Best Time to Visit California
Death Valley - the hottest and driest place on Earth - is a wild desert of sand dunes, mountains, canyons and colored rock layers. Death Valley is located in southern California (and a small part in Nevada) and is 300 miles /500 Kms from Los Angeles and 160 miles / 250 Kms from Las Vegas.
Best time to visit Death Valley
When not to go to Death Valley
What to visit in Death Valley
Hotels, tours and flights to Death Valley
WHAT TO VISIT IN DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Death Valley on the Map
Explore the map below for details:
Larger Death Valley map
Death Valley National Park is open year round.
The central and north part of this wide park (the largest in the US), is the most interesting. Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek are small towns with visitor centers where the traveler can get information and guided tours within the Park. Most of the best sights - Artist Drive, Badwater, Dante's View, etc. - are located near these two great references.
Scotty's Castle is another obligatory stop for Death Valley visitors. Located in the upper northern of the Park, Scotty's Castle is an extravagant and luxurious building in the middle of the unexpected.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO THE DEATH VALLEY
Spring and Autumn are undoubtedly the best seasons to tour the Death Valley National Park. The high season runs through the Winter and Spring months.
Summer is the best time to travel to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, close to Big Pine, but Summer isn't the best choice overall (though many people do visit the park in Summer). You must be careful if you intend to visit the park in the summer months: temperatures may easily climb above 100ºF/38ºC from mid-April through mid-October.
To surmount the high temperatures issue, plan your outdoor visits during the early morning (also the best way to avoid possible crowds) and chose indoor activities for midday.
WHEN NOT TO GO TO THE DEATH VALLEY
Take into account the temperatures: from mid-May to early Fall temperatures commonly run above 120ºF/48 º C. Summer isn't a good time to visit the Death Valley Park.
Use appropriate sports wear, strong walking shoes and sun protection in the summer (most winter days are mild, but there are also many cold ones).
Take into account the hours of access to some attractions. Some of the Park tours and visits are given only on weekends and holidays (the Calico Early Man Archeological Site, for instance, doesn't have tours on Monday and Tuesday).
During winter, vehicles may not be allowed to enter some parts of the park, due to snow.
HOTELS, TOURS AND FLIGHTS TO DEATH VALLEY
There is a reasonable accommodation offer - and restaurants, and fuel and auto services - in Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs (the main towns in the Park) as well as in the towns adjacent to it. But do not try to go to the Death Valley Park without booking your accommodation ahead.