Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Only A Day

Since Death Valley is so large, packing all your sightseeing into a single day can be a challenge. If you plan carefully and start early, you can get a true flavor of what the park has to offer in a short period. Ultimately, what you see depends on where you enter the park. Begin the day in Furnace Creek, many of the most impressive sights are nearby. Get up early and drive 20 miles on Highway 178 to Badwater, the lowest point in North America and a wonderful place to watch the sunrise. 

Returning north, stop at Natural Bridge, a medium-sized limestone rock formation that has been hollowed at its base to form a span across two rocks. Then proceed to Devil's Golf Course. From Devil's Golf Course, take a short detour to the right onto Artist's Drive, a nine-mile route that passes Artist's Palette. The striking reds, yellows, oranges and greens here are brilliant reminders of the minerals in the rocks and the earth. Four miles north of Artist's Drive, you'll come to the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail, a two-mile trip that winds through a canyon of colorful rock walls. 

Just before Furnace Creek, take a short side-trip on Highway 190 East three miles to Zabriskie Point and the 20-Mule Team Canyon. Return to Furnace Creek for lunch and to visit the Death Valley Museum. Heading north from Furnace Creek, pull off the highway and check out the Harmony Borax Works.

Twenty miles up the road is Stovepipe Wells where Mosaic Canyon and the sand dunes are located, a great place to watch the sunset. Scotty's Castle will be beyond striking distance if you spend the morning at the sites surrounding Furnace Creek; plan to visit during a subsequent trip to the park.