Day trip itinerary for Death Valley California

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and a new year celebration. I wish the year of  2017 brings joy and happiness in your life. Some people celebrate Christmas at home with family and I took the vacation on Christmas. I am so excited to share my latest experience of west coast trip with you. These time midwest was caught up with the storm in December, So we decided to use our Christmas leaves and get away some place which is warmer than midwest. We decided to visit Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Page and Las Vegas in the Christmas week as we planned our trip just two weeks before. we were worried to get booking of hotels and rental car. We planned to fly Las Vegas and drive around to visit nearby places. Our very 1st destination was Death Valley, California and I am so excited to share my “Day trip itinerary for Death Valley, California.

How to reach Death Valley?

  • You can take a flight to any of three airports McCarran International Airport Las Vegas, Bob Hope Airport Los Angeles, Inyokern Airport. Once you reach the airport get a rental car and head to your destination.
  • If you are living in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, colorado try to have a road trip. It will be so much fun.
  • We took a flight to McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas and rent a car from Airport.

Where to stay?

  • In Death Valley, Stovepipe Wells Village, Furnace Creek, and Panamint Springs has enough lodging and camping facilities.
  • There are also few lodges around death valley junction, which is around 45 mins to one hour drive.
  • We stayed in Pahrump town which is around 70 miles from Death Valley park.
  • There is another town named Beatty, where you can find lodging services. It’s around 30 miles drive from the park.

Day trip itinerary for Death Valley California

If you are not sure to prepare itinerary then check out my post ” How to prepare the ultimate itinerary?” We stayed at Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino in Pahrump town and started our trip from Pahrump.

  1. Dante’s View
  2. Twenty mule team Canyon
  3. Zabriskie Point
  4. Furnace creek center
  5. Devil’s Golf Course
  6. Bad water basin
  7. Artist’s drive
  8. Harmony borax works
  9. Mesquite flat dunes
  10. Stovepipe wells village

Dante’s View and Furnace creek are around 25 miles apart, So instead of going to furnace creek and come back all the way, we head directly to Dante’s viewpoint. I have shared google maps to explain you the sequence of places.

Dante’s View

This is the highest viewpoint in Death Valley park. You can take a glance look of the Bad water basin and Devil’s Golf course from around 5000 feet. They have dedicated parking area and you can walk around and enjoy the 360-degree view of a park. There is little hiking overall 1 mile in two different directions but it’s steep, so be careful while roaming around.


Dante's View

Twenty Mule Team Canyon

It is unpaved one-way loop drive around 3 miles. It is accessible to vehicles other than buses and RV’s. If you want to have some off road adventure then this is the perfect drive for you. You can view canyons right from your drive seat and capture amazing shots.

Day trip itinerary Death Valley California

Zabriskie Point

This is next stop right after Twenty team mule Canyon and most famous among visitors. You can get to see the canyon and get down to near once from this point. They have made the paved road to walk up to the point and you can view from different angles.


Day trip itinerary Death Valley California

Furnace creek center

At Furnace creek, you will find visitor Center, Gas Station, Campground and hotel as well. You have to buy Pass for the park from the visitor center. The park ranger also helps to learn about the park and answer all your questions. They also have 20 mins long movie in which it explains about the park. Don’t forget to check out museum Exhibit.


Death Valley California

Devil’s Golf Course

Don’t ever miss this point. This is my favorite spot by name. This area of rock salt has eroded by rain and the wind and made golf ball size holes. The holes are made such a way that only devils could play golf on such rough links. I think words are not enough to explain but the picture speaks it all.


Day trip itinerary for Death Valley California

Bad water basin

The Bad Water Basin is the lowest point in North America. It is a surreal landscape of vast Salt Flats. The Bad Water Basin is around 280 feet below sea level. You will be able to see Sea level marker on the rock. We did around 0.7-mile hiking and explore the salt flats. Its overall 1-mile hike on the flat surface and accessible by wheelchair as well.


Day trip itinerary for Death Valley California

Artist’s drive

Name itself suggests what to expect from this drive. The Artist’s drive is one way around 10-mile loop surrounded by canyons. There are two spots for hiking and photography. The Artist’s Palette is an area on the face of the Black Mountains noted for a variety of rock colors. All these colors are caused due to the oxidation of different metals. You will able to see pink, red, green and brown colors of rocks. It literally looks like the painting. This drive can take 30 mins to 3-4 hours totally depends on you. We stop by at two points for photos and enjoyed the view which overall took 45 mins but we didn’t do hiking.

How to prepa

Mesquite flat dunes

The Mesquite flat dunes are the picture perfect place and easiest to visit in the national park. It is located in Death Valley near Stovepipe Wells Village. It is easily accessible from Hwy 190. If you are driving from Furnace Creek Center to Stovepipe Wells Village you will see dunes on your right side. There is a small parking lot where you can park. It’s a great place to spend an hour. It looks beautiful during sunset. We reach here before sunset and walk on the dunes. It’s such a great moment to enjoy watching sun slipping through the sand.


Stovepipe wells village

After Furnace creek, Stovepipe village has a gas station, general store and restaurant. If you are planning to stay overnight in Death valley park then stovepipe wells village is the good place to choose. It also offers Rv park and camping facilities. It is a western style rustic village and gives the real feel of the west world. In Death Valley, only Furnace creek and Stovepipe wells have a gas station. Hence, It’s advisable to keep your gas tank full whenever you get the chance.

One thought on “Day trip itinerary for Death Valley California

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