Death Valley is one of the best national parks in the United States, despite its intimidating name. The Southwest is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in all of North America, including sand dunes, salt flats, mountains, craters, and the lowest lake on the continent.
This national park preserves a valley that is 3,000 square miles in size and is famous as the hottest, driest, and lowest point in all of North America. There are scenic overlooks along the roads, and hiking trails provide easy access to the landscape.
The park is a popular day trip destination for residents of Las Vegas. Furnace Creek, the park’s primary service hub, is located roughly two hours drive from Las Vegas. The Ranch at Death Valley, in addition to the park’s visitor center, campgrounds, restaurants, shop, and gas station, are all located here.
What is the Best Month to Visit Death Valley?
SPRING. This is when most tourists flock to Death Valley. The possibility of seeing wildflowers in the spring is almost as appealing as the warmer temperatures.
If the desert received sufficient precipitation during the winter before, late March or early April can be a spectacular time to view the region’s flora.
Why Is It So Costly to Visit Death Valley?
It is difficult to get fuel into Death Valley. Hazards include sharp turns, long stretches of road in barren environments, narrow mountain passes, and extreme heat.
What is the Famous Food In Death Valley?
Located at Stovepipe Wells in the middle of the park, the Badwater Saloon is a throwback to the Wild West with its low lighting, mirrored bar, and rowdy clientele.
Goat cheese-stuffed dates pulled pork quesadillas with lime crema, and chili-topped burgers are just some of the dishes on the menu, and patrons can wash them down with prickly pear margaritas.
Which is Better Joshua Tree or Death Valley?
If you’re looking for a place with better weather than Death Valley, Joshua Tree is your best bet. Early spring (March-April) is the best time to see the desert wildflower bloom.
Even though Joshua Tree regularly experiences summertime highs of 100 degrees, the average high temperature in Death Valley is 116 degrees.
Best Places to Visit in Death Valley
Use this guide to Death Valley’s sights and destinations to zero in on your top picks.
1. Desert Sands Close to Stovepipe Wells
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, located east of Stovepipe Wells, are a breathtaking sight and a popular photographic subject in Death Valley. The best times to enjoy the views are early in the morning and late in the afternoon when the sun casts long, curved shadows across the sculpted dunes. The distant mountains make for a picturesque setting. It’s like magic for photographers.
- Jaw-Dropping Beauty: 10 Best Places to Visit in Shenandoah National Park, USA!
- The Top 10 Best Magical Places to Visit in Acadia National Park, USA!
- Escape to Nature’s Wonderland: 10 Best Places to Visit in Redwood National Park, USA!
You can go for a hike in the sand dunes, scale the highest peaks, or simply relax in a lawn chair and take in the breathtaking desert panorama. While the sand dunes are usually crowded with people during the spring, you can expect to have the place to yourself during the slower months of January and February. The dunes will be untracked if you visit them after a period of strong winds.
2. Badwater Basin
Badwater Basin, located at the park’s southern end, is 277 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on land in the Western Hemisphere. This is, of course, a very warm region, even in the winter.
Badwater Lake is a small, shallow lake in the middle of a mountainous, salt-edged desert, but there is no guarantee that you will always find water there. Badwater can be very full or very dry, depending on the weather and the season. The area is fascinating either way, and there are plenty of activities to partake in.
3. The Race Track
The Racetrack, one of Death Valley’s most enigmatic landmarks, can be reached via a rough road accessible only to vehicles with four-wheel drive. Stones of varying sizes can be seen here, along with long tracks leading behind them, as though they had been pushed through the dried mud.
For a long time, people wondered what could have possibly moved the stones. After storms, many people blamed the wind for moving the stones. The use of time-lapse photography, however, has led to the hypothesis that floating ice pushes the rocks, causing them to move. No matter how you get there, it’s a sight to behold.
4. Zabriskie Point
The view from Zabriskie Point is of an otherworldly landscape, with ridges of yellow, orange, and brown earth that rise and fall in an undulating pattern. From the vantage point, you can see all the way across this unusual formation, as well as the valley behind it and the Panamint Mountains in the distance. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to see the colors.
Zabriskie Point is a lookout point that is accessible by car. From Zabriskie Point, hikers can access a 7.8-mile trail, but those who only want to take in the views need only wander out a short distance before retracing their steps.
5. Dantes’ Perspective
Dante’s View is widely regarded as the best vantage point in all of Death Valley. From up here, you can see for miles across the valley floor and out to the mountains on the other side of the valley.
This vantage point is a bit out of the way, but well worth the trip. Follow Highway 190 east from Zabriskie Point until you reach the turnoff for Dante’s View. To reach the peak, which is 5,478 feet above sea level, you must travel 16 miles along a winding paved road from the highway. No vehicles longer than 25 feet in length are permitted on this route.
6. The Inspiration and Tools of an Artist Palette
Placed along Artist’s Drive, a short scenic route that brings you close to a piece of the Black Mountains is an area known as Artist’s Palette. Artist’s Palette is a section of hillside whose metallic minerals produce a rainbow of hues, from orange and pink to brown and even green and turquoise.
- Discover the Hidden Gems of the 7 Best Places to Visit in Guanacaste, Costa Rica!
- Discover the Hidden Gems: 10 Best Places to Visit in Winter California!
Vehicles up to 25 feet in length can drive around the nine-mile loop of Artist’s Drive in comfort. Located just off Badwater Road, this is a popular detour for those traveling between Furnace Creek and Badwater. Take this trip in the late afternoon when the sun is low and the colors are at their peak.
7. The Golf Course of the Devil and the Creative Process
The Devil’s Golf Course is an expansive field of jagged salt boulders spread out on a flat surface. It may not look like there’s much to see, but the vastness, quiet, and strange sight make for an unforgettable adventure.
This convenient stop can be found just south of Furnace Creek, off the main road leading towards Badwater (Badwater Road). The field is accessible via a direct path from the parking lot.
Notes: Please be aware that severe flooding in Death Valley in August and September severely damaged roads, trails, and some attractions. Efforts are currently being made, and it is anticipated that normal operations will resume by mid-2023.
Death Valley National Park is one of California’s most desolate and breathtaking destinations. All of these things combine to make it a national park unlike any other in the world.
Now, it can be difficult to narrow down a firm list of the top spots to see, just as it is in most national parks. This is why we’re providing this guide to Death Valley National Park’s top attractions.