Camping is plentiful but if you're looking for a place with a roof, in-park options are limited, pricey and often booked solid in springtime. Alternative bases are the gateway towns of Beatty (40 miles from Furnace Creek), Lone Pine (40 miles), Death Valley Junction (30 miles) and Tecopa (70 miles). Options a bit further afield include Ridgecrest (120 miles) and Las Vegas (140 miles).

Camping in Death Valley

The national park service operates nine campgrounds, including four tucked into the Panamint Mountains. Only Furnace Creek accepts reservations and only from mid-October to mid-April. All other campgrounds are first-come, first-served. At peak times, such as weekends during the spring wildflower bloom, campsites fill by midmorning. On those days, vast Sunset campground is your best bet for snagging a last-minute spot, plus there's always the option of free backcountry camping.

Private campgrounds catering mostly to RVers can be found in Stovepipe Wells Village, Ranch at Furnace Creek and Panamint Springs Resort.

Furnace Creek Ranch and Stovepipe Wells Village offer public showers ($5, including swimming-pool access). Pay at reception.

Season

year-round

Location

valley floor

Fee

$22

Characteristics

pleasant grounds, some shady sites

Season

Oct-Apr

Location

valley floor

Fee

$14

Characteristics

huge, RV-oriented

Season

Oct-Apr

Location

valley floor

Fee

$16

Characteristics

good for tents

Season

Oct-Apr

Location

valley floor

Fee

$14

Characteristics

parking-lot style, close to dunes

Season

year-round

Location

1800ft

Fee

$14

Characteristics

close to Ubehebe Crater

Season

year-round

Location

2100ft

Fee

free

Characteristics

tents only

Season

year-round

Location

4100ft

Fee

free

Characteristics

seasonal water

Season

Mar-Nov

Location

7400ft

Fee

free

Characteristics

may need 4WD, no water, closed in winter

Season

Mar-Nov

Location

8200ft

Fee

free

Characteristics

may need 4WD, no water, closed in winter

Backcountry Camping

Free backcountry camping (no campfires) is allowed along dirt roads at least 1 mile away from paved roads and developed and day-use areas, and 100yd from any water source. Park your car next to the roadway and pitch your tent on a previously used campsite to minimize your impact. For a list of areas that are off-limits to backcountry camping, as well as additional regulations, check www.nps.gov/deva or stop by the visitor center where you can also pick up a free voluntary permit.