Bring Water!, Death Valley National Park
I think this is a no brainer, but sometimes our memory cells are not functioning properly. Make sure before you set out on any adventure whether by car or foot take plenty of water with you and sunscreen. If you have little ones or big ones to keep track off, make sure you take plenty for everyone! There are some stores along Highway 190, but it is always good thing to have your own just incase:-)
I can't emphasise enough on how important is to bring water along. Always carry water, even in the winter. We went to Death Valley three times, in January, June and October. We always had water along and we needed it. In October we went on a 2 miles hike without water and we came back before we got to the end because we were very thirsty. Always carry water with you as you hike. Water sources within the valley are not reliable and often not safe to drink. Plan on carrying a minimum of 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per person per day. And of course, be sure to drink the water you bring ;-)
Death Valley gets extremely hot (115 degrees) and dry in the summer. There are also large distances between gas stations and stores. As a result, it is critical that you have a cooler in your car with extra water and food in case you get stranded.
Death Valley National Park is basically a desert, and the whole region of southern Nevada and eastern California is a desert as well. It is good idea to keep a whole case of water in the back of your car. You'll need it to stay hydrated. And the local water in rest areas and visitor centers tastes kind of weird too.
You already know that Death Valley in the summer is hotter than that place from which many of its attractions derive their names. For those that opt to visit here during the summer the most important thing to remember is that drinking water is essential. One gallon per person per day. Drink periodically, even if you are not thirsty. The body loses water rapidly in a hot dry climate and dehydration begins before feelings of thirst.
Another suggestion is to plan most of your strenuous outdoor excursions for early morning and late in the day, when the sun is less strong and temperatures are at their lowest. Death Valley's canyons offer great protection from the midday scorching rays and are a good hiking option for this time of day.
Of course, the best suggestion for beating the heat would be to visit during the months of October through April, when temperatures are at their coolest. But, if that's not an option, keep drinking water and applying sunscreen. After all, its hot out there.
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 going.
This goes without saying, but make sure you bring lots of water. Not only will you need it to drink, but you may need it for your car as well. Don't let the stunning scenery distract you from taking care of yourself and your vehicle.
Note that climatic conditions in the park can be extreme so always check the Death Valley Weather forecast prior to entering and plan your activities accordingly.
There are various trails within the park. Always bring sufficient water when hiking in Death Valley; the heat can kill.
You can get gas in the park but it costs up to a dollar more per gallon than outside the park. It is recommended to fuel up right outside the park before coming in. It can be fatal if you are stuck in the wilderness with no gas...
Death Valley consistently has the hottest temperatures in the United States... and on Earth according to this sign at the Furnace Creek (that oughta clue us in) Visitors Center. It was 80 degrees while I was visiting. A nice, cool spring day.
The rains destroyed the road and the flagger had a gallon jug he was taking a pull from every few minute while we waited to pass the section of destroyed road.