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 corn field), 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
    ••• Badwater in Death Valley. David Toussaint / Getty Images

    You've probably heard of Death Valley, but you may not know a lot about it. Get started planning your visit by reading this introductory guide. It will help you find out why (and if) you should go, how to get around after you arrive - and most importantly, check out the handy tips we've compiled during our visits, going back to 1999.

    Some times of 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. Use this climate and weather guide 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, get some tips about things to do 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
    ••• On the Way to Death Valley. 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 where Death Valley is located, 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
    ••• 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 option for that in the Death Valley camping guide.

  • 04 of 06

    Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

    Mesquite Sand Dunes at Death Valley
    ••• Mesquite Sand Dunes at Death Valley. ©2015 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    There's a lot to do in Death Valley and you'll find some of its most beautiful spots in the photo tour below, but if your time is limited, we've picked out the top Death Valley sights, the ones that most people enjoy the most.

    If you want to take a tour - or create your own. Or if you're visiting Death Valley as a Las Vegas side trip, we've got some ideas for Death Valley National Park tours.

    And if all you've got is a weekend, use this getaway guide and trip will be planned in no time at all.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Death Valley Photo Tour

    Wildflowers in Death Valley
    ••• 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 and we're no exception. The Death Valley National Park photo tour includes more than 20 of our favorites, collected over several visits. Click on over to it and you'll actually be able to see the person who's dwarfed by the size of that sand dune.

    The nearby ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada is pretty photogenic, too. Take a look.

  • 06 of 06
    R2D2's Canyon in Death Valley
    ••• R2D2's Canyon in Death Valley. ©2015 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Do you remember the desert landscapes of Tatooine in the Star Wars films? Many of those famous scenes were filmed in Death Valley and we know where to find them.