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Artist’s Palette

Check out the myriad hues of red, purple and blue that glimmer from deep canyons and rocky peaks when you explore this geological masterpiece.

The Artist’s Palette is a remarkable rock formation in Death Valley National Park. Admire the spectrum of colors appearing on this rock face, and watch as they shift depending on the angle of the sun. The phenomenon is the fascinating result of explosive volcanic periods millions of years ago, which can be traced in the formation’s extraordinary painted appearance and unique geological makeup.

Drive your car to this landmark and revel in the magical landscape. Known as the Artist’s Drive, this trail showcases some of the region’s most superb scenery. The pathway climbs to an alluvial fan, which is fed by a deep canyon etched into the Black Mountains. Check out the looming red-rock mountains and dusky-pink peaks. Weave around the awe-inspiring foothills and admire the changing landscape.

The crowning feature of the drive is Artist’s Palette. As you approach the site, observe its monumental ridges and peaks rising ahead of you. Notice the extraordinary rainbow of color in the rock face. This is caused by the oxidation of the rock’s different metals. Look for red, pink, yellow, purple and even green shades within the rock. This chemical reaction is proof of the Death Valley area’s volcanic period, which involved violent eruptions in the Miocene era over 5 million years ago.

If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the rock formation on foot. Wander around the foothills for a closer look at the oxidized metal materials in the rock. Take photographs of the remarkable landscape and watch as the sun’s rays create different hues throughout the day.

Reach the Artist’s Palette easily via the Artist’s Drive, which is located between Devil’s Golf Course and Furnace Creek. The trail is 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) one-way and is clearly marked. It takes approximately 45 minutes to drive, depending on your speed on the winding roads. There is a parking lot near Artist’s Palette, which is about 5 miles (8 kilometers) into the trail. There is a fee to enter Death Valley National Park.


Guide to Exploring around Artists Palette


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Artists Palette

See all 4 Properties near Artists Palette
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park $239
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park

The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park

Highway 190, Death Valley, CA
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in a national park, this family-friendly resort is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Death Valley National Park and 4.6 mi (7.3 km) from Zabriskie Point.

    The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park $459
    The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park

    The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park

    Highway 190, Death Valley, CA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in a national park, this historic hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Death Valley National Park and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Golden Canyon and Harmony Borax Works are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Longstreet Inn & Casino $95
      Longstreet Inn & Casino

      Longstreet Inn & Casino

      4400 South Highway 373, Amargosa Valley, NV
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in the historical district, this spa hotel is 7 mi (11.2 km) from Ash Meadows Visitor Center and 8 mi (12.9 km) from Death Valley National Park.

        Amargosa Opera House $103
        Amargosa Opera House

        Amargosa Opera House

        HR-C 608 Death Valley Junction, Death Valley, CA
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Death Valley, this motel is 8.1 mi (13.1 km) from Death Valley National Park and within 32 mi (52 km) of Ash Meadows Visitor Center and Furnace Creek Visitor Center.