Introducing Death Valley National Park
The name itself evokes all that is harsh, hot and hellish – a punishing, barren and lifeless place of Old Testament severity. Yet closer inspection reveals that in Death Valley nature is putting on a truly spectacular show: singing sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, boulders moving across the desert floor, extinct volcanic craters, palm-shaded oases and plenty of endemic wildlife. This is a land of superlatives, holding the US records for hottest temperature (134°F, or 57°C), lowest point (Badwater, 282ft below sea level) and largest national park outside Alaska (over 5000 sq miles).
Peak seasons are winter and the springtime wildflower bloom. From late February until early April, lodging within a 100-mile radius is usually booked solid and campgrounds fill before noon, especially on weekends. In summer, when the mercury climbs above 120°F (49°C), a car with reliable air-con is essential and outdoor explorations in the valley should be limited to the early morning and late afternoon. Spend the hottest part of the day by a pool or drive up to the higher – and cooler – elevations.
Death Valley National Park destination guides
Best of the West
Explore the national parks of western USA including the Grand Canyon
Death Valley Day Trip from Las Vegas
Escape to the desert on a day trip to Death Valley during your Las Vegas vacation. You'll travel through the magnificent Mojave Desert and visit the Spanish-style Scotty's Castle for lunch. Tour Ubehebe Crater and visit the atmospheric Furnace Creek Ranch Museum and Rhyolite Ghost Town.