DEATH VALLEY IN ONE DAY

CANYONS, SAND DUNES, COLOURFUL MOUNTAINS. WHAT TO SEE IN DEATH VALLEY IN ONE DAY

The name Death Valley, somewhat implicates itself to be that of a wilderness containing some harsh terrain or potentially even treacherous conditions… We quickly learnt the reason as to why this region of the Eastern Californian desert was called ‘Death Valley’.

We arrived after a 4 hour drive at midnight to the town of Beatty, located just across the state line into Nevada. The Atomic Inn, a road side motel accommodating the charm of an affordable true American motel room. It consisted of all of the amenities required for a good night sleep before a considerable day of adventure.

Scroll down for the guide ↓ ↓

WORDS: TRACEY HARRIS
PHOTOGRAPHER: KRISTEL CHAPLIN 

The Natural Bridge

death-valley-road

Although a desert housing some of the most spectacular natural wonders and landscapes, the moment we stepped foot outside of the air conditioned car, the torrid heat was evident and completely unavoidable. No shade, no escape, only blistering sun and a searing breeze occasionally passed by. Understandingly known as one of the hottest places in the world, Death Valley certainly requires a tough soul to endure these conditions.

None the less, despite the hot conditions and desolate terrain we had decided to travel to, the heat was only a mere challenge we were happy to tolerate in order to discover the beauty we knew Death Valley had to offer.

An area offering such vast and diverse landscapes, so captivating and beautiful, we were constantly in awe. Land consisting of mountains encrusted with colours, towering canyons, salt flats that travel as far as the eye can see. Undulating sand dunes that when viewed at sunset, is nothing short of a magical experience watching the surrounding mountains turn purple and the sand glow golden.

Home to the lowest elevation point in North America, Badwater Basin sits at 282ft below sea level, along with the highest point in the United States; Mount Whitney stands tall at 14,505ft above sea level. The desert has by no means a shortage of interest to delight anyone engrossed in geology or who simply wishes to witness some of the universes’ astounding spectacles.

Although seemingly void and barren, Death Valley exudes beauty everywhere you turn and exceeded all expectations to our Californian desert adventure.


WhAT TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT Death Valley

Try to avoid the summer months if possible which is June - August, it is literally the hottest place ever recorded.

However in saying that, this is when we decided to visit… It was REALLY hot (high of 48°) but it was okay with an air conditioned car and lots of water. So, if you’re someone who dislikes the heat, definitely stick to the cooler seasons. September - Dec or March - May

Sunscreen, hats and huge bottles of water upon entering the park. If possible, a cooler bag for your water as it heats up real quick once the car is off. I cannot stress the water enough.

DEATH VALLEY PARK ENTRY FEES

You need to pay for a national park pass on entry. You can pay at the entry points via the ticket machine and the visitor centers in the park.

See - Where to purchase Death Valley Park Entry

 

WHAT TO DO IN DEATH VALLEY in one day

As our main focus for travel is photography, these must see areas are absolutely stunning and doable in a day with an early start.

This was the itinerary for our day.

  • Zabriskie Point

  • Badwater Basin – A stunningly white salt plain and the lowest point in North America.

  • The Natural Bridge

  • Artists Palette – This drive is definitely worth it alone. A one way loop off of the main stretch of road between Furnace Creek and Badwater.

  • Mesquite Sand Dunes.

    WANT A HANDY GOOGLE MAP ITINERARY??

    It can be hard to wrap your head around where everything is at first, so here is a Google Map of what we did to ease any confusion!

    Click here for your Map > One day itinerary map for Death Valley

WHERE TO STAY IN DEATH VALLEY

It is definitely advisable to book ahead, there are limited places to stay within Death Valley National Park. The most popular places are below.

  • Beatty

    Low Budget - Approx $80 pn

    A bigger town just across the border in Nevada. Contains a supermarket, Motels, Hotels and Restaurants.
    We stayed at the Atomic Inn, a simple motel run by lovely people, exactly what we needed and it was $80 for one night.

    We found the best rate through Booking.com

    Click Here to Book Atomic Inn

  • Furnace Creek

    High Budget - Approx $200 - $700


    Right in the middle of Death Valley National Park and conveniently close to many attractions Death Valley has to offer. Contains campsites and a Resort ‘ The Inn at Death Valley’ an stunning resort of a higher price.

    The beautiful Ranch at Death Valley is its neighbor at a lower price averaging $200 - $400 pn

    Click Here to Book The Inn at Death Valley on Booking.com

    Click Here to Book for the Ranch at Death Valley on Booking.com

  • Stovepipe Wells

    Mid Range Budget - Approx $200 pn

    Located 40 minutes north of Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park.

    A perfect place to stay with a great restaurant, large general store.

    Click Here to Book the Stovepipe Wells Village