Visitor Guide to Death Valley National Park

Here's How to Visit

Death Valley National Park is one of the world's hottest - lowest - places and one of the best places in the United States for star-gazing. With scant rainfall, it's a landscape laid bare, full of geological oddities, towering sand dunes and the homes of some pretty quirky former inhabitants. You can stand on the rim of an extinct volcano, see evidence of rocks that move around without any human intervention, stand 282 ft (86 m) below sea level or visit the Devil's Golf Course (or his cornfield), all in a day's time, then turn in at night in a nice, comfortable hotel after an excellent meal.

01 of 06

Death Valley National Park: An Introduction

Badwater Salt Flats before Sunset
David Toussaint / Getty Images

You've probably heard of Death Valley, but you may not know a lot about it. Find out why (and if) you should go, how to get around after you arrive and check out some handy tips.

Some times of the year, Death Valley is just too hot for most of us. In fact, it holds the world record for the highest temperature ever recorded on earth. It's helpful to find out what conditions may be like when you visit. To be as comfortable as possible while you're in this hot, dry place, it's important to be prepared before you go to the desert.

02 of 06

How to Get to Death Valley National Park

USA - Death Valley - Car tourist consults a map
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

If you don't know where Death Valley is - or you only have a vague idea of its location, now's the time to find out. Learn why the answer to the question "Where is Death Valley?" is sometimes dead wrong, how far it is from other places and how to get there.

Las Vegas is the closest major city to Death Valley. If your trip starts from there, check out the various ways to get from Las Vegas to Death Valley.

03 of 06

Where to Stay in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley Swimming Pool at the Furnace Creek Inn
Robert Alexander / Getty Images

If you're staying overnight in Death Valley National Park, it's best to plan ahead to be sure there's a bed waiting for you. Most visitors stay at The Oasis at Death Valley Resort (formerly the Furnace Creek Resort) or Stovepipe Wells and there are also a few rooms available at Panamint Springs.

If you like to go camping you'll also find options for that.

04 of 06

Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

Mesquite Sand Dunes at Death Valley

Betsy Malloy Photography

There's a lot to do in Death Valley, so make sure you use your time wisely, especially if you're only there for a weekend getaway.

If you want to take a tour - or create your own - or if you're visiting Death Valley as a Las Vegas side trip, there are several options.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Death Valley Photo Tour

Wildflowers in Death Valley
Christine Warner Hawks/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Death Valley's stark beauty and changing patterns of light are a big draw for photographers. The nearby ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada is pretty photogenic, too.

06 of 06

Star Wars in Death Valley

R2D2's Canyon in Death Valley

Betsy Malloy Photography

Do you remember the desert landscapes of Tatooine in the Star Wars films? Many of those famous scenes were filmed in Death Valley and you can visit them!

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