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Death Valley is a land of extremes that is like nowhere else in the world. It is the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in America and its otherworldly landscapes might be exactly what you need to shift your perspective and be amazed by the scenery around you. With approximately 1,000 miles of roads and spanning 3.4 million acres, this is a place to unleash your inner adventurer and let your imagination run wild.
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If you’ve never visited the park before, consider taking a guided park ranger tour to learn more about this fascinating place. The varied landscapes range from salt flats to rugged mountains, deep canyons, and sand dunes. You can hit many of the highlights in just a day or spend a whole week here while camping in the wilderness and looking up at the bright stars in the ultra-dark sky each night.
The Furnace Creek campground is open year-around and has full hookups for RVs. The Mesquite Spring, Emigrant (tents only), and Wildrose campgrounds are open year-around as well. Meanwhile, seasonal campgrounds in the national park are Stovepipe Wells, Thorndike, and Mahogany Flat. There are also over three million acres of wilderness areas where you can backcountry camp and get away from the crowds. Just make sure to camp at least a mile from paved and day-use roads and pick up a free voluntary permit from the visitor center or ranger station for your own safety.
The best times to visit Death Valley are between October and April because this is when the weather is mild and not so scorching hot. During these months though, the nights get chilly, so be sure to pack jackets and sweatshirts. In the summer, the temperatures often get higher than 120-degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it’s recommended to only hike in the higher elevation mountains during daytime hours in the summer.
Despite this national park’s name, there is much life to be discovered on a trip to Death Valley. Sparse, but heavy, rainstorms bring wildflowers, and some of the most resilient species on the planet call this region home.
Death Valley National Park is open 24/7 every day of the year, and the best place to start your exploration is at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to watch the 20-minute film and talk with a ranger about what you want to see and do. Some highlights that are not to be missed include the Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater Basin, Artist’s Drive, Zabriskie Point, Dante’s View, Twenty Mule Team Canyon, and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
Death Valley National Park Information:
Address: P.O. Box 579 Death Valley, CA 92328
Phone: (760) 786-3200