Death Valley is a popular destination for tourists who are interested in exploring the unique landscape and natural wonders of this desert region. Here we have shared the best things to do in Death Valley National Park.
About Death Valley National Park
- Death Valley National Park is famous for its unique desert landscape, extreme weather conditions, and natural wonders.
- Death Valley National Park is a national park located in the eastern part of California, in the United States.
- It covers an area of approximately 3,373 square miles (8,760 square kilometers) and is known for its harsh desert environment, extreme temperatures, and unique geological features.
Here we have listed the best places, Popular attractions, and activities in Death Valley that you may want to consider during your visit:
Things To Do in Death Valley
There are many things to do in Death Valley National Park, which is located in California, USA. Here are some ideas:
- Visit Badwater Basin
- Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
- Explore Zabriskie Point
- Artists Drive
- Dante’s View
- Visit Scotty’s Castle
- Harmony Borax Works
- Ubehebe Crater
- Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
- The Racetrack
- Natural hot springs
Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America, sitting 282 feet below sea level. The basin is a vast expanse of salt flats that can be explored on foot. Visitors can walk out onto the salt flats, take photos, and learn about the unique geology and natural history of the area.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are a popular destination for hikers and photographers. The dunes cover a large area and are home to a variety of desert plant and animal species. Visitors can hike through the dunes, take photos, and experience the unique beauty of this natural wonder.
Zabriskie Point is a popular lookout point that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can hike up to the viewpoint, take photos, and learn about the geology and history of the area.
Artists Drive is a scenic drive that winds through colorful hills and canyons. The drive offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is a popular destination for photographers and nature lovers.
Dante’s View is a panoramic viewpoint that offers sweeping views of Death Valley National Park. Visitors can hike up to the viewpoint, take photos, and learn about the geology and history of the area.
Scotty’s Castle is a historic home located in Death Valley National Park. The castle was built in the 1920s and is now open to the public for tours. Visitors can explore the castle, learn about its history, and see how people lived in the early 20th century.
Death Valley National Park is home to some of the darkest skies in the United States, making it an ideal destination for stargazing. Visitors can set up telescopes or simply lie back and watch the stars in the clear night sky.
Harmony Borax Works
The Harmony Borax Works is a historic site that tells the story of the borax industry in Death Valley National Park. Visitors can explore the remains of the borax processing plant, learn about the history of the industry, and see how the workers lived and worked.
The Ubehebe Crater is a large volcanic crater located in Death Valley National Park. Visitors can hike around the rim of the crater, take photos, and learn about the geology and history of the area.
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
The Wildrose Charcoal Kilns are historic structures that were used to make charcoal for use in mining operations in the late 1800s. Visitors can explore the kilns, learn about their history, and see how they were used.
The Racetrack is a dry lakebed that is known for its mysterious moving rocks. The rocks seem to move across the lakebed on their own, leaving tracks behind. Visitors can hike out to the lakebed, take photos, and see the tracks left behind by the moving rocks.
Natural hot springs
Death Valley National Park is home to several natural hot springs that are open to the public. Visitors can soak in the hot water, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Overall, Death Valley National Park is a unique and beautiful destination that offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you are interested in hiking, history, or stargazing, there is something for everyone in this.
Best Hikes in Death Valley
Death Valley National Park offers a variety of treks and hikes with different levels of difficulty. Here are some of the most popular treks in the park:
- Golden Canyon Trail
- Telescope Peak
- Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
- Mosaic Canyon Trail
- Wildrose Peak
- Gower Gulch Loop
- Darwin Falls
- Titus Canyon
- Golden Canyon Trail: This is a moderate, 3-mile round-trip trek that takes you through beautiful golden-colored rock formations.
- Telescope Peak: This is a strenuous, 14-mile round-trip trek that takes you to the summit of the highest peak in Death Valley at 11,049 feet. It offers panoramic views of the park.
- Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes: This is an easy, 2-mile round-trip trek that takes you through the beautiful sand dunes and offers great opportunities for photography.
- Mosaic Canyon Trail: This is a moderate, 4-mile round-trip trek that takes you through a narrow canyon with beautiful marble walls.
- Wildrose Peak: This is a strenuous, 8-mile round-trip trek that takes you to the summit of Wildrose Peak at 9,064 feet. It offers panoramic views of the park.
- Gower Gulch Loop: This is a moderate, 4-mile round-trip trek that takes you through the colorful badlands of Death Valley.
- Darwin Falls: This is an easy, 2-mile round-trip trek that takes you to a beautiful waterfall oasis in the middle of the desert.
- Titus Canyon: This is a moderate, 6-mile one-way trek that takes you through a narrow canyon with towering walls and interesting rock formations.
These are just a few of the many treks available in Death Valley National Park. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the desert environment.
Camping in Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park has several campgrounds that offer a variety of camping experiences. Here are some of the popular camping points in the park:
- Furnace Creek Campground
- Texas Springs Campground
- Sunset Campground
- Mesquite Spring Campground
- Emigrant Campground
- Stovepipe Wells Campground
- Furnace Creek Campground: This is the park’s largest campground and is located near the visitor center. It offers 136 sites for both tent and RV camping, as well as restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, and water.
- Texas Springs Campground: This is a smaller campground located near Furnace Creek and offers 92 sites for both tent and RV camping, as well as restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, and water.
- Sunset Campground: This is a first-come, first-served campground located near Furnace Creek and offers 270 sites for tent camping only, as well as restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, and water.
- Mesquite Spring Campground: This is a smaller, quieter campground located in the northern part of the park and offers 40 sites for both tent and RV camping, as well as restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, and water.
- Emigrant Campground: This is a first-come, first-served campground located near Stovepipe Wells and offers 10 sites for tent camping only, as well as restrooms and picnic tables.
- Stovepipe Wells Campground: This is a smaller campground located near Stovepipe Wells and offers 190 sites for both tent and RV camping, as well as restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, and water.
These are just a few of the camping options available in Death Valley National Park. Be sure to check with park rangers for more information on other campgrounds and camping regulations.
Also Read: 19 Places To Visit in Yosemite
Here are the most frequently asked questions about Death Valley National Park.
Where is Death Valley?
Death Valley is located in the eastern part of California state, in the United States. It is situated in the Mojave Desert, near the border with Nevada, and covers an area of approximately 3,373 square miles (8,760 square kilometers).
The park is located about 120 miles (190 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas and 290 miles (470 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.
The nearest town to the park is Furnace Creek, which is located within the park boundaries and serves as a hub for park visitors, offering lodging, dining, and other services.
Why is Death Valley so hot?
Death Valley is known as one of the hottest places on Earth because of its location, geography, and weather patterns. Here are some of the reasons why Death Valley is so hot:
Location: Death Valley is located in southeastern California, in the Mojave Desert, which is one of the hottest and driest regions in North America. The valley is situated in a low basin, surrounded by high mountains, which traps heat and prevents cool air from entering the valley.
Geography: Death Valley is the lowest and driest point in North America, with an elevation of about 282 feet below sea level. The valley is also surrounded by mountains that block the cool ocean breezes, making it difficult for the hot air to escape.
Weather patterns: Death Valley is known for its extreme weather conditions, including intense heat waves and prolonged droughts. In the summer, temperatures can soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and occasionally reach up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the hottest place in North America.
Overall, the combination of location, geography, and weather patterns makes Death Valley an extremely hot and inhospitable place. It is important to take precautions if you plan to visit the area, such as staying hydrated, wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothing, and avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.
How far is Death Valley from las vegas?
The distance from Las Vegas to Death Valley National Park depends on which entrance you plan to use to access the park. The most direct route is via the park’s east entrance, which is approximately 120 miles (193 km) from Las Vegas. However, this route involves driving through mountainous terrain and may take longer than other routes.
The west entrance of the park, which is closer to major attractions such as the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Badwater Basin, is approximately 150 miles (241 km) from Las Vegas.
The drive time from Las Vegas to Death Valley can vary depending on traffic, road conditions, and the route you take, but it generally takes around 2-3 hours.
Why is it called Death Valley?
Death Valley is called so because of its harsh and unforgiving environment, extreme heat, and challenging terrain, which has made it difficult for people to survive in the region throughout history. The name “Death Valley” was officially given to the area in 1849 by a group of pioneers who became stranded there while attempting to cross from Nevada to California during the Gold Rush.
The group of pioneers, who were trying to find a shortcut to the gold fields in California, became lost and eventually stumbled upon the valley. As they struggled to survive in the harsh environment, many of the group members died due to dehydration, starvation, and exposure to extreme heat. After finally being rescued, the survivors named the area “Death Valley” to reflect the difficulty and danger of their experience.
Over time, the name became widely known and associated with the area’s challenging environment, and today it remains one of the most extreme and inhospitable places on Earth. Despite its name, Death Valley is still home to a variety of plant and animal species that have adapted to extreme conditions, and it attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to marvel at its unique beauty and test its limits in harsh environments.
Where to stay in Death Valley?
There are a few options for lodging within Death Valley National Park, including:
The Oasis at Death Valley: The Oasis at Death Valley is a resort-style hotel located in the heart of the park. It features two hotels, The Inn at Death Valley and The Ranch at Death Valley, as well as a golf course, restaurants, and a variety of recreational activities.
Stovepipe Wells Village: Stovepipe Wells Village is a hotel and campground located near the park’s sand dunes. It features a hotel, a campground, a restaurant, and a general store.
Furnace Creek Campground: Furnace Creek Campground is a popular campground within the park, offering sites for both tents and RVs. It features amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and nearby showers and restrooms.
Panamint Springs Resort: Panamint Springs Resort is located just outside the park’s west entrance and offers a variety of accommodations, including rooms, cabins, and RV sites. It features a restaurant and a general store.
Outside of the park, there are also lodging options in nearby towns such as Lone Pine, Beatty, and Pahrump, but these are farther away from the park and may require a long drive to access the park’s attractions. It’s important to book accommodations well in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, as lodging options can fill up quickly.
How big is Death Valley?
Death Valley is a vast area, covering approximately 3,000 square miles (7,800 square kilometers) in eastern California. It is the largest national park in the contiguous United States, and it contains a diverse range of landscapes, including salt flats, sand dunes, canyons, mountains, and valleys.
The park’s highest point is Telescope Peak, which stands at 11,049 feet (3,368 meters) above sea level, and its lowest point is Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level.
Death Valley is also home to a variety of plant and animal species that have adapted to the extreme desert environment, including the iconic Joshua tree, desert bighorn sheep, and the pupfish, a species that is found only in the park’s unique saltwater springs and streams.