Death Valley


What? : The Largest National Park in 48-states, huge desert landscape, hottest place on earth during summer, cold at wintertime.

A lot of interesting places to visit and many things to do in this huge park, I will recommend to dedicate at least 2 days for your park visit, but if you have more days there is plenty more to do here.

I visit here several times and did not manage to do and visit all what this amazing park has to offer.

This park is also excellent place to have off-road 4x4 drivers, deep into the desert wilderness. I do have several blogs describing such trip to remote park attractions.

Last visit was at March 2022.

Few blogs links that provides additional information.
This will help you plan your road trip to this area and your Death Valley visit:

Where? : located in the eastern California, east of hwy 395 CA and west of hwy 95 NV, hwy 190 is going through the huge park east-west.

Google Map Link


Park Map with highlighted locations/attractions:

When? : The colder months of the years are the only real option to visit this park, summer is not a recommended time to be here, it is just to hot.

Winter can be cold but usually, in the lower elevations it is above freezing temperatures.

It is less preferable to be here at winter rainstorm, happened only few times a year, but the amount of rain can flood rivers and canyons and even can cause closing road for a short time, check the weather in advance.

On high elevation it can snow winter storm.
You may experience near freezing temperatures at night but even at winter month midday temperatures can be hot (80-90f).


Few notes about the visiting this park:

1. Always fill your gas when you can, there are few gas stations in the Death Valley but driving distance can be long (especially if you are sleeping outside the park).

The gas price in death valley is always higher than any other place, if you are short on gas fill your tank and do not get stak running out of gas because you tried to save few dollars.

2. Summer is too hot and not recommended at all, even for a car trip. At hot days try to finish your hike before 10am where it becoming hot.

3. Winter is cold, it snows in the surrounding mountains, in the valley itself temperatures can be cold but usually above freezing at night and day time is much warmer.

4. There aren’t many options for resupply inside the park (few convenient stores at gas stations) and only few restaurants. Check in advance where you are staying for the night what are the nearby dinner options, see if you can make a reservation for dinner.

5. If you are going to remote off-road locations know what you are doing!

For any off-road drive 4x4 high clearance vehicle is highly recommended, off-road after rain is not recommended.

Always have enough gas when driving to remote park locations.
Have a good spare tire and know how to replace flat tire.

6. Make sure your visit is not right after major rain event, then all off-road locations can be completely inaccessible.

7. There are few official campsites in the park, try to book in advance.

I think that for the one near Stovepipe Wells has also “first come first serve” option (pay at the self-pay station), check in the park website.

This is one of the only parks that allows you to camp in the park in places 1 miles away from roads.


Hotels & Sleeping Options:

1. Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel: Simple but good, excellent location near the sand dunes + nice restaurant for dinner

2. Furnace Creek: I did not stay here

3. Panamint Springs Resort: Very simple place but an option, I did not stay here

4. At the towns of Beatty or Pahrump Nevada: Towns outside the park with hotels and restaurants (can visit ghost town Rhyolite), I did not stay there.

5. There is active hotel at Death Valley Junction, Amargosa Opera House.

6. Lone Pine California: this is not so far option and you can stay there at the day before or day after the park visit.


My thoughts: This visit is in this park is different; you are visiting interesting desert places that are isolated from each other and you need to drive from attraction to attraction.

I always visited here in winter and even if it snowed it is not so much cold at daytime.

I still did not visit here with 4x4 vehicle, but this is definitely on my to-do list…

Update (March 2022): I did a 5 days offroad drive visit to the death valley and I will have dedicated blogs describing them.


The visit:

As one of the largest parks in the US this park visit is different from others.

Visiting this vast desert landscape looks like driving in any other desert landscape with attraction that are spared and not “connected” one to each other.

Although there is main valley to explore there are few major mountain range and other valleys.

Most of the visitors are traveling along the main roads (highway 190 that cross the park from east to west).

Main attraction sites and viewpoints can be crowded (Zabriskie Point, Sand dunes, Badwater, Golden Canyon, …).

I will recommend the following 2 days visit at the Death Valley Park:

The below recommendation can be done by anyone, including families with kids, and does not include long hikes.

As always, the best time to visit here is at late fall, winter and spring, summer month are too hot.



First Option:

Day 1:

·       Start your drive from Barstow and drive on I-15 east to the small town of Baker

·       From baker take highway 127 north

·       Pass Shoshone and turn left into Death Valley National Park on highway 178.

·       Start your visit at Badwater and from there visit the following point of interest:

·       Natural Bridge Trail (option if it is not too hot and you want to hike this trail)

·       Devil's Golf Course

·       Artist's Palette Drive

·       Natural Bridge Trail (option if not hot and you want to hike)

·       Devil's Golf Course

·       Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes – best to be here is during late afternoon and sunset


Day 2:

·       The following day start with a early morning/sunrise visit at Zabriskie Point

·       Hike at Golden Canyon Trailhead (this is the recommended hike for the day)

·       You can also visit Harmony Borax Works or attraction you did not manage to do in the first day.

·       From here you will probably drive out of the park, east to Las Vegas or west in the direction on the town Lone Pine on highway 395, there are many interesting things to see along highway 395 in the eastern part of the Sierra.


Second option:

Day 1:

·       Start your drive from Barstow or Mojave and visit the following places:

·       Drive to the direction of the old town Randsburg on highway 395

·       Fish Rocks (highway 178)

·       Trona Pinnacles

·       Ballarat (Ghost Town)

·       Darwin Falls Trail (hike)

·       Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes – best to be here is during late afternoon and sunset

·       Go to your hotel or campground in the park


Day 2:

·       Second day morning: drive to Badwater:

·       Badwater

·       Natural Bridge Trail (option if it is not too hot and you want to hike this trail)

·       Devil's Golf Course

·       Artist's Palette Drive

·       Golden Canyon Trailhead (this is the recommended hike for the day)

·       Zabriskie Point

·       From here you will probably drive out of the park, east to Las Vegas or west in the direction on the town Lone Pine on highway 395, there are many interesting things to see along highway 395 in the eastern part of the Sierra.


Additional places you can visit are:

·       Mosaic Canyon

·       Grotto Canyon

·       Harmony Borax Works

·       Dante’s View

·       Sidewinder Canyon

·       Rhyolite Ghost town

·       Ubehebe Crater

·       Wildrose Charcoal Kilns


Attraction to Visit, Short Description:


Father Crowley Overlook:

This is a nice stop on the way, a high viewing point (+restrooms 😊) on the large deep canyon.

This canyon is being used by nearby air-force base for canyon flying training. If you see someone with radio scanner and check with them if they can hear the pilots coming and you will see the airplanes flying down in the canyon, a nice and noise view.


Darwin Falls:

The drive to the trail head starts from hwy 190 just west of Panamint Springs Gas station.

Few miles off-road drive in the dry riverbed will bring you to the trail head on your right. After less than one-mile walk in the dry river you will reach a green section that has running water year-round. After less than additional ½ a mile you will reach the nice waterfall. This is not a long hike, there is no shade so bring with you enough water. Overall this visit can take up to 2 hr.


Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes:

This is one of the park most popular attraction points.

Highly recommended place to visit at sunset and sunrise, come enough time in advance so you can hike into the dunes. The large dunes are at list 30-40 minute walk into the dune.

Go deep into the dunes, as you progress you will see less people but do plan not to be alone over there. People are staying there late at night for night star pictures and come early morning at the darkness to get the first sunshine hitting the dunes.

Some bring with them sand-board, but I must admit it does not look like a lot of fun …


Harmony Borax Works:

A short stop on the way, to learn about Borax mining activity and the twenty-mule team wagon, very short walk out from the parking lot.

Artist's Palette:

A short one-way drive with the car, can have short hikes at the different stops, nice to see the colored rocks up close.


Devil's Golf Course:

A nice place to see the unique salt rocks.

To reach this location you need to drive 15 min on unpaved, good but bumpy road, to the end of it, get out of the car and see the sharp rock formations.


Natural Bridge Trail:

A nice hike in the canyon, In & Out, the arch is less than a mile into the canyon, you can keep going inside, very nice and with less people …


Badwater Basin:

The lowest point in the USA.

Walk into the dray Salt Lake, go as much as you want. It is highly recommended to get at list ½ mile into the dray bad where it is completely white flat with salt triangles formation on the surface. You can keep going inside, the more you walk the less people you will see, Bring enough water.



Additional Death Valley attractions:

Mosaic Canyon Trail: I did not visit there but I think it is nice hike, In & Out the same way, you can go as much you want up to reaching some dry waterfall.


Zabriskie Point:

Just off hwy 190 on the way out of the park east, a nice viewpoint on the yellow mountains, good for sunrise.


Golden Canyon:

This is a nice canyon hike, walk as much as you want and go back to your car, did not visit this place but looks very nice.

Desolation Canyon Trailhead: A hike into a nice canyon.


Dante’s View: Viewpoint, long drive with the car to mountain top with a view of the Death Valley


Wildrose Charcoal Kilns: Interesting place of well preserve rounded Charcoal Kilns, long drive and can go up to the mountaintop


Eureka Dunes: Sand Dunes located in the north isolated section of the park.

Ubehebe Crater:

Large volcanic crater that is located at the north section of the park.


The Racetrack:

Amazing place were large stones create a moving track in the dry muddy soil (created during winter icy and windy days), need 4x4 car.


Saline Valley Warm Springs:

Oasis Hot Springs in a very remote section of the park, you need need 4x4 car to drive there.


Titus Canyon Rd:

One-way, east to west, 4x4 driving trip, starting point is outside the Death Valley near Beatty NV



Ghost town ruins, recommended to visit if you are sleeping at Beatty NV

There are so many things to see and do in the Death Valley National Park so you need to plan your trip in advance.

I'm listing here again my blogs that cover many of the park attractions and also nearby locations and few road trip options:
Few blogs links that provides additional information.





Some more Death Valley Pictures: