Don’t let the rather intimidating name put you off; Death Valley is a must-see. Located in Eastern California, this valley received its famous moniker during the 1800s, when prospectors tried to cross it to reach the goldfields. Death Valley is one of the hottest places in the world, still, this valley has got some incredible views and amazing experiences. So if you’re an explorer looking for your next big adventure, read on for some ideas on what to do in Death Valley.
This stunning view is one that will stay with you forever and has to be seen to be believed. Located more than 3,000 feet above Badwater, Dante’s View offers an incredible panoramic view of the valley below. It is about 45 minutes away from Furnace Creek and will give you the best views as you stand atop the Black Mountains. Just note that, because of its height, the air is noticeably cooler than it is below, so if you do venture up here, make sure to pack some warm clothes. If you want to get the best out of your experience, make sure that you witness the sunset at Dante’s View; it will blow you away.
Golden Canyon offers one of the best hiking trails in the Death Valley National Park and lives up to its name with its golden-colored hills. If any of the sites happen to look familiar, it may be because some of the scenes from the original Star Wars movies were filmed right here! That’s right, the amazing canyons, boulders, and desert terrain are sure to make you feel like you’re on another planet.
A short drive from Furnace Creek, Zabriskie Point is an easy stop en route to Dante’s View. And just as Dante’s View is perfect for sunsets, you can witness a remarkable sunrise at Zabriskie Point in the early morning. Due to the Death Valley weather, Zabriskie Point has almost no vegetation but makes up for it with great hike trails.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
The 100-foot/30-meter-high Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes need to be on your radar if you want to visit the best-known dunes. Despite the highest dune only rising to about 100 feet, the dunes cover a substantial area and includes three types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star-shaped. You can also see the Mesquite trees, a drought-tolerant plant.
Whether you love astronomy or simply want to experience the magic of the night sky, then you need to stargaze in Death Valley. Death Valley manages to have some of the darkest skies even though it’s just two hours away from Las Vegas. The Mojave Desert is one of the best places to see the stars, witness a lunar eclipse or meteor shower, and the Death Valley National Park hosts an annual Winter Star Party for astronomers, where they can gaze at the stars through telescopes on the resort golf course.
If you’re looking to go on a camping trip, then Death Valley has some great campgrounds to pick from. Death Valley camping has proven to be extremely popular, with areas including:
- Wildrose Campground: This all-season campground is located on the western edges of Death Valley National Park. Death Valley weather in this canyon can be windy, so bring suitable clothes. An ideal spot for RVs, Wildrose stays relatively cool, so it’s a popular spot for campers in the summer months.
- Furnace Creek Campground: Furnace Creek is in a central location in Death Valley. This campground has 136 campsites with drinking water, picnic tables, and flush toilets, and each campsite has either a campfire ring or a grill.
- Sunset Campground: This campground one of the least expensive campgrounds in Death Valley, mainly because it is more suited to motorhomes than tents, due to the gravel.
Saline Valley Warm Springs
The Saline Valley is known for its abandoned mines and famous springs. There are three hot spring areas: Lower Springs, Middle Springs and Upper Springs. You can visit Saline Valley’s three springs via a road known as the Warm Springs Road or Painted Rock Road. The beautiful springs are scattered across a 3-mile-long dirt road and first achieved popularity in the 1960’s.