Death Valley National Park

There are some places on earth that seem to be mislabeled. Death Valley National Park is one of them. It is known as one of the lowest, driest, and most desolate places on the earth, but in this mislabeled national park, there is much more than meets the eye.

Death Valley National Park

The Name Does Not Say It All

Death Valley National Park icon 150x83 Death Valley National Park

 


Although Death Valley National Park is quite hot during the day, temperatures plummet at night and snow can even be seen during the day in the higher elevations. The contrast continues with the seemingly spontaneous wildflowers that can be seen sprouting after a cool rain shower. The contrasts of extreme environments make Death Valley National Park an intriguing place for visitors.

When to go

January – February – March – April – May – October – November – December

Activities

Stunning Vistas – Wild flowers – Hiking – Horseback Riding – Biking – Bird-Watching – History

Borax Museum

If the heat seems to be too much to take, visitors to Death Valley National Park cool of inside the Borax Museum. The museum is a privately owned part of the park and is located in the Furnace Creek Ranch. Collections of minerals and a history of Borax can be found within the museum and if you want to venture outside and behind the museum itself you will be able to get up close and personal with mining equipment from days gone by.

Scotty’s Castle

Another indoor place to explore and to stay out of the heat is Scotty’s Castle. This castle was built in the 20s and the 30s with inspiration being drawn from the Spanish castles of that era. The once functional castle even contains a network of underground tunnels that can be explored as long as you have a ranger by your side. The museum and bookstore are located within Scotty’s Castle’s visitors center.

Backcountry at its Best

A visit to Death Valley National Park is not just about staying away from the intense heat. Death Valley National Park is a full 3 million acres of unspoiled wilderness and those in the know really know how to take advantage of it through backcountry activities throughout the park. The most obvious backcountry activity is camping. If you are looking to get away from everything and everyone to just be with nature, then backcountry camping is perfect. A permit is required and can be acquired at the visitor’s center. The permits are free, but you do need to remember to bring everything out that you carried in to minimize the disruptions of nature. Because of the extremely dry climate, campfires are prohibited during backcountry camping, but camp stoves are permitted.

Backcountry roads are also a favored activity for visitors. The rugged terrain and vast number of backcountry roads enable visitors to explore all that Death Valley National Park has to offer from the comfort of your own vehicle. If you are going to go backcountry riding, make sure that the fuel tank is full so you do not have the misfortune of becoming stranded. Also, make sure that your vehicle is equipped with at least all-wheel drive capabilities, four-wheel drive is optimal, but not necessary. Relying on GPS is a bad idea as well because the systems are not designed to allow you to navigate such a desolate area. A map is your best friend and can be found at any of the visitor’s centers throughout Death Valley National Park.

Bird Watching

Birds can be found throughout the year at Death Valley National Park, but are most prevalent during fall migration in August. Winter time is never a good time to bird watch within the park because the birds have moved onto a more suitable climate. The low desert oasis of Saratoga Spring and the Scotty’s Castle are great places to observe the birds, but most people venture out to Furnace Creek Ranch because of the convenient bird viewing platform.

What You Need to Know

Fees at Death Valley National Park allow for the preservation of the area to remain intact. The fees also allow you to visit the park for 7 consecutive days prior to purchase and only cost $20 for a vehicle and $10 for an individual on foot, motorcycle, or bicycle. There are also additional fees for entry to tour Scotty’s Castle so be prepared to pay an additional $11 if you want to take a tour.

National parks are places that should be treasured and it is important that we all work together to enable the animal inhabitants to remain safely within the park. Never approach wildlife when you visit Death Valley National Park or any other national park. The animals are somewhat used to humans being around, but they are still considered wild and can react negatively to being disturbed. Feeding animals within the park is also prohibited. Park staff want the animals to remain as wild as possible while they are being protected and if they get used to humans feeding them, they will not hunt for food as they should in the wild.

 

National parks are places that should be treasured and it is important that we all work together to enable the animal inhabitants to remain safely within the park. Never approach wildlife when you visit Death Valley National Park or any other national park. The animals are somewhat used to humans being around, but they are still considered wild and can react negatively to being disturbed. Feeding animals within the park is also prohibited. Park staff want the animals to remain as wild as possible while they are being protected and if they get used to humans feeding them, they will not hunt for food as they should in the wild.


Download a Death Valley National Park Map

Planning a trip to Death Valley National Park? Be sure to download the official Death Valley National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Death Valley National Park. This free Death Valley National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.


Average High/Low Temperatures
JanFebMarAprMayJune
40/6746/7355/8262/9173/10181/110
JulAugSeptOctNovDec
88/11786/11576/10762/9378/7738/65

Official Death Valley National Park Map – Click on the Map to download 

Death Valley National Park map Death Valley National Park