Fun things to do in Death Valley National Park

  • Badwater
    by blueskyjohn
  • Mesquite Flat Dunes
    Mesquite Flat Dunes
    by vichatherly
  • Zabriskie Point
    Zabriskie Point
    by vichatherly

Most Viewed Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

  • Madasabull's Profile Photo

    Death Valley

    by Madasabull Written Dec 17, 2013

    Having traveled so far, you have to make a trip to get right to the lowest point of Death Valley, the lowest and hottest dry land in America.

    It isn't really anything amazing to see, as there really isn't much to see, unless your a biologist or geologist, but the feeling that your right in the spot you have heard about.

    The area in and around Death Valley, is quite stunning, and as the sun moves across the sky, it appears that everywhere you look, the surroundings change colour, and it's quite beautiful.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • dutch_anna's Profile Photo

    In his comment a VT member...

    by dutch_anna Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In his comment a VT member asked to add some activities here.
    Now that I definitely had not in mind traveling through this hot desert. But OK, for the young and intrepid tourists here is a website about e.g. hiking in Death Valley.
    And biking!

    http://www.americanparks.net/death_valley_hiking.htm
    http://www.americanparks.net/death_valley_activities.htm

    And on another website I see, that there is so much to do in Death Valley!

    This is what they suggest: Auto Touring, Backpacking, Biking, Bird Watching, Camping, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Interpretive Programs, Nature Walks, Stargazing, Swimming, Wilderness Area, Wildlife Viewing.


    hot hot hot.
    except the stargazing perhaps :)

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Desert

    Was this review helpful?

  • Basaic's Profile Photo

    Meet the People

    by Basaic Updated Jun 18, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of my favorite things to do is meet the locals and/or my fellow travelers. I enjoyed talking to these two girls from Belgium, and Ranger Abby. Ranger Debbie, dressed for the period for the "living history museum" Scotty's Castle gave an informative tour and was a lot of fun.

    Belgian Girls Ranger Abby Ranger Debbie

    Was this review helpful?

  • Basaic's Profile Photo

    49er Pass

    by Basaic Written Feb 16, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In 1849, several wagon trains full of eager prospectors heading to the gold mines of California cut a path through death valley seeking a shortcut. Very few wagons make it back out. Reportedly, after the death of a member of one wagon train, another member turned to look back at the valley after they made it through and said “Goodbye Death Valley”. The name stuck. This is where the 49ers passed through the valley.

    49er Pass 49er Pass Historical Plaque
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Desert
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • oldtrailmaster's Profile Photo

    Really get lost in a truly WILD place!

    by oldtrailmaster Written Jun 25, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park is huge ... REALLY huge! Approximately 5,219 square miles, or 3.4 million acres, define this western swath of primal countryside, located in southwest America's Mojave Desert. Mining history from the 1800s and early 1900s makes it a location of extreme interest for the history buff. So, what to do here?

    DVNP is pretty much a self-directed destination rather one where you will be entertained. This is a rugged primordial locale, with a few paved roads, hundreds of dirt roads, many scattered ghost towns, and incredible geologic formations. You come here to explore all these things. Visitors here are first and foremost adventurous explorers. Don't come here to be pampered.

    You can get a pretty good idea of what DVNP is all about by visiting the standard tourist attractions that are located in a few key areas (Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, Scotty's Castle), but getting off the beaten track in a high clearance 4x4 vehicle is the real key to learning what makes this place tick. There are many awesome hikes, both marked and cross country. A lifetime can be spent learning all there is to know here. For substantially more background info, visit www.WildDeathValley.com

    Bev Hunter's Cabin on Hunter Mountain Eye of the Needle in Echo Canyon Dante's View looking at southern Death Valley Dedeckera Canyon by Eureka Sand Dunes Geologist Cabin in Butte Valley
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    The 49ers

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 20, 2006

    I heard the 49ers were leaving San Francisco, but I didn't know they were coming clear out here...oh, wrong 49ers.

    This monument stands where Hwy 190 from the south hits sea level. The plaque reads:

    "DEATH VALLEY 49ERS GATEWAY

    Through this natural gateway the Death Valley Forty-Niners, more than one hundred emigrants from the Middle West, seeking a shortcut to gold fields of central California, entered Death Valley December, 1849. All suffered from thirst and starvation. Two contingents passed southward here, the others proceeded northward seeking to escape from the region.

    STATE REGISTERED LANDMARK NO. 442
    Dedicated December 3, 1849"

    49ers monument
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Scenic Drive?

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 20, 2006

    Yes, the drive through Death Valley is a scenic drive through the dry lake bed, sand dunes, abandoned mines, tiny towns, and other scenery. The drive through the park is about 100 miles, so plan for several hours, and the gas is very expensive here at $3.43 a gallon when I drove through (nearby Las Vegas had gas as low as $2.80 the day before).

    The fee to enter the park is $20 per vehicle, but there is no booth at the entrance, so you could probably pass through safely without paying. I have an annual National Parks Pass, so I was covered, but no one ever asked to see it.

    The valley is bigger than you might realize $3.43 a gallon for cheap gas? Koreans testing their Kias Hwy 190 entering the park Its a long way down to the valley floor

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Scorching temperatures!

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Sep 25, 2006

    The thermometer read 118. The man in the red shirt reached for it hoping there was even a drop of water inside. It was his last effort before collapsing of dehydration and heat stress. Then he walked in the store and bought a bottle of water and a bag of ice.

    Welcome to California, I guess

    Was this review helpful?

  • RAINBOWWINGS's Profile Photo

    Spot the Animal

    by RAINBOWWINGS Written Jul 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Whether hiking or driving see how many animals you can spot. There are 36 species of reptile alone. The big-horn sheep is the largest animal to inhabitat Death Valley but tend to stay high up on the rock faces. Then there are deer, coyote, fox, mountain lion, rabbits and the tiny kangaroo rat that lives without water! There are in fact 51 species of native mammals and 346 types of birds.

    Spot the animal

    Was this review helpful?

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    Wildflowers

    by mikelisaanna Written May 13, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Despite its harsh, dry climate, Death Valley does get some wildflowers every spring. Many are along the roadsides, so they are easy to see. Yellow and purple seemed to be the most common flower colors.

    Purple wildflowers in Death Valley
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Desert

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Vista Views

    by Yaqui Written Aug 21, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is on the way up and through the pass. I believe it is Towne Pass 4,956 ft Elevation. We stopped where they have turnouts that provide emergency water access for your radiator during the hot months. Of course I had to laugh and with concern telling my husband he is the perfectly exampe of what NOT to do taking pictures. He crossed the road and got this shot on the other side of a guard rail!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Amazing Landscapes

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 21, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I believe these are Panamint Dunes and has access to them via Highway 190. Death Valley has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US. It is amazing how vast it still is. As you travel along the road, you find areas that are up and down in elevation quite dramatically as you venture your way to and in the park. Stop and take in what nature has given us. Simply stunning!

    From some distance, still stunning!
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Joshua trees ?

    by JLBG Written Apr 25, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Actually, yes, it is.

    Joshua trees do not grow only in Joshua National Park (which is not very far from here) and from time to time, a "forest" of Joshua trees spreads on the side of the road. The landscape is more and more desert but this is not the desert yet !

    Joshua trees
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Desert
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • KaiM's Profile Photo

    A bit of history

    by KaiM Updated Sep 13, 2004

    The first white men entered the valley in 1849. Therefor they were called the "Forty-Niners". At that time the area was inhabited by the Panamint Indians. The "Forty-Niners" were settlers looking for a short cut to the gold fields of California. Those folks were followed by many other miners and prospectors looking for silver and other metals. Lots of small settlement were founded, but non survived for a long time because of the desert climate.

    Entering the valley
    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Combinedefx's Profile Photo

    Go in the Spring!

    by Combinedefx Updated Jun 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were lucky to have seen nearly all varieties that will and do bloom at this time of year which was nicely set up for a good season of wildflowers.
    The temp. was great, it probably topped out in the high 80's late in the afternoon.
    *Open the photo for full frame! They are being cut off in the thumbnails now!*

    The famous desert five spot
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Death Valley National Park Hotels

Latest Death Valley National Park Hotel Reviews

Stovepipe Wells Village
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 16 Reviews
Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 17 Reviews
Furnace Creek Campground
1 Review
Sunset Campground
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews

Instant Answers: Death Valley National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

21 travelers online now

Comments

Death Valley National Park Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Death Valley National Park locals.
Map of Death Valley National Park