Welcome to Death Valley, a land of extreme beauty and harsh contrasts. Nestled in the Mojave Desert, it is the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the United States.  This Death Valley travel guide will help you safely navigate and fully enjoy the mesmerizing landscapes and unique experiences.

Best Time to Visit

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

Death Valley’s climate is most forgiving during the spring (March to May) and fall (October to November), when daytime temperatures are milder and the desert blooms with wildflowers or showcases vibrant fall colors.  Summer visits are possible but expect extreme heat, often exceeding 120°F (49°C).

Getting There

Getting There, Death Valley Travel Guide

Located between Nevada and California, Death Valley is accessible by car from major nearby cities like Las Vegas (2 hours) and Los Angeles (4 hours).  The closest airports are in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, with rental cars readily available for the scenic drive.

Where to Stay

Accommodations in Death Valley range from luxurious resorts like The Oasis at Death Valley to rustic campgrounds such as Furnace Creek Campground.  Booking in advance is highly recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons.  Lastly, in this Death Valley travel guide, we recommend you stay in either nearby Ridgecrest or Las Vegas.  Consequently, passing through Death Valley on a day trip.

Must-See Attractions

Must-See Attractions in Death Valley, Badwater Basin

  • Badwater Basin: Stand at the lowest point in North America, 282 feet below sea level. The vast salt flats offer surreal landscapes, especially at sunrise or sunset.
  • Zabriskie Point: Known for its stunning views of golden colored badlands, this spot is perfect for photographers and sunrise watchers.
  • Dante’s View: Offering a breathtaking panorama of the valley from 5,475 feet above, this viewpoint is accessible by most vehicles.
  • Furnace Creek Visitor Center: Serves as the main hub for tourists in Death Valley.  In fact, it offers detailed exhibits, maps, and information essential for exploring the park safely and enjoyably.
  • Devil’s Golf Course: Expansive, jagged landscape of crystallized salt formations so rough that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links.”
  • Artist’s Drive: Scenic loop that winds through multi-hued volcanic and sedimentary hills, famously showcasing the vibrant palette of colors at Artist’s Palette.
  • Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes: Stunning expanse of rolling sand hills that provide a picturesque setting for sunrise and sunset photography.  In addition, leisurely walks or sandboarding adventures.
  • Racetrack Playa: Renowned for its mysterious moving rocks, which leave intriguing trails along the flat, dry lakebed.  Consequently, this natural phenomenon captivates visitors.
  • Ubehebe Crater: Striking half-mile wide volcanic crater, offers visitors breathtaking views.  Moreover, an opportunity to explore the stark, dramatic results of ancient volcanic activity in Death Valley.

Activities

Artists Palette, Death Valley Travel Guide

  • Hiking: Explore trails like Golden Canyon, offering easy to moderate hikes that lead to beautiful vistas.
  • Photography: Capture the stunning landscapes, particularly the play of colors at Artist’s Palette.
  • Star Gazing: With minimal light pollution, Death Valley offers some of the best night skies for astronomy enthusiasts.

Safety Tips

Devils Golf Course, Death Valley National Park

  • Stay Hydrated: Always carry more water than you think you’ll need, especially during hot months.
  • Plan Ahead: Check weather conditions and park alerts before heading out. Cell service is spotty, so download maps and guides.
  • Respect the Environment: Stick to marked paths to preserve the fragile ecosystem and take all trash with you.

Enjoy our Death Valley Travel Guide

Death Valley offers an unforgettable adventure with its dramatic landscapes, historic sites, and the sheer beauty of its vast wilderness.  Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a photographer, or someone looking to escape into nature.  Death Valley welcomes all with its awe-inspiring tranquility and thrilling extremes.