Tree, the afternoon crashing a hotel pool in Palm Springs, and then take the tramway up for dinner and some walking around on the mountain at Mt. San Jacinto. It's a pretty ambitious schedule, but would be quite a day!
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