Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park in 20 photographs

Death Valley National Park inspires every visitor that comes to visit  the park especially to experience the extreme heat, amazing landscapes and what it feels like to be at the lowest point below sea level in the United States. It also looks like this vast terrain is more than just desert, but filled with amazing rock formations, large sand dunes, salt flats and fascinating topography that is fun to explore along many of the hiking trails around the park. It’s not difficult to find inspiration to wander around the park and photograph so many of the popular attractions and striking landscape.  After taking quite a few  photos around the park, I’ve narrowed my favorites down to 20 photographs in order to give you a highlight tour and hopefully inspire you to visit Death Valley National Park.

 

 

Death Valley National Park in 20 photographs

 

 

 

Death Valley highlights

 

Overlooking the salt flats at Death Valley National park

Overlooking the salt flats at Death Valley National park

 

 

Badwater Basin

The large area of white desert or salt flats represent Badwater Basin which is the lowest point of elevation in North America, 282 feet below sea level. The shallow shelf of salt flats contain a spring fed pool of “badwater” and accumulates large areas of salt pools hexagonal honeycomb shape salt crust. The large salt pools and crust are sitting on a mud basin making it hazardous to walk on.

 

 

 

Dunes and dead trees at Death Valley National park

Dunes and dead trees at Death Valley National park

 

Abandoned red fire truck at Stovepipe wells

Old fire truck at Death Valley National park

Old fire truck at Death Valley National park

 

Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch Trail

 

Golden Canyon trail Death Valley

 

 

 

Just south of Furnace Creek, this popular and relatively easy hiking trail leads you through various rock formations and golden canyons. The moderate hiking trail ranges from 3 to 8 miles depending on how far you want to go and even hike all the way to Gower Gulch and Zabriskie Point. The complete circuit trail is about 8 miles or you can drive to Zabriskie Point and hike through the colorful Badlands Loop.

 

 

Hiking the Golden Canyon Trail at Death Valley National Park

Hiking the Golden Canyon Trail at Death Valley National Park

 

 

 

Zabriskie Point and trail at Death Valley National Park

Zabriskie Point and trail at Death Valley National Park

 

Stunning views at Zabriskie Point

Just east of Furnace Creek is the beautiful rock formations and hiking trails to Zabriskie Point, a very popular viewing site and place for magnificent sunset views. I arrived late in the afternoon to capture some of the beautiful golden light and hiked a bit beyond the observation area.  The beautiful colored rock striations illuminated these striking diagonal patterns on the rock and in different earth tones of ochre to dusty reds which made this a fascinating place to explore and photograph.
Tip – the Badlands Loop is a moderate trail from the observation area that is  about 2.7 miles going through the colorful Badlands landscape and ancient lake bed.

 

 

Zabriskie Point view point at Death Valley National Park

Zabriskie Point view point at Death Valley National Park

 

 

Golden hills at Zabriskie Point

 

Zabriskie Point yellow hills at Death Valley National Park

 

 

The Harmony Borax  Works

 

Relic wagons at the Borax works Death Valley National Park

Relic wagons at the Borax works in Death Valley National Park

 

 

Checking out the Borax wagons used at the Harmony Borax  Works

The Harmony Borax Works is a short trail that leads to the Borax mines located just north of Furnace Creek. This popular mineral borax mine in Death Valley was a large scale mining operation during the 1880s to 1890s and these large Borax wagons were pulled by twenty mule teams to the nearest railway station in Mojave, California. These are the remnant wagons used at the mines and are impressive to see and photograph along this short walk to the mines.

 

 

Relic wagons at the Borax works Death Valley National Park

 

 

 

Natural Bridge Death Valley National Park

Hike to the Natural Bridge

 

Approaching the Natural Bridge

Across from  the Badwater Basin is the exit sign to the Natural Bridge – you drive a few miles down dusty gravel roads past hilly terrain until you reach the main parking lot. From there it is a short 1 mile roundtrip hike (about 45 minutes roundtrip) to get to the Natural Bridge and along the way you enter this narrow canyon above that invites you to keep exploring until you finally reach the spectacular natural arch.

Tip – If you pass underneath the arch the views and photo composition is more interesting with the lit up rocks in the background towards the afternoon time frame.

 

Natural Bridge Death Valley National Park

 

 

 

Death Valley National Park Mesquite Dunes Flats

 The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Just outside of the Stovepipe Village, you can see the large expanse of the dunes at Mesquite Flat. A quick turnoff into the parking lot and you are viewing the vast sand dunes of Death Valley.  There are no formal trails but the dune hike to the summit of the high dune is about 1 mile or 1.5 hours round trip. Since this is a popular area, you have to hike further away to avoid the crowds in your photographs or you can also capture the dunes from a further distance just off the main road.

Tip – late afternoon to sunset is the most popular time to visit so plan accordingly in order to get a parking spot and then hike to the perfect sand dune to photograph and enjoy sunset in the park.

 

 

Death Valley National Park Mesquite Dunes Flats

 

 

 

Keep walking further to avoid all the crowds at Mesquite

 

Death Valley National Park Mesquite Dunes Flats

 

 

Or use some figures in your photograph for scale in the desert landscape

 

 

 

Mesquite dune flats Death Valley

Purple Mountains Majesty at Mesquite Dunes

 

 

Waiting for sunset to approach at Mesquite Flats

 

Sunset at Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes

Sunset at Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes

 

End of day in Death Valley National Park

 

Sunset at Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes Death Valley

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel resorts in Death Valley National Park

 Where to stay in Death Valley

There are not too many choices of Hotels in the national park and just a few located in nearby towns, so you should try to secure your accommodations as early as possible for visiting the park or else you will be driving long distances for the closest places to stay.

 

The Ranch at Furnace Creek – This hotel is located in the park at Furnace Creek and is the luxury resort within the park. Centrally located to many popular attractions, the ranch has tennis courts, pool & sauna and each spacious room includes free wifi service.

Stovepipe Wells Village – Relax motel style rooms in a western setting and has swimming pool, playground and small golf course. The rooms are basic with air conditioning, Satellite TV, ensuite bathrooms and typical bath amenities. Affordable hotel rooms in a central location at Stovepipe Wells.

The Inn at Furnace Creek – this historic luxury hotel has been updated with an 18 hole golf course, sauna/pool, outdoor tennis courts and other modern amenities and needs in a Hacienda and open floor plan with a nice restaurant, shops and galleries on the property.

 

Amargosa Valley

Located about 40 miles East and outside of the park past Death Valley Junction in Nevada – the Amargosa Valley has more choices in range of motels to medium quality hotels in the town. For a list of available hotels in Amargosa Valley, check out this check out these hotels for current prices and availability.

 

Death Valley Junction

Located at the Southeast entrance of the park, Death Valley Junction contains a variety of low priced motels, affordable inns to casinos that service visitors coming from the South East area. There are about 18 hotels to choose from, check out this check out these hotels for current prices and availability.

 

Shoshone

The southernmost entrance to the park and the fastest access to Las Vegas, Shoshone has a variety of services and hotels that services the area. For a complete listing of hotels that are located here, check this check out these hotels for current prices and availability in the Shoshone area.

 

 

 

Rental Cars visiting Death Valley

you can rent cars easily from Las Vegas and drive over or from any location around the Southern California metropolitan cities. There are no major restrictions for driving around the park outside of 4×4 roads which are only accessible to all terrain vehicles. Las Vegas is about 150 miles to the South Entrance of the park and the closest city in California is Bakersfield at 218 miles to the west entrance.

For great rental car rates check out these rental car sites for prices and availability.

Priceline car rentals – name your price for 40% off car rentals

Travelocity – search for car rental deals

 

Details visiting Death Valley National Park

Operating hours – Open daily 24 hours

Main Visitors Center is located at Furnace Creek

Website – Death Valley NPS 

P.O. Box 579 Death Valley, CA 92328

Park newspaper/guide

 

If you enjoyed these Death Valley views, please pin them!

 

Death Valley National Park in 20 photographs

 

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on the Death Valley National Park,  hope you are inspired to plan a visit to Death Valley and visit these wonderful attractions.  If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

Some links in this article on Death Valley National Park are affiliates which provide a small commission to support this site at no extra cost to you. Thank you for reading, and happy travels!

 

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23 Responses to Death Valley National Park

  1. Pooja Pandit April 27, 2017 at 1:41 am #

    I must say that these are te most incredible photographs of Death valley that I have ever seen on the internet. I am bookmarking your blog for further read.

    • Noel April 27, 2017 at 2:55 am #

      Thanks so much, I appreciate the comment.

  2. Kristin Henning April 9, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Really nice shots, Noel. I’ve pinned a couple. How long did you spend there, or are these taken on multiple visits?

    • Noel April 9, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

      I was there for a long day and explored everywhere mentioned, it was thrilling but extremely exhausting to do that many activities in a very hot location.

  3. Nathalie April 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! It reminds me a bit of Haleakala. I love the old fire truck, who am I kidding, I love all your photos of Death Valley National Park!

  4. Kevin Wagar April 7, 2017 at 8:58 am #

    Death Valley is so incredible to explore. Amazing history, nature and views!

    • Noel April 7, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

      It is awesome, so glad to visit during the shoulder season when it was a cooler 85 degrees

  5. Billie April 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    Death Valley is so totally lunar looking. It never occurred that there’d be a hotel there. I always thought of it as a totally desolate place.

  6. Sue Reddel April 6, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    I just love you posts on the National Parks. Your photos really capture the parks so beautifully. I really have so many aprks to visit!

    • Noel April 6, 2017 at 8:09 am #

      Thanks so much Sue, this blog is such a labor of love and encouragement like this really helps when I’m ready to chuck it in!

  7. Mark April 5, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi Noel,
    Thanks for both the info and these photos. There are so many great national parks in the western United States. Death Valley looks incredible, though I haven’t had time to visit yet. It’s on the list as well as Sedona, Grand Canyon, Yosemite and a bunch of others. The practical tips give a great to for planning and knowing about hotels in the area is helpful so I can try to get bookings in advance. Thanks again.
    Cheers,
    Mark

  8. Donna Janke April 5, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    These photos are absolutely stunning. Death Valley is an intriguing place.

    • Noel April 5, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

      It is a gorgeous place, have you been Donna? Glad I made a visit before it starts to get really hot!

      • Donna Janke April 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

        I have not been. I tried to fit it into a California trip last spring, but couldn’t make it work with the rest of the agenda.

  9. Janice Chung April 4, 2017 at 9:41 am #

    Love the photo of Zabriskie Point. I kept wondering where all the other tourists were but as you said, you timed things right to avoid them, especially at Mesquite. Your photos are enticing me to visit. Loved the national parks in Utah and this is different but beautiful.

    • Noel April 4, 2017 at 10:52 am #

      LOL, there are tourists everywhere in Death Valley even in the shoulder season. You just have to be very creative to take out all the tourists in the photos or at least use them for scale in some of those impressive rock formations and hikes.

  10. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go April 4, 2017 at 1:57 am #

    I visited Death Valley as a kid but, of course, remember only the heat and the vast emptiness. Your photos have captured some stunning views and amazing rock formations and show that incredible beauty can be found in the starkest landscapes. My favorite photos were of the wagons but the whole countryside is lovely!

  11. Cathy Sweeney April 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

    Pinned! These are amazing photos of Death Valley. It’s such a dramatically beautiful place and you captured it very well.

  12. Anita April 3, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Gorgeous photographs, Noel…Death Valley has many guises, and you have captured them very well. What a surreal landscape!

  13. Michele April 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    I never realised Death Valley was so diverse, it looks a fascinating place to visit. I have it on my list for when we get to the US but now look forward to it even more. The ‘dead’ tree shots are amazing.

  14. Carole Terwilliger Meyers April 3, 2017 at 11:22 am #

    Death Valley is one of the most spectacular places I have visited. Your images give a sense of its grandeur. One of my favorite memories is of being in the hot springs-fed pool at the upscale hotel one evening, when the temp of the air was just about the same as that of the water. I’m overdue for a return visit.

  15. Charles McCool April 3, 2017 at 8:12 am #

    Gorgeous photos of Death Valley, Noel. Love the mangled trees, old fire truck, and the hiking trail.

    • Noel April 3, 2017 at 8:15 am #

      Yes, I love finding all the cool and quirky details like this to add more atmosphere to a place, thanks for commenting today.

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