Death Valley National Park Travel Guide

Death Valley National Park Furnace Creek, Elevation -190 FeetFurnace Creek in Death Valley National Park ... elevation minus 190 feet

Death Valley is the largest U.S. National Park outside Alaska, spanning 3.4 million acres. The park includes low valley floors crusted with barren salt flats, rugged mountains rising as much as 11,000 feet, deep and winding canyons, rolling sand dunes, and spring-fed oases.

Death Valley is about 140 miles long, from the head of Last Chance Canyon in the north to where the Amargosa River makes its big bend near Saratoga Springs in the south.

Badwater Basin-282 feet below sea level-is not only the lowest place in the park, it's the lowest in North America. It is located 18 miles south of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center on the Badwater Road (CA 178).

Location and Access to Death Valley

There are two major valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. The park is transected from east to west by California Highway 190.

On the east in Nevada, Highway 95 parallels the park from north to south with connecting highways at Scotty’s Junction (State Route 267), Beatty (State Route 374), and Lathrop Wells (State Route 373).

Note that Scotty's Castle is closed due to flooding. All entry to Grapevine Canyon and Scotty's Castle district is currently prohibited.

The park is about 140 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 280 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California.

Visiting National Parks During the COVID-19 Outbreak in 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the national parks of the United States offer wide open spaces, and opportunities for family fun, hiking, fishing, biking, plenty of fresh air and a break from the rigors of Coronavirus Lock Downs.

The National Park Service is closely monitoring and responding to the pandemic. More than two thirds of the 419 units of the National Park System are available to visitors. However, some facilities and services may be limited. As operations are changing on a park-by-park basis, we recommend visitors check with individual parks for specific details about their operations, including campgrounds.

So if you are visiting a national park, plan ahead ...

Read more ... National Park Service: Public Health Update

A popular stop in the park: The Devils Golf Course
The Devils Golf Course in Death Valley National Park in California

 

STOP! Intersection of two remote roads in Death Valley National Park in California
STOP! Intersection of two roads in Death Valley National Park in California

 

 

Lodging and Camping Options in and near Death Valley National Park

The Ranch at Death Valley, formerly Furnace Creek Ranch, in Death Valley National ParkThe Ranch at Death Valley, formerly the Furnace Creek Ranch, in Death Valley National Park

There are nine designated campgrounds within the park, and overnight backcountry camping permits are available at the Visitor Center.

When picking a place to sleep, visitors should consider the location of the lodging and what parts of the park they want to visit. Distances are great.

Lodging options in the park include:

  • Stovepipe Wells Village -  offers resort accommodations and limited recreational vehicle camping with full hookups in the Stovepipe Wells area. Call 760.786.2387 or visit the Stovepipe Wells Village website for information and reservations.
  • The Oasis at Death Valley - Includes two facilities: The Inn at Death Valley, and The Ranch at Death Valley (formerly Furnace Creek Ranch). Visit the Oasis at Death Valley website for information and reservations, or call 800.236.7916.
  • Panamint Springs Resort - The private Panamint Springs Resort offers resort accommodations and camping. Call 775.482.7680, or visit the Panamint Springs Resort website for information.

On our most recent trip to Death Valley, we stayed at the former Furnace Creek Ranch and dined at the Wrangler Buffet and Steakhouse on the same property.

There are a few motels near various entrances to the park, in Shoshone, Death Valley Junction, Beatty, Nevada, and Panamint Springs. Reviews of area hotels at TripAdvisor are included below.

Lodging in the Park

Visiting Death Valley and need lodging in/near the park?

Read traveler reviews, check availability and make reservations at TripAdvisor

Lodging in Las Vegas

Visiting Death Valley and staying in Las Vegas?

Lodging East of the Park

Beatty, Nevada
Pahrump, Nevada
Shoshone, California

Lodging West of the Park

Lone Pine, California
Ridgecrest, California
Bishop, California


The Inn at Death Valley
The Inn at Death Valley


 

Getting Around Death Valley National Park

Driving the dirt roads in Death Valley

Travel around the park is available by automobile, four-wheel drive vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle, mountain bike (on established roadways only), hiking and jeep tours.

Driving distances between sightseeing and lodging can be long, so plan accordingly.

State Route 190, the Badwater Road, the Scotty's Castle Road, and paved roads to Dante's View and Wildrose provide access to the major scenic viewpoints and historic points of interest.

Note that Scotty's Castle is closed due to flooding. All entry to Grapevine Canyon and Scotty's Castle district is currently prohibited.

There are more than 300 miles of paved roads, 300 miles of improved dirt roads and several hundred miles of unmaintained 4x4 roads in Death Valley National Park.

Map of Death Valley National Park

Distances are great in the Park!
Lone Pine, 53 Miles ... Furnace Creek, 53 Miles in Death Valley National Park
Lone Pine, 53 Miles ... Furnace Creek, 53 Miles, in Death Valley National Park in California

Map of Death Valley National Park ... click for a larger view in another window

 

From the National Park Service (click for larger image)

 

Pink Jeep Tour to Death Valley

 

Interactive Map of the Death Valley National Park

 

What Weather to Expect in Death Valley

Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America because of its lack of surface water and its low relief.

On the afternoon of July 10, 1913, the United States Weather Bureau recorded a high temperature of 134 °F at Greenland Ranch (now Furnace Creek) in Death Valley. This temperature stands as the highest ambient air temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth

Conditions can change quickly with inclement weather, so visitors should always check for current conditions before taking backcountry roads.

Storm clouds and rain settle in over Death Valley National Park
Storm clouds and rain settle in over Death Valley National Park
Dust storm winds send sand blowing across the road
Dust storm winds send sand blowing across the road in Death Valley National Park


The narrow passage between towering rocks in Titus Canyon Road in Death Valley National Park
The narrow passage between towering rocks in Titus Canyon Road in Death Valley National Park


More Death Valley Photos from our Trips to the Park

Death Valley National Park in California ... Elevation Sea Level
Death Valley National Park in California ... Elevation Sea Level


Sign warning of flash floods in Death Valley National Park, next 55 miles
Sign warning of flash floods in Death Valley National Park, next 55 miles
Leadfield ghost town in Death Valley National Park, closed in 1927
Leadfield ghost town in Death Valley National Park, closed in 1927
Sign in Death Valley National Park: Avoid Overheating - Turn Off A/C - Next 20 Miles
Sign in Death Valley National Park: Avoid Overheating - Turn Off A/C - Next 20 Miles

Artists Palette in California's Death Valley National Park
Artists Palette in California's Death Valley National Park

Entrance to The Ranch at Death Valley
(formerly Furnace Creek Ranch)
Entrance to Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley National Park
U.S. Post Office, 328
Greenland, Death Valley CA 92328
U.S. Post Office, 328 Greenland, Death Valley CA 92328

 

More Information / Alerts about Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park official website at the National Park Service or phone 760.786.3200

After Death Valley ... Visit Nearby Last Vegas and Hoover Dam

Read reviews and make reservations at Las Vegas hotels

The Furnace Creek Ranch Inn and Ranch Resort in Death Valley National Park


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