Most people think of Death Valley as the barren and wasteful land on this continent, but they are many idiots. Others know that Death Valley is known for its hottest temperature on this continent, which was 134°F. It is so hot that it could burn your skin very badly rainbow mountains.
Death valley is my favorite place to visit because it is located in the land of America between its most amazing cities las Vegas and Los Angeles. So while I enjoy the most stunning view of death valley, by detour I also visit these cities.
There are many breathtaking viewpoints of Death Valley, like the bad water basin. It is the lowest place in North America which is 282 below sea level and it is a 3.3 million acres vast park, which is the biggest park in the US. The other viewpoint is the artist’s drive.
If you plan to camp in Death Valley, the best place for camping would be the furnace creek campground. There are different places for camping available that you can check and reserve here.
There are two main areas where you can get accommodation or your basic need to be fully filled. Furnace creek resort is located in furnace creek where you get into the park at its main entrance here you can get help or information from the visitor center or make the base camp in the camp area or fill your car gas tank and eat or get ready to eat food from a restaurant.
Panamint springs are the other entries from the vest side of the park here you will get limited resources like a gas station, restaurant, and delicious lunch to eat from two Darwin falls and father Crowley point.
Best Things to do in Death Valley
As we said above, there are many breathtaking places to see in Death Valley, and if you are planning a long tour around Death Valley, we are here to tell you about the 27 iconic things you can do in Death Valley. So, let’s start.
1. Dante’s View – Dramatic View
It is a 40 to 45 minutes drive from furnace creek, and you need to hike a bit to reach Dante’s viewpoint, but once you reach there, you have the mesmerizing view of the flat salt lands of Death Valley. The Badwater basin is the lowest point in the US. You can drive through and can capture the best moment of your life even If you are a photographer, this would be the best place to click the best photos of your life.
2. Zabriskie Point – Sunrise/sunset
It is another best palaces for photographers, especially if you are a couple because this Zabriskie viewpoint is famous for its iconic sunrise and sunset. These are having some little hikes you will lead the magnificent, uniquely shaped, and yellowish color mountains that look very attractive and beautiful. These unique shapes of the mountains are made because of the force of water that looks very artistic.
3. Badwater Basin – the lowest point in North America
In our view, for hiking you have to leave before 10 am in a season of summer, so you can visit this the most iconic place in North America, and everybody who is living in the USA or anywhere in the world wants to visit Badwater Basin. It is 282 feet below the seal levels, and the flat white salt lands are waiting for you there in a shelter 518 km area. It is also a must-visit place if you are into photography.
From the parking lot of the resort, you can easily access the boardwalk and pond to swim or capture some shots.
4. Devil’s Golf Course – Rock Salt Lake
This place is on my bucket list, and I want to visit it in 2022. There was a time when a lake was situated here, but now only the salt crystal formations of the minerals are available. It is situated in the Mojave Desert in the national park.
for some activities, scenic driving is the best to do and there are fees for some of the activities you have to pay. But no worries you do not have to make the reservation before you just go and enjoy.
If you want to see the salt formations from someplace, you can see it from the car, but if you want to feel it there is no specific time you can go any time in the day and take some pictures, you just go and park your car in the parking and walk on your foot, if you have a pet, you have to leave in your car because in some places pet are not allowed. You can know more about it here.
5. Artists Drive and Artist Palette – Rainbow mountains
It is also a very iconic place in Death Valley that you can see; if you want to see the hills that show the rainbow effect of different colors like yellow, red, orange, blue, and pink, you should visit this point for sure. There is no specific time of visiting this place on your vehicle by trailing on the white salt, the wind of fresh air comes and crosses your window of the car that gives you the spectacular feeling of joy, You can come to see the sunrise and sunset or come in the mid of day to see beautiful scenic views of the mountains.
6. Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch – Best hiking place
If you want but don’t know no what to do in death valley in one day then some long hiking adventures are best for you. It has the most mesmerizing view of the golden hills. Golden colors cover all the hills.
There are many different routes that you can use for hiking, and if you are in the mood for a long adventure in death valley must see the map, then connect one route with another and make it challenging for you. You can also use GPS files that help you while you are out of network coverage. It will collect the GPS route of that location.
7. Darwin Falls – Only waterfall in the Death Valley
Can you imagine that there would be a waterfall in these barren wastelands of Death Valley? This darwin falls is situated in the Panamint, and the waterfall was named after Darwin French, an explorer, and army physician in 1846. When you visit this place, you forget for some time that you are in Death Valley because of its greenery. But you have to remember not to dive into that water because it is the only source of water in that area.
8. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes – Sea of Sand
It looks like giant sea sand due to the curves of the sands dunes made because of the air pressure on it. When you come for the first time here you will find the imaginary ocean of desert. If you are a photographer, you can capture great pictures for your Instagram here.
You can do sandboarding and sand skies in this dunesdo to the air these dunes recreate again and again and move from one place to another. If you plan to visit and want the best way to see death valley, you must visit this place and go sandboarding.
9. Ubehebe Crater & Litlle Hebe Crater – Volcanic area
It is also a very breathtaking place to see because it has many big volcano craters. If we talk about the largest crater, it is 2600 ft wide and more than 700 feet deep. You can imagine how big it would be. There are many geographical changes in this Death Valley. That might be because of the volcanos, so you should visit this place if you are interested in the volcanos.
10. Racetrack Playa – Mysterious moving stones
It is one of the most mysterious places and the best way to see Death Valley. It was a lake 10 thousand years ago, but then it dried, and now it is a bed of cracked mud on which the stones started racing. If you visit the lake, you will see the paths from where the stones started their race. It looks really mysterious because nobody knows how the rocks are moving. You should definitely visit the Racetrack Playa in the Death Valley national park.
11. Telescope Peak – The highest point
The best way to see death valley is a fantastic place to visit; first, we visit the bad water basin, which is the lowest point in North America at 282ft below sea level. This Telescope Peak is the highest point in North America, 11,049 feet above sea level.
There is a long hiking trail waiting for you if you are new to hiking then you will be really tired your leg would be like an iron rod but if you want to visit the telescopic peak, and after that, you will have a very mesmerizing view that it would release all the tiredness.
12. Scotty’s Castle – Spanish colonial revival style villa
It is not the actual castle, but it is a Spanish colonial-style villa built by Albert Mussey Jhonson for his wife Bessie to spend their vacations. This villa is situated in the Grapevine Mountains of Death Valley. But this property was damaged by the severe flood many times, and still, it is closed because of the flood, and it will not open before 2022 so, plan to visit it in 2022. Check this website before planning any trip.
13. Mosaic Canyon – Hiking Trails
The best way to see Death Valley is that it is full of mountains, so many trails attract hikers so, if you are a hiker, then this is another scenic trail for you and it could be a difficult line to visit. According to your physique, it is a 6.5 km long hiking trail that would take 2.5 to 3 hours.
The trails start with moderate levels and go to challenging levels, but you will enjoy this hike if you are an adventurer. You should also have your GPX file with you of that area to find your hiking route. But visit the official website of the National park for more details.
14. Hike Eureka Dunes – Highest Dunes
If you love the dunes, then we have found a sand mountain for you that covers the flatbed of sand in its valley. The length of this mountain is 3 miles long and 1 mile wider. If you are planning to hike it, it would not be easy because the mountain is very steep, and the sand makes it more challenging, but it would be a fun and adventurous activity for you.
15. Twenty Mule Team Canyon – Colorful Mountains
It is another drive of the colorful mountains of the twenty-mule team canyon. When the sun’s light puts on these mountains, they have a very goldish and brownish color that perfectly contrasts. If you are a photographer, you will get mesmerizing pictures here.
If you are a star Wars fan, you would recognize that some scenes of the star war were shot in this twenty-mule team. If you are a true Star Wars fan, tell us in the comment section that the episode scene was shot here.
16. View the Night Sky – Crystal clear sky
When you are in Death Valley, you are far away from the fake bright life of the populated cities. If you plan to camp in Death Valley, you can look at all the planets and the stars clearly from there. If you have a telescope, then great otherwise, look with your eyes and capture it in your memory because you won’t find these views in the cities.
17. Explore the Backcountry – Camping
Exploring backcountry camping in Death Valley would be a great opportunity to challenge yourself in the most challenging conditions because you will be camping in the rugged wild areas of the valley. But you need to follow some instructions for backcountry camping, which are listed on this government website click here.
18. See the Superbloom – Wildflowers super bloom.
If we list down the top 10 driest places globally, then Death Valley would be on that list, but there is a time when the flowers are blooming in these areas that time is from the start of February to the start of May. In the past October, there was a storm in Death Valley, which was beneficial because that caused this super bloom. Superbloom does not happen every year, but you can visit to see the wildflowers making life possible in this desert.
19. Natural Bridge – 500 + million years old
You might have seen old bridges that humans made for their convenience, but this is a natural bridge which means humans does not make it, but nature made it, and according to historians, this bridge is 500 + million years old. You don’t have to hike a lot to reach this bridge; it is only 10 minutes away from the parking lot.
20. Hike Ibex Dunes – Bird watching
This hiking trail is situated in Tecopa, California, in Death Valley; this is not a very challenging hiking trail but this hike will give you a little workout for your legs. Most people come here for a walk or to see the wildflowers and watch birds. You need to drive north for 3 to 4 miles and reach the parking of Saratoga Spring. Here you can click some amazing shots for your album.
21. Charcoal Kilns – 143 years old kilns
These charcoal kilns competed in 1877, and the reason was, of course, to make charcoal from it. These were the only remaining kilns in the western states, so the people who are interested in the historical-architectural are coming here to visit this place. These charcoal kilns are abandoned since 1879, and there is no proof of work here after 1879.
22. Aguereberry Point – Mesmerizing View
This viewpoint is very close to the telescopic peak point, but you don’t need to hike from here, but the road is smooth for you if you have a good clearance vehicle. It was named after the there is no proof of work hereafter 1879. The view of Death Valley from this point is worth it.
23. Panamint Dunes – Gorgeous views
It is also a breathtaking view in the west of Death Valley called the Panamint dunes. These are not very known so you can expect low tourists and more natural views. The sand in this place is a pure gray color which is the original color of sand. One more interesting thing you can do is camp right on the dunes and experience the cold nights of the desert.
24. Stargaze – Night Sky View
Death Valley is one of the most suitable places on earth to see the Stargaze and took some pictures. But there are some things that you need to follow, and that is laid down on the ground and eyes on the sky and avoid any kind of light so you can be able to view most possible stars in the sky. There are some other tips that you can read on the national park’s official website.
Best Time to visit Death Valley
According to the national park service of death valley, the best season to visit Death Valley is spring because you will see the wildflowers blooming in the Death Valley. If you don’t want to visit in the spring, go for autumn or winter because these are the good seasons when you will not encounter crowded areas, especially in winter.
But if you plan to visit Death Valley in the summer, you should know that Death Valley is the world’s most hot valley in the summer, so don’t visit in the summer. However, some adventurous people do this stupidity we don’t recommend you to visit in the summer.
Rules of Death Valley National Park
When you visit Death Valley, you should follow some rules and regulations applied to every visitor coming to Death Valley national park; otherwise, he must bear the severe consequence. Let’s find out what rules everyone needs to follow.
· Overnight Camping
The first rule of the Death Valley national park is that you can’t overnight camp anywhere in death valley. There is some specific location in which camping is allowed, and in those areas, some are in furnace creek and some in the backcountry areas, but you need to confirm the places from the first ranger’s station you encounter in death valley.
· Driving off roads
Off-road driving is prohibited in most of the areas of Death Valley as well as for desert safety because off-road can ruin the rare species of plants and animals that are in the desert so, don’t do off-roading.
There is a straight no to any kind of weapons in the national park of Death Valley. It does not matter whether you have a licensed weapon or not, but you can’t take it inside Death Valley, and if you take it inside the park and rangers catch you, it will be very bad for you.
Pets are the cutest species of animals, and Death Valley is not safe for them, and in most places, you are not allowed to take them so, instead of r leaving them somewhere in death valley, don’t take them with them.
If you are camping in the developed campground, then it is allowed, but only in the firepits provided to you; otherwise, you are not allowed to gather the woods and then burn the fire in death valley because a little amount f your carelessness can cause many losses so, that is why it is prohibited.
· Metal Detectors
Metal detectors are not allowed in the national park of Death Valley because you don’t need them inside the park, and you should know that this is an outdoor national museum and everything here is antique so, you can’t take them out at any cost.
Some people are asking questions about the horses and whether the horses are allowed in the national park of death valley or not so, the answer is no because you can’t make your horse hike with you and also not in the camping place, they are not allowed in the park.
· Private Property
It is the basic rule that you should follow wherever you are planning to visit in the world, and that is you should respect every person’s private property, and if you don’t, then the law will force you to do it.
Don’t do any kind of interaction with the wild animals because there are many cases where when you feed them they started depending on you, but you would leave after some days, and that has a severe effect on their routine so, don’t do this thing.
Facts about Death Valley that you don’t know
1. Largest Park
I don’t know if you know about this fact or not, but the death valley national park is the largest park on the continent; you will find larger parks on other continents of the world, but in the US, this is the largest park with the wide coverage of more than 3.4 million acres.
The Death Valley consists of five dunes, two vast mountains, one salt basin, and one volcano crater that make it the largest on the continent.
Many people think that the Sahara desert is the driest globally, but you would be surprised to know that Death Valley is drier than the Sahara. If we calculate the average rainfall in the year, the Sahara has 1.5 inches more rainfall than Death Valley, which makes death valley drier than the Sahara,
If you ask any sensible person that should you visit Death Valley in the summer or not then if he is sensible, he would say you don’t visit in summer because it is the hottest place on the earth in summer, and even if you have AC in your car, you still feel hot. It is enough to burn your skin badly. Last year the temperature was recorded at around 158 °F which is very hot.
It has the highest point above sea level and the lowest point below sea level; the highest place in the valley is near Mount Whitney, 14,505 ft above sea level. The lowest part of the valley is in the Badwater Basin, 282 ft below sea level.
It is the story of 1849 some gold-seekers try to find a new way to California. Somehow they think that the Panamint mountain range is the shortcut, but that was the wrong decision that makes their condition worse. In short, they were about to die when they get out of the valley so, someone from that group says “Goodbye, death valley,” and since then, this valley is called Death Valley. This is the story behind the name of this valley.
The weather conditions in Death Valley are the worst, but still, many mammals live there for many centuries. You would be surprised to know that more than 50 species of mammals live in this valley, and they are small, like squirrels, bats, and big mammals like wild horses and mountain lines.
7. Story behind the Scotty’s castle
There is a Spanish colonial-style villa in Death Valley called Scotty’s castle, but if we look into the facts, there was a person Albert Mussey Johnson who built this villa for his wife, Bessie. He is the original owner of Scotty’s Castle.
But he was good at manipulating the people to invest in something, so; there was a chance that he makes Albert Mussey Johnson agree to build a castle at this place and, after that, say to people that I have made it.
8. Starwars movie
If you are a Star Wars fan and watch the movies many times, you should visit Death Valley because many locations in Death Valley were shot. The main places where the shooting occurs were Golden Canyon, Artist Palette Drive, Desolation Canyon, 20 Mule Team Canyon, Dante’s View, and the Mesquite Dunes. If you want to know more, you can visit the website of the National park.
9. Sunrises / Sunsets
When you are visiting Death Valley, the best thing that you should do is to see the sunsets and sunrises because they are worth it. I know that getting up from bed is not an easy thing after a hard traveling day, but you will not regret it I guarantee you this thing once you do it. There are many places in Death Valley to see sunsets and sunrises, but the two that you can’t miss are the Mesquite Dunes and Zabriskie Point.
Tips for your safety in Death Valley
When you plan to visit Death Valley, you should look at some things before starting traveling and when you start traveling. These things are really important for your safety.
· Complete your Research
The first thing that you should do before starting to travel to Death Valley does your complete research. Talk to the people who were there, read the articles, know what conditions you can face there, and make your plan according to the facts you have after the research.
- Hotel for night stay
as death valley is an amazing place to visit and capture stunning shots with your camera. It is also a deadly place to stay outside by night. So for safety precautions, if you don’t want to stay in the camp for your further nights then a hotel is the best option for you.
· Don’t go to the Remote Areas
One thing that we would suggest for your safety is that don’t go to the remote areas of the valley because if something happens to your vehicle or you forgot the way and take a wrong turn, then you might face severe conditions because there will be no mobile signal coverage so, you can’t call anyone for help.
· No mobile Signals
You should know one thing death valley is not a developed area so, so there are many places where your mobile would not work so, you have a satellite phone or any other way of communication, or at least you have things that if something happens to your car or any weather conditions happens, you can stay there for some time.
· Your car should be in perfect condition
When you start your travel to death valley, the first thing is to go to the car mechanic and get your car checked, like your car’s air conditioner should be perfect, and you must carry an extra gas tank because when we stock their other visitor helps us by giving their extra tank of gas.
There is only two gas station in stovepipe wells and Furnace Creek and you should also check another vehicle’s mechanical condition that if they can travel on that route or not, and wherever you stop for taking rest, check your car that everything is perfect or not because the national park Death Valley is barren land and you won’t find a mechanic easily if something happens to your car.
· Food and water
While traveling to Death Valley, you should have a good stock of food and water in your vehicle because if you came across the worst conditions, you could survive for some days until someone comes to help you.
· Sunscreen is a must
You will travel in the hottest valley on the earth so, you should have a good amount of sunscreen, and that would be 50° to 60° protection because lower that would not work there for you.
· You should be ready to drive long
In death valley, you don’t know what the condition is, so you should be in perfect health; if you have to drive for a long time, you can do it easily without any injury; otherwise, don’t plan a trip to the death valley because you might be risking your life.
· Your Fuel Tank should be Full
The one piece of advice that you should write somewhere is that when you are traveling in Death Valley, wherever you see a fuel pump fill your tank. There are very limited fuel pumps in Death Valley so, don’t take the risk of filling the tank at the next station that might never come.
· Speed is the Key
Death Valley is a very dangerous valley; that is why it is called death valley so, do one thing don’t be slow go everywhere with speed, and if you are trying to visit a place in death valley, leave your hotel in the morning so, you can reach the other place safely before night. Don’t start a trip or hiking in the mid-day because you would be stuck in the trails at night, which is deadly.
· Where to Stay in Death Valley?
There are many places to stay in death valley, and you can also use online booking services like Airbnb, but there are also some other places to live in death valley like:
- Stovepipe Wells Village
- The Ranch at Death Valley
- Panamint Springs Resort
These are some places to live; you can also do your research, and you will find many other places to stay in the valley.
Things to do in Death Valley – FAQs
Death Valley is one of the best places in the world to visit; yes, it is dangerous, but dangerous is exciting, and that is why millions of tourists visit death valley every year. There are many places for the tourist to visit from which we listed the 27 things.
There are many hiking trails, more than 16 volcano craters, and many more things included. We compile a full detailed guide for you so, if you are planning to visit death valley, this article might be very useful for you.