Death Valley National Park

The very name 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, stark mountains rising to 11,000ft and plenty of endemic wildlife. This is a land of superlatives, holding the US records for hottest temperature (134°F/57°C), lowest point (Badwater, 282ft below sea level) and largest national park outside Alaska (more than 5000 sq miles).

Furnace Creek is Death Valley’s commercial hub, home to the park's main visitor center, a general store, gas station, post office, ATM, wi-fi, golf course, lodging and restaurants.

Park entry permits ($30 per vehicle) are valid for seven days and available from self-service pay stations at the park's access roads and at the visitor center.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Death Valley National Park.

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