Death Valley is one of the largest parks in the United States. Located in the Mojave Desert, one hundred miles west of Las Vegas, this 13.600 km² national park has spectacular scenery and unique features.
In addition to being a national park, it is a desert, in which the climatic conditions are very severe.
Did you know that the highest point of the Valley of Death is Telescope peak, west of the park, with 3368 meters of altitude, followed by Dante's view to the east, at 1668 meters. With these heights, don't be surprised if you find snow-capped peaks in winter.
Yet, in Death Valley itself we also find the lowest point in the United States, the Badwater Basin, 86 meters below sea level. This place ranks eighth among the lowest on the planet.
The name Death Valley or Death Valley derives from his climatic situation. It is one of the driest regions on earth. The 4 great mountain ranges that lie between Death Valley and the Pacific Ocean prevent the entry of cloud fronts thus helping to make Death Valley the driest point in the country. The valley floor receives less than 5 cm of rain per year.
Death Valley is also the hottest spot on the planet. Summer temperatures hit 52 ° C effortlessly. The highest temperature recorded on the surface of the Earth was recorded here in 2006, reaching 58,1 degrees.
Despite the name, Death Valley is full of life. There are no less than 1000 plant species, many of which are endemic to the region, while the fauna includes 400 different species!
But above all, Death Valley surprises enormously with its extremely varied landscape which also includes some vestiges of the old Wild West. The ghost towns located here, like Rhyolite e Ballarat, you can visit them freely.
In addition, huge sand dunes, vast desert landscapes, numerous canyons, salt flats, craters and endless colors, make Death Valley a geological marvel. Once an inland lake, the valley is one of the few valleys created not by erosion, but by a shift in the earth's crust.
Any trip to Death Valley requires some planning. With over 3.000 square miles to explore (the Valley stretches from California to Nevada) and with high daytime temperatures, it is advisable to prepare the visit well. Before leaving check here road conditions and related closures.
When to go
The best time to visit Death Valley is in the winter and spring months, when temperatures are milder and wild flowers bloom throughout the area. In the summer months it is best to avoid traveling during the hottest hours, when temperatures can exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 50 degrees C.
It is advisable to rent a reliable, air-conditioned car. This makes the trip to Death Valley feasible in any weather. The park is open all year round.
The attractions they are far from each other. It is not possible to walk between them, all travel must be done by car. The visit requires quite a bit of driving. Make sure the car is in good condition.
Even though Death Valley is a popular destination, it still remains a huge wild park where getting lost can have serious consequences (cell phones aren't always reliable in this remote area). Checking in at the visitor center is important, because if you have to stay ashore for some reason, the rangers will know they need to look for you.
There are no supermarkets in and around Death Valley, except in the visitor center located at Furnance Creek.
Camping in the park is another option for lodging, although not recommended for small children who may be frightened by the nocturnal sounds of coyotes and bats, or from reaching the restrooms in the dark.
How to reach us
Located 120 miles fromMcCarran International Airport di Las Vegas, Death Valley is easy to reach. There are only four main roads to follow even if they are very desolate.
Death Valley is located on the road that connects the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Park. The park is accessible from 5 main entrance gates:
- From the north, after Beatty, using the NV374
- Further north via Scotty's Junction (State Route 267 - Access closed until further notice)
- Coming from the west, after Lone Pine, via the CA190
- From the East, after Death Valley Junction, using the CA190
- Still to the east, but a little further south, after Shoshone, via the CA178 (Badwater Road).
from las vegas - The most direct route from Las Vegas is via Pahrump (NV-160 W) and California Highway 190.
Coming from Los Angeles – proceeding I-15 N and CA-127 N
From San Diego - via I-15 N and CA-127 N
Entry costs $ 30 per vehicle and the ticket is valid for 7 days. It can be purchased at the park entrances or at the visitor centers.
In the entrances you will find cars powered by solar energy where you can buy your ticket to visit the Death Valley. The machines also have a locker for getting a map.
The entrance is not monitored by anyone, but during your visit to the park, the rangers may stop you and ask you to show your annual pass or entrance ticket.
If you plan to visit several US national parks, it is advisable to purchase the US National Parks Pass - America the beautiful on your first visit to a park.
The pass is valid for one vehicle (including all passengers) for a period of one year, costs around US $ 80 and is quickly profitable.Buy your pass on Viator
* The link does not always work from smartphones, but if you make the purchase from your computer you will have no problems.
The park is very large, but the most interesting part is the southern part.
Allow for a day (or 2 half days) to visit the main viewpoints and take two or three small hikes.
- Find out more in our article dedicated to what to see in Death Valley, the attractions not to be missed ...
Due to the truly extreme weather conditions, inside the Death Valley National Park there are not many lodgings. There are 4 historic lodges:
- he Furnace Creek Inn
- Furnace Creek Ranch
- Stovepipe Wells
- Panamint Springs
All of these historic lodges are open daily, and each offers a food service and shop.
The two Furnace Creek properties are located in the heart of the park near the park visitor center. Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs lie west on Highway 190. These lodges have a more rural and secluded flavor, but still offer full amenities.
Alternatively you can sleep in the small towns near the park.
- Discover the available hotels
Some useful tips and information for visiting Death Valley
- bring at least 2 liters of water together during the visit.
- obtain geographical map.
- beware of high temperatures, they could damage the car engine in the hottest hours.
- il mobile phone, due to the morphology of the area, it does not work everywhere in the park.
- always fill up with petrol at the first service station, the next could be more than 200 km away.