Death Valley National Park, located in southern California is the largest national park in the contiguous United States. In my opinion, it is one of the most. under rated national park in the United States. The history, the beautiful and the unique attractions are what make this park one of the best. It quickly became one of my favorite national parks we have been to.
Since it is one of the largest national parks in the United States, you will need more than a day or two to explore. So if you only have one day, what are the spots that you really shouldn't miss for your first experience? The following are our recommendations for a limited visit to Death Valley National Park.
The Best Spots in Death Valley National Park
The best time to visit Death Valley National Park in California in winter and early spring. When the temperatures are mild and you can explore the entire day. Since it is known as the driest, lowest and hottest national park, it can get up to 120+ degrees in the summer. Dangerously hot temperatures for those who are not prepared.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Have you ever explored a sand dunes? These are great because there are no OHVs allowed and there are a lot of them that is what you are competing with to explore. If you have never experienced dunes, then this is a great spot, even though these are not the only sand dunes within a national park in the United States. But since you are in the area, it is a must stop.
Badwater Basin is the most known and most popular place in the park. If you want to stand at the lowest point in the United States, then this is your place. Stand at -282 feet below sea level! This ancient sea bed is now a salt flat. You can roam pretty far but beware if there was been bad weather before you arrived.
This was my absolute favorite view point that we saw in the national park. I was blown away. Speechless. I couldn't believe the colors and the canyons. You can either use this as a viewpoint or you can go explore the canyons and trails.
This is probably the second most popular spot and probably most photographed. There are a lot of edited photos of this area. While the colors are bright and not typical of rocks or canyon walls, they are not as bright as you may see in a picture. We were still amazed with this place. Pinks, blues and greens lined some of the walls and you can climb through slot canyons to get closer.
This is a great spot to start a hike. This can be made a loop that his Zabriskie Point and goes along the high rock walls. Reach Red Cathedral or explore the many side trails and canyons that line the trail. What really amazed me about this area were the colors of the rocks. Called Golden Canyon, there were golden rock walls, but sometimes you would find these multi colored structures.
We missed a lot but we felt like this was the best first experience to get a glimpse of what else might be in the park.
A few spots we know we want to get to:
Rhyolite Ghost Town, Ubehebe Crater, Titus Canyon and The Racetrack.