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Death Valley National Park

See an American desert in this expansive, sweltering U.S. national park. Find birds, wildflowers and snow-capped mountains here as well.

Death Valley National Park is the continental United States’ largest park. It’s also the hottest, driest and lowest. Despite harsh conditions, the park’s more than 3 million acres (1.3 million hectares) aren’t simply desert plains. Find mountains, canyons, sand dunes, extinct volcanic craters and even palm trees and wildflowers. 

In pioneer days before modern transportation allowed crossing the hot, dry expanse in an hour or two, the area truly was a valley of death. When temperatures reach 116 F (47 C) in the shade and 200 F (93 C) on sunny ground, heat exhaustion sets in quickly. Even if you won’t be hiking during your visit, have a full tank of gas and carry extra water for emergency needs. 

Once you’re prepared for the conditions, enjoy the unusual scenery. Gaze across stretches of flat land noting waves of heat rising into the air with snow-capped mountains in the background. Look for small oases of vegetation where wildlife gather for water and food. Some ponds even have fish. This is the place to see roadrunners and coyotes. Over 300 bird species have been sighted in this large, varied terrain. 

Hike here with appropriate caution. Conditions are best from October through April. Many trails are 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) or less over easy terrain. Badwater Salt Flat at 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level is North America’s lowest location. Natural Bridge Canyon ends at a dry waterfall. For adventurous hiking, make your own path to buttes, arches and even icy peaks in winter. Try backpacking, biking and backcountry camping in this challenging terrain.

Ranger-led activities offer good choices. Check availability of paleontology tours, moonlit hikes and night sky viewing through telescopes.

Learn more about the area’s geology and history at Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Scotty’s Castle and Visitor Center. Some may remember the television show Death Valley Days. Visit the Borax Museum at Furnace Creek Ranch to learn about the reality of the mining period in Death Valley.

Like other national parks in the U.S., Death Valley National Park offers affordable and exciting adventures for all types of travelers.

Popular Activities at Death Valley National Park

Give yourself plenty of time at Death Valley National Park. Below are the best things to do:

If you'd like even more activities, examine our Lone Pine things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Death Valley National Park


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Map

Lodging Near Death Valley National Park

See all 55 Properties near Death Valley National Park
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park $189
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park

The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park

Highway 190, Death Valley
     
    3.5
    of 5, from 1,842 reviews
    2.5 out of 5.0

    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 $369
    The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park

    The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park

    Highway 190, Death Valley
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 129 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Situated in a national park, this historic hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Death Valley National Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Golden Canyon. Zabriskie Point is 3.4 mi (5.5 km) away.

      Panamint Springs Resort $35
      Panamint Springs Resort

      Panamint Springs Resort

      40440 Highway 190, Panamint Springs
         
        3.5
        of 5, from 141 reviews
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Situated in a national park, this motel is steps from Death Valley National Park and Panamint Dunes.

        Longstreet Inn & Casino $81
        Longstreet Inn & Casino

        Longstreet Inn & Casino

        4400 South Highway 373, Amargosa Valley
           
          3.8
          of 5, from 873 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Amargosa Valley, this hotel is 4.7 mi (7.6 km) from Death Valley National Park and 7 mi (11.2 km) from Ash Meadows Visitor Center.

          Amargosa Opera House $85
          Amargosa Opera House

          Amargosa Opera House

          HR-C 608 Death Valley Junction, Death Valley
             
            3.4
            of 5, from 260 reviews
            2.5 out of 5.0

            Situated in Death Valley, this motel is 8.1 mi (13.1 km) from Death Valley National Park and 14.7 mi (23.7 km) from Ash Meadows Visitor Center.

            View the Beautiful High Sierras in Artist Paradise. Complete House,sleeps 3,or 4
            View the Beautiful High Sierras in Artist Paradise. Complete House,sleeps 3,or 4

            View the Beautiful High Sierras in Artist Paradise. Complete House,sleeps 3,or 4

            , Keeler
               
              0.0 out of 5.0
              Olancha RV Park & Motel $79
              Olancha RV Park & Motel

              Olancha RV Park & Motel

              1075 Highway 395, Olancha
                 
                3.3
                of 5, from 278 reviews
                2.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in a rural location, this motel is in the same region as Mount Whitney.

                Trails Motel $79
                Trails Motel

                Trails Motel

                633 S. Main St, Lone Pine
                   
                  3.4
                  of 5, from 259 reviews
                  2.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated in Lone Pine, this motel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Lone Pine Film History Museum, Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center, and Mt. Whitney Golf Club. Diaz Lake Recreation Area is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.