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19 Fun Things To Do in Death Valley National Park


Death Valley is one of our favorite national parks to visit. If you love the desert landscape, you'll never run out of things to explore and discover - from abandoned mines, salt flats, to sand dunes, narrow canyons and majestic peaks. A high clearance, 4WD vehicle is essential if you want to go off the paved roads to explore the hidden gems, but you can still have a great adventure even if you choose to stay on the road.

Death Valley National Park is located near the border of California and Nevada. It’s one of the largest national parks in the United States, encompassing 3.4 acres. It’s roughly the size of Connecticut. With this mind, you probably won’t be able to see everything in one trip. Pick your favorites from our list of 19 fun things to do in Death Valley to build your own itinerary!

When to Visit

Death Valley is the hottest place on earth. The best time to visit is fall through early Spring. Always check the current conditions before you go.

Points of Interest 

Badwater Basin

badwater basin
📷: @cholivas

The surreal landscape of endless salt flats marks the lowest point in North America, at 282 feet below sea level.

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point Death Valley National Park California
📷: @adventure.planner

At sunrise the hills turn golden and you’ll likely find yourself among serious photographers.

Dantes View

Dantes View Death Valley NP California
📷:
 @bnja.mn

Spectacular views of Badwater Basin & Panamint Range.

Artist's Palette

Artist's Palette Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @adventure.planner

These colorful hills are a geological wonder.

Teakettle Junction

Teakettle Junction Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @t_secody

Located at the junction where Ubehebe Crater meets roads to the Racetrack Playa.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @teaspoonofjane

These colorful hills are a geological wonder.

Easy Hikes

Mosaic Canyon

Mosaic Canyon Death Valley National Park 📷: @rondeauroad

Mosaic Canyon hike is an easy 2-4 miles round trip hike into the marble-walled canyon.

Darwin Falls

Darwin Falls Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @adventure.planner

A short hike from the parking lot rewards you with this perennial waterfalls.

Golden Canyon

Golden Canyon Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @adventure.planner

There are several short loop or one-way hike options starting from the Golden Canyon trailhead. Whichever one you choose, you’ll likely be surrounded by views like this.

Ubehebe Crater 

Ubehebe Crater Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @julianalazzarini

You can take a short stroll around the rim of the crater hike into the crater itself.

Intermediate / Strenuous Hikes

Telescope Peak

Telescope Peak Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @erikamagana.marketing

A 14-mile round trip hike to the highest peak in Death Valley. This strenuous hike rewards you with 360 degree views of Death Valley & Panamint Valley.

Wildrose Peak

Wildrose Peak Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @lindsquin

This 8-mile hike begins at the charcoal kilns. It’s an intermediate level hike and you’ll have amazing views for the company.

Fall Canyon

Fall Canyon Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @laurrlew

A moderate 6-mile round trip hike into narrow, high-walled canyon.

Corkscrew Peak

Corkscrew Peak Hike in Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @adventure.planner

Corkscrew Peak is a 7-mile out and back trail to the most recognizable peak in the Grapevine Mountains.

Backpacking Trips

Marble Canyon / Cottonwood Canyon Loop

Marble Canyon Cottonwood Canyon Loop Death Valley
📷:
 @adventure.planner

This 30-mile backpacking loop takes you through Marble Canyon, Deadhorse Canyon and Cottonwood Canyon. 4WD & high clearance vehicles are recommended for reaching the trailhead. Check on the status of water sources before you start.

Surprise Canyon to Panamint City

Surprise Canyon to Panamint City Backpacking Death Valley
📷:
 @alyu_22

A rugged 5 mile hike takes you to the old ruins of abandoned Panamint City, where you can camp overnight before retracing your steps back.

Best Drives

Titus Canyon Road

Titus Canyon Drive Death Valley National Park
📷:
 @adventure.planner

Titus Canyon is a 26-mile one way drive that starts from the eastern park boundary and ends at Fall Canyon. A high clearance vehicle is required to navigate the one-way windy road. Spectacular views, petroglyphs, narrow canyons, mining ruins -- this drive has them all.

Racetrack Valley Road

Racetrack Valley Road
📷:
 @unobscene

Solve the “moving rocks” mystery at the Racetrack

Hidden Gem

Saline Valley Hot Springs

Saline Valley Hot Springs Death Valley
📷:
 @wandering_gypsy83

Hidden in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the remotest part of Death Valley you’ll find a springs fed pools next to palm trees. It takes some effort to get here but the experience is absolutely one of a kind.

Do you have a favorite Death Valley spot not covered above? Let us know in the comments below. 😊

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