Death Valley National Park is not only a spectacular piece of barren land to explore, but it has various campsites as well; ideal for camping. No doubt, Death Valley is the hottest and driest place on earth and the temperature gets unbearable but, spring and the start of winter are the best suitable seasons for camping there.
Although the place itself sounds dangerous and barren, only tourists know that there are some best camping spots in Death Valley that you obviously wouldn’t want to miss out on. For some places in Death Valley, you can have the option of Car camping. But for so many other sports, you have free camping in Death Valley National Park. Also, there are certain places where you’d have to pay if you plan to camp there.
If you’re somebody thinking, “Is it safe to camp in Death Valley?”. Well, here’s the answer. Just like any other place or campsite on this earth, there are places in Death Valley you should avoid camping in. Yet, there are also places which are best for camping. So, the safety depends on how carefully you decide your camping spot.
Overall, except for the areas prohibited for camping, most of the other camping sites are safe to camp in Death Valley.
Where to Camp for Free in Death Valley?
Camping in Death Valley turns out to be a truly magical experience. And if it’s free, that would be even great. There are so many spots where you can camp for free in Death Valley. You may also just set up your camp near your vehicle to take advantage of free camping!
Death Valley offers free camping at higher elevations if you take dirt roads. There are many canyons in the high mountain ranges where you can camp near old mines, Juniper-Pinyon forests, and clear springs. Several of these roads require high clearance 4×4 in order to reach higher elevations to escape the heat.
Free Camping in Death Valley National Park, California
When it comes to free camping, Death Valley, California is an oyster full of pearls. You have plenty of options for camping that make your trip worth it. Furthermore, as long as you are away from the main road (paved road) and >2 miles from it, you are allowed to camp freely anywhere in the Death Valley, literally ANYWHERE!
Death Valley gets unbearably hot in the summer months. Although it reams hot throughout the year, the spring and winter seasons could be extremely beautiful. So, if you’re planning a camping trip to Death Valley, make sure you visit during the spring or start of the winter months. Because summers in Death Valley are no less than hellfire.
In order to find the best campsites in Death Valley, we recommend you to follow up on the Google map throughout your entire journey. That would be really helpful in coming across the best roads and best campgrounds to camp in.
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Wildrose Campground – Wildrose Campground is totally free of cost campground. Even if you’re planning more than one-day camping in Death Valley, on a safe spot, Wildrose campground can be definitely considered.
This campground is located high in the mountains, elevated at 4100 feet, 1250 meters. It might get a little far away and maybe a little out of way as well because it’s on the western side, but because it’s free, people love camping here.
Camping at Wildrose Canyon has the feeling of being both mythical and magical. So, you would surely enjoy your camping experience to the fullest at Wildrose campground.
Can you camp anywhere in Death Valley?
As long as you obey the list of prohibited areas, you are allowed to camp anywhere in the entire Death Valley. But still, it is important to find a safe spot for convenient camping. Also, if you would rather set up camp in an actual campground, tent camping is free at Emigrant, Thorndike, and Mahogany Flat.
Death Valley Camping Tips
While you’re planning a camping trip to Death Valley, there are certain things you must note as tips for camping there.
- Keep the weather conditions in mind
- Find a safe spot for camping
- Camp in accordance with vehicle capabilities
- Get Permits for backcountry campsites
- Carry along food and water
- Sign Off Your Day Under a Shiny Sky
- Follow Google Map for Locations
Tip 1: Keep the Weather Conditions in Mind
Everyone knows that heat and dryness in Death Valley are no joke. Summers are extremely hot and obviously unbearable for humans and there could be overheated stormy winds as well. You won’t find greenery or water anywhere in the surrounding places in Death Valley.
You cannot enjoy camping in extremely hot weather or even on extremely cold nights either. The winter nights in Death Valley also get extremely cold. The cold winds and temperature of minus degrees are definitely not suitable for camping.
That is why it is very important to keep the weather conditions of Death Valley in mind while you’re planning a camping trip there. It is recommended to plan your trip during the spring or the start of the winter season in Death Valley. The weather during that time is pleasingly warm and you can enjoy your camping!
Tip 2: Look for a safe spot for camping
Although there are countless camping spots in Death Valley, it is very important to look for a safer spot. Two miles away from the paved roads, you can camp anywhere in Death Valley. But, because the Death Valley region is enormously vast and you won’t find many people or facilities there, so you’ll have to get to a suitable camping area.
Sleeping in an open or some bushy area won’t be a good idea because you might have to deal with the rodents and lizards. So, it’s better to find a campground at a little or higher elevation and the one that would be safe for camping.
Tip 3: Camp in Accordance with Vehicle Capabilities
There are higher and highest points for camping in Death Valley, but it is important for you to decide on a campground according to your vehicle capability. Because if your vehicle couldn’t make it to the destination and got stuck somewhere, that could be a huge problem. You won’t find any help nearby.
Several dirt roads in the park can be traveled by standard passenger vehicles. However, to obtain access to backcountry campsites and more remote regions, a vehicle with a 4-wheel drive and high clearance is required. So, it is extremely important to travel according to your vehicle’s capabilities.
Tip 4: Get Permits for Backcountry Campsites
There are no reservations required for backcountry campsites, and the permits are free. Permits are not an essential thing but are highly recommended for these areas.
Having permits allows the park to track the number of visitors to an area and provides some security to visitors so that the park rangers are aware of the number of people in a particular area at a given point in time.
Although a search and rescue may begin based on your permit information in the event of an emergency, if you fail to return by the date listed on your permit, the search and rescue will not begin.
Tip 5: Carry Along with Food and Water
When you’re planning free camping in Death Valley, always carry enough food and water with you. That’s because you won’t find many restaurants or water sources around. And even if there are a few, they won’t be anywhere near you.
Because of the dry and hot weather of Death Valley, you’ll get thirsty every few minutes. So, you must carry along water everywhere you go. In case of food also, it is a must to have food arrangement with you as well.
Tip 6: Sigh Off Your Day Under the Shiny Sky
There are so many spots in the Death Valley that let you enjoy a shiny, bright sky full of stars. You might want to spend your night near an oasis with the feel of a cool breeze from its water or you may just lay under the sky, gazing at the stars.
A perfect spot and a sky full of stars would definitely be the best way to sign off from your day.
Tip 7: Follow Google Map for Locations
Due to the vastness of the Death Valley, you might find yourself lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The roads and tracks may be dangerous and hard to drive on and you may have no option of returning back by the time you realize that.
To avoid all this, firstly, it’s very important for you to be sure of where you’re heading to. Secondly, follow the Google map for every bit of distance you’re about to cover and try to locate the place where you’re planning to go and the time it would require you to do so. This would save you from any inconvenience during your trip.
Best Camping Spots in Death Valley – Places to Camp in Death Valley
There are plenty of different camping spots in Death Valley. Some are totally free of cost while some would charge you for the services and facilities they provide you.
Some of the best Camping spots you’ll find in Death Valley are:
Furnace Creek Campground – Furnace Creek campground is located in the heart of Death Valley, surrounded by an impressive jumble of rugged terrain amidst the untouched natural beauty. It is one of the most convenient spots for camping.
Texas Spring Campground – Tent and RV camping are both available at Texas Spring, located in the asperous hills above the Furnace Creek area.
Emigrant Campground – When you hover near the mouth of the Emigrant canyon and survey the desert’s handy work at 2,100 feet above sea level, you will see some jaw-dropping views of the sloping sand dunes and the towering mountains. Also, you don’t have to pay for camping here. You can camp for free at Emigrant Campground.
Sunset Campground – Located about a mile from Furnace Creek Ranch Resort and Furnace Creek Hotel, this large, flat campground is primarily used for RV camping. 270 camping spaces are available, as well as flush toilets and water.
Wildrose Campground – The very best thing about this campground: It’s Free! You are also near some of the best hiking trails at these 23 campsites. This year-round site does not have a dump station or flush toilets, but there are tables, water, and a fire pit for you to use.
Thorndike Campground – Although it is also a free-of-cost campground but not everyone’s cup of tea. Thorndike campground is only accessible to high clearance vehicles (4-wheel drive may be needed). With a camping season from March through November, this property is located at a 7400′ elevation.
Which campground is best in Death Valley?
Furnace Creek Campground is the best one in the entire Death Valley. In addition to the onsite restaurant and general store, you can also find camping supplies, groceries, and mementos to remember your trip at the campground. For golfers who want to play on the lowest elevation golf course in the world, the Furnace Creek Golf Course is also adjacent to the Campground.
Moreover, there’s a swimming pool to enjoy swimming in, different sports like tennis ball court, Volleyball, Basketball court and much more.
This was all about the camping tips and free camping in Death Valley National park, California.
If you’re somebody planning a daytime trip to Death Valley, you must extend your trip duration and experience the camping in Death Valley. It is definitely going to be the very best experience of your life.