Want to visit the hottest place on earth?
Then head over to Death Valley California, USA. Sounds scary?
Death Valley National Park lies on the borders of California and Nevada and is about 2 hours away from LV. It is said to be the hottest place on the earth, with temperatures soaring to 134°F in summer. Even in springtime, the temperatures would get close to 90°F.
In old times, this area has been responsible for the deaths of many visitors trying to cross the valley due to extreme conditions. Hence, the name Death Valley.
Even with the vast expanse of desert, flat sand and dry land all around, one can experience a different side of nature in Death Valley California.
It is a sight to experience the badlands and the wavy designs on the hard dunes.
Don’t forget the hats, sunblock, and water to keep yourself hydrated all the time.
Things to do in Death Valley:
Death Valley is about 2 hours drive from Las Vegas and is easily accessible through Los Angles, San Francisco, and other major cities.
Are you coming from Las Vegas? Looking for fun things to do in Las Vegas with kids? Read our post.
Death Valley National Park entrance Signboard
While entering the Death Valley National Park, do stop at the signboard to pay and click a picture.
Furnace Creek Visitor Center
This is a must-stop place before you head out exploring the dry desert. Get first-hand information from the park rangers and watch the film on the park and history.
Don’t forget to grab a map of the park.
Have a look at the thermometer outside to get an idea about the temperature. Is it burning hot?? Are you prepared with plenty of water and caps and shades?
As you enter the basin, the sight is very different. It looks as if we have entered a drought-hit area.
This is the lowest elevation point in the US and what seems to be dry and rugged land is endless salt lands.
These were created about 2000 years back when the lake at this location dried up. On hot and sunny days, there are signs of mirage, the field sparkling in the sun.
This is the driest, hottest and lowest place in North America.
The most famous vista point gives the first surreal views of the badlands. Closer to the Furnace Creek visitor center, Zabriskie Point is popular during sunrise and sunset.
During the day, climb to the overlook point from the car park to see the golden canyons.
Many hikes do begin from the Zabriskie point. But be mindful and carry plenty of water.
To get a stunning bird’s eye views of the badlands shining in the sunlight surrounded by the barren mountains, you have to drive your way up to Dante’s View.
This is Dante’s viewpoint located at about 5000 ft high.
With Panamint mountains at the backdrop, the badlands are a sight, especially at dawn and dusk. This is a great spot to get some amazing pics of the valley.
Note: It might get windy and cold at the peak, so carry a light jacket.
Devil’s Golf Course
The golfer’s sound excited? But hold on, this isn’t a golf course, but a rough bumpy field. These are actually rock salts eroded by winds and rainwater over the years leading to the rocky formations.
The name mocks that “Only devils could play golf on this rough land”.
This is a unique landmark in the national park, with soil colored in multiple shades. This is a nine-mile drive with spectacular views leading to the spot called Artist’s palette.
The colors in shades of blue, green are because of oxidation of metals present in the soil.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
How can the desert be complete without sand?
Yes, there are sand dunes in the Death Valley National park, but the most popular is the Mesquite flat.
But, there are restrictions to safeguard the wilderness. So run and dig on the sand and see the shimmering beauty create magic.
Note: No vehicle is allowed on the sand dunes, only sandboarding is allowed.
This is a great place for some exquisite photographs.
The largest crater of the national park is about 600 feet deep and 1/2 mile across. A massive hole looking like an empty basket lies towards the northern end of the park.
The crater is actually a maars volcano formed some thousand years ago by the steam explosions of the groundwater when the hot magma got in touch with the groundwater.
The crater can be explored in many ways:
- walking the rim of the crater which is about a 2-mile trip. There are other small craters along the way.
- Yes, you can even walk down to the bottom of the crater, but climbing back is a treacherous task.
- or just enjoy the beauty from the parking area.
How to explore Death Valley National Park?
Spread over 5000 sq miles, this vast national park needs a couple of days to explore and enjoy fully. But you can choose, depending upon the time you have.
The drive through the valley takes about 1/2 day and is at your discretion to choose what to explore.
Or choose from the tours for a hassle-free day.
$30 per vehicle or $15 per person valid for 7 days. There are kiosks at the entrance of the park to pay or can pay at the visitor center.
Do you love road trips? Looking for suggestions? Read our Southwest USA Road Trip with Kids – The Ultimate 5 Day Self-Drive Itinerary and hit the roads.
Things to Take Care While Visiting Death Valley National Park
- It can get very hot, so carry plenty of water, caps, shades, and sunscreen.
- There are deadly creatures like rattlesnakes, spiders, scorpions, and coyotes. So keep your eyes and ears open.
- There are many species of wildflowers and plants, some of which can cause rash/irritation on touch.
- Always keep a map of the national park and try and follow the marked trails. Do not always rely on GPS.
Places of Interest near Death Valley
Red Rock Canyons about 30 minutes west of Las Vegas en route to Death Valley.
The 13-mile drivable loop gives ample opportunities to see the wonderful glow and vivid colors of rock formations. To experience the topography up close, hiking or camping are great ways.
Have you visited Death Valley California, the hottest place on earth? Did this arid land charm you?
We were amazed to see this nature’s wonder. What was your favorite? Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments and we will be happy to update it.
Read for the USA trip inspiration:
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- The American Southwest Road Trip Itinerary
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- Free Things to do in Las Vegas, Nevada
- A Magical Weekend at Watkins Glen State Park
- Watkins Glen State Park Camping
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- Things to do in Outer Banks NC
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- Best Things to do in Philadelphia with kids
- Best Day Trips from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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