Death Valley National Park Travel Guide

  • Death Valley National Park
    by Yaqui
  • Zabriskie Point
    Zabriskie Point
    by vichatherly
  • Zabriskie Point
    Zabriskie Point
    by vichatherly

Death Valley National Park Highlights

  • Pro
    awayhome profile photo

    awayhome says…

     Perhaps one of the most beautiful desert regions in the world. 

  • Con
    Basaic profile photo

    Basaic says…

     Very Hot! 

  • In a nutshell
    MyHollyDay profile photo

    MyHollyDay says…

     A gem in disguise that has a lot more to offer than it appears at first glance. 

Death Valley National Park Things to Do

  • Scottys Castle

    In the 1920s Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson was sold the ultimate snake oil – the idea that there was gold in California’s Death Valley. In the dry, scorching conditions the ailing Johnson found something more precious: improved health. So, he built a castle in the desert valley with the second-highest temperature on record. Today, the...

    more
  • Badwater

    Dead valley’s most significant claim to fame is not the lack of benevolence but its geography. This place happens to be the lowest point in the Americas or the whole of the Western hemisphere (rather diluted term but more imposing one). The point where this claim materialises is the so-called Bad Water basin. It is 86 meters below sea level...

    more
  • Dante's View

    This is a peak about 5,500 ft high with a broad scenic view over and across Death Valley and the countryside around. It looks right out over Badwater (see tip on that), the lowest point in North America, which is almost directly at the base of the peak.

    more

Death Valley National Park Hotels

Death Valley National Park Restaurants

  • Furnace Creek restaurant

    The restaurant at the Furnace Creek Inn is certainly the best restaurant in Death Valley, not that there are many choices. In fact, almost all of the very few restaurants in Death Valley are at the Furnace Creek Inn and its less expensive cousin, Furnace Creek Ranch, which has a 49er Cafe and a Steakhouse. The Inn is much more upscale, and more...

    more
  • Eating at Death Valley National Park

    Dining is available at Scotty’s Castle, Stovepipe Wells Village, the Furnace Creek Ranch and the Furnace Creek Inn. You can also find dining in Panamint Springs and towns near the park. You can buy limited food items (similar to a convenience store) at the Stovepipe Wells Village General Store. I did not eat at any of these just wanted to let you...

    more
  • Food is food

    This was the only restaurant open at the time we stayed in the Furnace Creek Ranch. No problem, it was ok. Busy and noisy, but the service was good. We had the "Old Timer Hamburger" with a Ceasar Salad on the side and a local Mohave beer. When you check out the second photo you'll probably think the dish doesn't really looks appetizing. And right...

    more

Death Valley National Park Nightlife

  • Stargazing

    Face it, there's not alot of nightlife in Death Valley, but that's not why you went out there, right?. Campfires are only permitted in established campgrounds and are not allowed in the backcountry. So what to do? If you're not already in a remote area camping, hop in your car, check the map they hand out when you enter the park and find a dirt...

    more
  • Camp Fires

    There aren't many places that can compare to Death Valley for gazing at a blanket of stars under the wide open skies of this amazing desert. If you're camping in the desert it can get chilly at night so be sure to light up a campfire and watch the flames turn to glowing embers....this is the best time to look skyward into the brilliant night sky.

    more
  • Snakes!

    Apparently, the snakes like to warm up on the warm blacktop on cool evenings...generally during the cooler months. I was there in March, and the rangers were telling visitors to watch for snakes in the dark.

    more

Death Valley National Park Transportation

  • By Car / 4-Wheel Drive

    I go to Death Valley at least once a year, sometimes multiple times. We stay in Beatty, NV and drive into the valley each day. Be sure to pay your park fee at one of the park ranger or info booth locations. SAFETY: If you want some honest advice about the road trip, here it is. PLAN THIS TRIP BEFORE YOU DRIVE INTO THE HEAT! Plan all of you...

    more
  • Information / Sources

    Just a warning to the wise. Gas was high even around May of 2005 and we all know it is even higher now 2010. Although, gas does fluctuate, it will be always higher here. So filling up before you venture into the park in probably wise. Furnace Creek Gas Station, 8AM-6PM (24 hours a day by credit card) on SR 190 Stovepipe Wells Gas Station, 8AM-6PM...

    more
  • Driving in Death Valley

    I go to Death Valley at least once a year, sometimes multiple times. We stay in Beatty, NV and drive into the valley each day. Be sure to pay your park fee at one of the park ranger or info booth locations. SAFETY: If you want some honest advice about the road trip, here it is. PLAN THIS TRIP BEFORE YOU DRIVE INTO THE HEAT! Plan all of you...

    more

Death Valley National Park Shopping

  • Shopping in Death Valley

    Groceries, clothes, jewels and Native Art... Take care when buying food. We bought pre-packed bread cause there was no other choice. There was no expiring date on it and we risked it...but it was uneatable :-) A lot, but why not?

    more
  • Luxuries in the Desert

    This general store has gas, drinks, and food items that campers often forget or run out off such as bread and sandwiches, to t-shirts, books, maps, toiletries, caps, walking sticks, water and yeah, ice cream! The Nuggett Gift Shop at Stovepipe Wells Village is located next to the registration desk. Native American jewelry, weavings, baskets and...

    more
  • Visitor Center Shops and General Stores

    The Visitor Center Museums each contain shops. The Furnace Creek Ranch and the Stovepipe Wells Village also have small general stores. These are good places to purchase such things as Death Valley themed shirts, hats, postcards, books, maps, jewelry, gifts, and souvenirs. The general stores also have a few food supplies, but if you are camping come...

    more

Death Valley National Park Local Customs

  • Salt Creek

    At Salt Creek, there is an interpretive trail along a boardwalk built by the park service, in somewhat vain hopes that they will keep the public from trampling around a particularly sensitive area of the desert

    more
  • Desert Views

    Well, as the Ranger information states "Don't feed the animals". I am not sure of what qualifies as a local custom in Death Valley but I am sure that this place deserves a visit and your respect.

    more
  • Local Radio

    Not surprisingly, you will have trouble with reception in Death Valley. I had no cell service, but I did find one radio station.88.9FM is a public radio station based out of Las Vegas. This was the one and only station I could find in the Valley, and it was only available in certain areas. Still, NPR! For a news junkie, like me, this was a true...

    more

Death Valley National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Car Care

    ... when you're driving through Death Valley there isn't many places to stop off. So when you are driving through make sure that you have enoguh petrol, and your car is up to check. There are a few signs on the way round telling you to turn your air con off to help save your car from working harder than normal and cutting out, blowing your...

    more
  • Bring Water!

    I have been to Death Valley several times and I loved it. I was there in mid-May, and it was 100 degrees at Stovepipe Wells. Other places weren't quite that bad. TAKE LOTS OF WATER WITH YOU! Take twice as much as you think you need, and toss in some extra for your car, just in case. Pick up a map from the Ranger, and let them know where you are...

    more
  • Weather Wise

    US National Park Service offers daily waether reports. As this part of the country can be easily affected by tricky weather conditions (heat or floods), it's highly receommended to check the below website before going. It includes weather forecast, temperatures, road conditions. (by this time now - november 2004 - some roads are closed, as a flood...

    more

Death Valley National Park Tourist Traps

  • Scotty's castle is ok but consider...

    Scotty's castle is interesting only because its a spacious house in the middle of the desert. However if you need to sacrifice a few places to make room for others this is it. Do stop and take a few pictures but the only reason I would recommend taking the tour is if you're traveling with children, they may find it interesting but for a more adult...

    more
  • Scotty's Castle

    Given the cost of gas, I think Scotty's Castle is a waste of time. This summer retreat of a wealthy Chicago Businessman is nothing more than an incomplete architectural structure built because of the lure of Scotty, a local who conned people into investing in land he supposedly owned that had gold. Based on this lie, he convinced this Chicago...

    more
  • WATER

    They have you trapped here, yes? Yes, it is hot here. You need to take water on your exploration outings. Boy do they have you now! Bottled water is overpriced. It is highway robbery as we might say in the U.S., and the spigot water has a poor taste. Bring lots of water with you. Fill up large jugs at home or buy bottled water before you come to...

    more

Death Valley National Park What to Pack

  • Heat / Sun Protection

    Should you find yourself visiting Death Valley in the midst of a 120 pluis degree heat wave, be prepared with lightweight clothing, sunscreen, a hat and lots of water. Those opting for the more moderate temperatures in October through May should keep in mind that nights can get pretty chilly. In late November, evening temperatures dropped into the...

    more
  • Tripod / Extra Film

    If you are doing a day hike just bring plenty of water!! That is the most important thing to bring. Next you'll want to pack some sun screen lotion, and finally you need to bring enough film for your camera (unless you use digital). You'll find there are more potential photo oppurtunities than film you can carry.

    more
  • Proper Shoes

    Anything goes so bring whatever suits your style and the type of your trip. Shorts and good comfortable shoes for walking around will be a good idea. Bring a jacekt or something warm for night. Even if it's 110 in the day it will get cold at night. Bring whatever you need because you're a long way from just about everything and this is not a good...

    more

Death Valley National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Other Points of Interest

    The ghost town is located in the Bullfrog Hills, on the border of Death Valley National Park, and close to Beatty. A few ghosts (art from Belgian artists) along the road welcome the visitors. There is not much left, beside a a few ruins. Furthermore there is also an obligate traditional and renovated "Bottle House". The station building is still...

    more
  • Walking / Hiking

    On the western side of the Panamint Range lies a series of interesting canyons. Even when the rest of Death Valley has reverted to its usual dry hues, these canyons provide refreshing bursts of water and vegetation. One of these, Surprise Canyon, is a very enjoyable dayhike. It winds up for a few miles heading stadily uphill, but never overly...

    more
  • Aguereberry

    You can still visit the house of famous prospector Pete Aguereberry. The buildings are in a sorry state, and unfortunately vandals have done their job, but nevertheless this seems a nice and quiet place to live!

    more

Death Valley National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Walking / Hiking

    This is a wonderful short hike through a grotto to an unexpected waterfall. Bring plenty of water. I've done this hike in the summer. When we started from the car the temperature was 100 degrees! Once in the grotto the temperature dropped to 91. Interesting the sudden change but still hot.

    more
  • Desert Views

    In the foreground is the Furnace Creek Formation. The base of the Furnace creek Formation can be seen in the left side of the photo between the rounded, light-colored playa beds of the Furnace Creek Formation meets the rougher, darker-colored rock in the distance.

    more
  • Darwin Falls - a break from the heat

    This is a wonderful short hike through a grotto to an unexpected waterfall. Bring plenty of water. I've done this hike in the summer. When we started from the car the temperature was 100 degrees! Once in the grotto the temperature dropped to 91. Interesting the sudden change but still hot.

    more

Death Valley National Park Favorites

  • Other Points of Interest

    Corkscrew Peak is the towering sentinel of the Grapevine Mountains of northern Death Valley National Park. Corkscrew Peak derives its name from the twisting, corkscrew-like exposures of the Lower Cambrian Corkscrew Quartzite. It juts out from behind the Grapevine Mountains. There is a sign that points to it while traveling along 374 East toward...

    more
  • Flora / Fauna

    This lizard is called a "chuckwalla". He was big! At least 20 inches! And he looked mean. Later on I found out he's a harmless herbivore. We saw him sun bathing on this stone during a short hike around Scotty's Castle.

    more
  • Desert Views

    The last two times we have come this way we always travel along Highway 178 that passes through Inyokern, Ridgecrest, China Lake, Argus, and Trona. Just as you pass over the hills you will see such beautiful vista's. Panamint Mountain Range is a mecca of camping, hiking, and ATVing. It's park of Death Valley Nation Park and it encompasses some...

    more

Instant Answers: Death Valley National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

89 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Death Valley National Park
Sand Dunes
Things to Do
Artist's Drive
Things to Do
Harmony Borax Mines
Things to Do
Keane Wonder Mill
Things to Do
Devil's Golf Course
Things to Do
Furnace Creek
Things to Do
Information / Sources
Favorites
Historical Sites
Favorites
Walk / Hike / Play
Favorites
Flora / Fauna
Off The Beaten Path
Bad Water
Off The Beaten Path
Bad Water
Favorites
Devil's Golf Course
Favorites
Sand Dune
Favorites
Golden Canyon
Things to Do
Natural Bridge
Things to Do
Dante's View
Things to Do
Ubehebe Crater
Things to Do
Old Harmony Borax Works Historical Marker #773
Things to Do
Death Valley
Things to Do
Borax Mine
Things to Do
Badwater Basin
Things to Do
Zabriskie Point
Things to Do
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Things to Do
Visit Scotty's Castle
Things to Do
Ghost town Rhyolite
Off The Beaten Path
Wildlife
Favorites
Death Valley antiques
Favorites
Scotty's grave
Things to Do
Scotty's Castle
Things to Do
Golden Canyon: some like it hotter
Things to Do
Marvelous Colorful Drive thru Painted Hills & Mtns
Things to Do
Artist's dream colours
Things to Do
Welcome point
Things to Do
So weird, might as well be on the Moon
Things to Do
Not Namibia but still impresive
Things to Do
Lowest point - worst water
Things to Do
Please check weather forecast before going !!
Warnings and Dangers
Gravel and dirt roads
Transportation
Winter driving
Transportation
Map of Death Valley National Park

View all Death Valley National Park hotels