Visited: April 12-14, 2014 & September 5, 2015
Description: “Lowest, driest & hottest area in North America”… Bring it on!
Fees: Vehicle Entrance: $20 for 7 day | Individual Entrance Fee: $10 for 7 days. For more details, see here.
Recommended Duration: 1 – 7 days
Reception: If you absolutely need reception you’ll be able to find it in these key locations — Visitor’s Center, Furnace Creek Area & Stovepipe Wells Area. We won’t judge you.
Wildlife: Coyotes, rattlesnakes, scorpions, lizards, sidewinders, rabbits, donkeys, big horn sheep, etc
Best time to go: Anytime. Avoid summers, it gets really hot.
Bring: High clearance/4×4 vehicle (if you plan to off-road), gas cans (only because gas is expensive in Death Valley), camp gear, tent, sleeping bags, flashlight, water, food, sunscreen, camera etc.
After reading about all our adventures in Death Valley, you may have noticed we gave the points of interests sub-par ratings. But don’t let our reviews fool you. The desert isn’t just about the destination but the whole experience. Both HikeSnobs live in busy cities and the desert offers us a temporary escape from the chaos of a technology driven world. It’s a world without reception, meetings, google calendar events, and a never-ending stream of social media. It is a time and place where we can stay off the grid and get back in touch with nature.
We have not been to all of Death Valley’s points of interests yet but we will update this when we make new trips. For now this is our guide to Death Valley – campsites, hotels with accessible pools, food, gas and destinations.
Campsites: Here is a full list of campgrounds in Death Valley. We have personally stayed at Emigrant’s campsite twice, which is free and first come, first serve.
For full details of campgrounds and ways to make a reservations, see here.
Swimming Pools: We know the desert gets hot. Besides jumping into Darwin Falls, here is how you can get access to a real pool in the Desert Heat 😅
- Furnace Creek Inn: Pool is open from October 15th to April 15th. Guest only!
- The Ranch At Furnace Creek: $5/person day pass to use the shower and pool for non-guest.
- Stovepipe Wells Motel – $4/person day pass to use pool for non-guest.
*** Prices and dates may vary: Please call to confirm.
Food: While we like to stick to our hawaiian rolls, beef jerky and mint oreos, if we have time we love a nice sit down meal. Here are some stores/restaurants within the Death Valley Area:
- 49’er Cafe – The burgers here hit the spot
- Furnace Creek Inn Dinning Area
- Furnace Creek General Store
- Scotty’s Castle (Gift Shop/Snack Area) – sandwiches, snacks
- Stovepipe Wells General Store
- The Saloon
- Tollroad Restaurant
Click on the restaurant name to find Yelp locations, hours & ratings.
Fuel: Here are the gas stations in Death Valley & within the Death Valley Area:
- Furnace Creek Ranch
- Panamint Springs
- Stovepipe Wells Villages
Prices in Death Valley are pretty steep. If you happen to be near Rhyolite or the Titus Canyon area, grab some gas in Beatty. It is significantly cheaper.
- Rebel 74 – 102 E Hwy 95 Beatty, NV 89003
- Eddie World – 900 E Hwy 95 N Beatty, NV 89003
Destinations: Whether you are looking for a beautiful view, a little bit of hiking, something spooky, or a chance to get off the main road… Death Valley has it all.
Artist’s Drive is a one way scenic loop from South to North that brings you through vast volcanic and sedimentary mountains. Various metals that have oxidized give these mountains their distinct color pigment. The spectrum of colors make this stop worthwhile. It isn’t hard to see why this viewpoint was named Artist’s Palette.
Many would consider Dante’s View to be the most breathtaking viewpoint in the park. This mountain-top overlook stands 5,476 feet above Death Valley. The paved access road is open to all vehicles under 25 feet long. If you follow one of the paths from the parking lot, it will lead you to an edge where you can get a beautiful panoramic view. Right below Dante’s View is Badwater Basin. You can see how vast Death Valley is.
Padre Crowley Vista Point
A quick stop for panoramic views of the northern end of Panamint Valley in Death Valley. From the lot, you can see a landscape of dark lava flows and volcanic cinders. When you get closer, you can get a close-up of Rainbow Canyon right below.
Saline Valley Alt Route
Right off the 190 at the border of Death Valley, there is a turn off for a dirt road that takes you to a body of water with a great view: The Saline Valley Alt Route (36.392437, -117.635253).
Surrounded by a maze of wildly eroded and vibrant-colored badlands, this spectacular view is one of the park’s most famous in Death Valley. Zabriskie Point is a popular sunrise and sunset viewing location. The viewpoint is a short walk uphill from the parking area. During sunrise, the sun shines onto the hills which gives a better view of the formations. During sunset, the sun shines behind the canyon and the landscape can get dark. Really, either time is a great time to visit. It just depends on if you want to wake up really early to make the sunrise or sleep in a bit and wait til sunset comes.
A salt basin that happens to also be the lowest elevation in North America. NBD!
Ten 25 foot high beehive shaped masonry structures located in Wildrose Canyon. The winding road to get there along with the plethora of jack rabbits and field mice gave us the ultimate obstacle challenge.
Sadly there were some causalities 🐰😐
40 miles of large, crusted and serrated salt formations on a barren landscape. There was a lake in this valley 2,000-4000 year ago. These crusted rock formation are the mineral deposits left behind when the lake dried up. Overtime, the harsh weather conditions gave these rocks their rough exterior. As quoted by the 1934 Death Valley National Park service guide book, these eroded rocks are so jagged that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links.” Feel free to walk on the salt pan yourself. Be careful though, you never know what the Devil’s got up his sleeve. 😈
A desert lake bed with wandering stones.
A milepost on your way to the Racetrack. Feel free to make some tea. You can also add your own teakettle, if you happen to have one.
A year round waterfall (Yes, you heard that right!) in the desert.
Easy 4 mile loop to witness stunning golden canyons.
Most visible and accessible sand dunes in Death Valley.
A beautiful trail through narrow marbled canyons.
Just like the name, a quick hike to a natural stone bridge. Climbing is optional.
Beautiful giant crater in the northern section of Death Valley. Feel free to climb down to the center of the crater or take a short hike up to the smaller craters.
A 26 mile one way road through colorful mountain ranges and narrow canyons.
Twenty Mule Team Canyon
Twenty Mule Team Canyon is a short 2.8 mile scenic one way loop that takes you to the otherworldly badlands. Back in 1883-89, Twenty Mule Team consisted of 18 mules and 2 horses attached to large wagons that transported borax out of Death Valley. The wagons, carrying 9 metric tons at one time, were among the largest ever pulled by draft animals. This paved road is open to all vehicles, buses, RVs and trailers. The roads are wide, feel free to pull over and make a quick stop to take in your surroundings. If you can’t pull over, make sure you’re not in a blind spot when you stop.
Desolate ghost town with a population of 1. Here you’ll find fragments of wooden structures and crumbling foundations of old cabins and shacks.
Once a popular mining town, here are the remnants of what this booming town left behind. Not actually apart of Death Valley but close enough to make a visit to!
A famous mansion in middle of the desert. See the history behind this fantasy castle with guided tours available every day.
Death Valley is truly a unique experience. The days are blazing hot with full adventures into the unknown. Once the sun sets, the desert puts on a show with the most beautiful starry skies in the darkest of nights. Being completely isolated from the rest of the world, we’ve never felt so at peace.
- Bring plenty of water!
Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Leave us a message below!