Name might seems not nice but this is amazing park where you have lot of canyons, deserts and dunes. You can add this park when you will be in Las Vegas because is only 2h away.
This park has lot of off road and you should try it. Spend there at least two days but if you can even three. Always check weather because it is really hot place even in winter. Have plenty of water and food.
Best season is from December till March and still is hot there so just imagine how hot can be during summer.
You have to reserve lodge or camping some time before. They are usually very fast full. Few like Sunset and Stovepipe usually have spots but this is more like parking lot. So it depends on you that you like it or not.
We recommend to ask ranger about places where you can stay in primitive spots. They will show you when you can camp. We camp in the car on the road to Hole in the Wall. In the morning we had beautiful view and sunrise light on Zabriskie area. And no people around.
Other places we could camp was Echo Canyon or Greenwater. But please ask ranger before camp somewhere. The rule is that has to be at least 1 mile away inside from main road. You can not have fire too.
This point is good to see valley and overlook is close to parking lot. But you can also go for some hike.
The most popular spot in the park. Hike is very short and beautiful view. Also you can hike around. Amazing colors and pattern. You can hike here from other side from Golden Canyon.
20 Mule Team Canyon – drive
Artist’s Palette – Artist’s drive
This place has short hike around 0.4 mile from parking and view is amazing. Lot of colors like palette.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Trail is about 2.8 miles but it is depend on you how long do you want to walk. Hike is nice but not easy in this sand.
Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch
This trail leads you to Red Cathedral and also you can go to Zabriskie point. But if you do not want to hike long the trail to Cathedral is beautiful and is 1.5 mile. Near Red Cathedral is short climbing area but you do not have to do it. Still you can see Cathedral and back the same trail. On the way back you can choose Gower Gulch and hike total will be 6 miles.
You will not miss this spot. Beautiful white area and nice salt pattern. This place is below sea level. It is more then 1.5 mile return walk and you will have to go far far to see this pattern without scratches. We recommend go there around sunset for nice colors, less people and is nicer temperature. During day is like frying pan.
Darwin Falls Trail
This trail is quite far but area is different then other part of Death Valley. Short hike less then 2 miles and on the end beautiful small fall.
Interesting trail with few slot canyons. If you just keep going on trail is less then 3 miles. Slot Canyons are good and some part are good for climbing skills. The canyons are in one way and second slot canyon can lead you to the top. We did not do it but spent some good time there. Take lot of water is really hot. Be careful in the slot canyons because it is easy to get hurt by rocks.
Ghost Town – Rhyolite
From or to Las Vegas is to stop in Rhyolite Ghost Town. You can find there museum and some sculptures. Take time to explore this place.
Death Valley is perfect place to enjoy unpaved roads. Make sure you have good car with 4×4 and gas. Off Road is prohibited but unpaved roads give you great off road feelings.
We really loved Titus Canyon road with colorful rocks. One part is with gorgeous green rocks. On the way you will pass Ghost Town – Leadfield. On the end be careful because is narrow and is two way road. Lot of hikers can be there. Do not drive fast. We got flat tire but still we enjoyed a lot.
From Ubehebe crater also is good place for nice driving.
From here you have Rocktrack with famous moving rock. Road is rough and before go there ask in Visitor Center about conditions.
Below you have some short plan what to see and how long are hikes. Enjoy!
|Day 1||Dante View – drive|
|20 Mule Team Canyon – drive|
|Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch||6|
|Day 2||Rhyolite Ghost Town|
|Titus Canyon – unpaved road|
|Racetrack – unpaved road|
|Day 3||Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes||2.8|