There's a total of 24 designated areas and parks to explore in Death Valley including Zabriskie Point, at its best early mornings if you want pure solitude. Titus Canyon is breathtakingly, alarmingly wild, steep and rocky. You can easily imagine people dying like flies in notorious Badwater, the lowest point in the USA. And the Ubehebe Crater will knock your socks off, a spectacularly large, steep sided ancient volcanic feature.
Badwater Basin is the lowest elevation in North America, at 282 feet below sea level.
There are only five hotels within the Death Valley National Park itself, from which you can explore all of this...
Creepy ghost gold towns including Rhyolite and Darwin
Furnace Creek, the valley's main visitor centre, with a gift shop, book store and advice from the Rangers
Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, an extraordinary sight near Stovepipe Wells Village
Many of the park's attractions hint at its grim history, a place where gold towns sprang up then died, wagon trains became hopelessly lost, people tried desperately to find water and laid down their lives in the search for earthly riches.
Mountain Areas From £1929.00 (inc flights and hotels)
Gaze across the Mojave Desert at the dazzling vistas of electric Las Vegas, hike through Mammoth Lake and Yosemite, and prepare to be stunned by the natural wonders of Death Valley. A spectacular, once in a lifetime adventure awaits.
Save up to 19% per person on this....
The walking here is epic. And there are plenty of trails to follow: the Salt Creek trail, Telescope Peak trail, Red Pass, Daylight Pass and Fall Canyon, all eye-wateringly, extraordinarily, bleakly beautiful. Death Valley holidays focus on the splendour of the natural world. But civilisation also offers some alternative entertainment and activities.
The Armagosa Opera House, unexpectedly beautiful murals plus lush interior décor
Visit the Borax Museum, a fascinating little place revealing some of the area's unique geology, or see the Harmony Borax Mines
Visit the ultimate folly, Scotty's castle, a Spanish-style ranch 45 hot, dusty, deadly miles from the nearest settlement
Team these three with plenty of outdoor exploration, road trips, hikes and cycle rides and you'll leave completely under the spell of Death Valley's extraordinary charms.
Discover the infamous 49er pass where, in 1849, wagon train loads of gold prospectors tried to find a short cut through Death Valley. Very few of them made it out.
Rainfall here averages less than 2 inches a year. In some years there's none at all. Obsession is never far from the surface in Death Valley. Take crazy Pete Agueberry, who came to the valley in 1905 and fought a four year battle to gain control of Eureka Mine. Then he worked the mine alone for forty years, with only the sound of shifting desert sands for company. You can visit his cabin and explore the site, which is still spookily intact. The nightlife is, as you can imagine, low key. This is the desert after all, and star-gazing here means real stars, big beautiful skies studded with them, rather than the Hollywood type. But there's a great bar out at Furnace Creek Ranch, the Corkscrew.
Remote, weird and spooky, Badwater Basin is quite something at night. Take a torch, walk out into the silvery moonlight and feel more isolated and alone than you're likely to feel anywhere else on our lovely blue planet. The one other nightlife choice in Death Valley, again at Furnace Creek Ranch, is a small area called 'downtown' by valley locals, in an ironic sort of way. There's a really good restaurant, a separate bar – more of a saloon really – and a general store. And that's it. You want clubbing, head out of the valley.
Dedicated California experts with a passion for the Golden State and the USA
Our team have all had their own California adventures, ask them for a few stories!