Death Valley in One Day: Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes

affiliate link and privacy policy

Good news, if you have limited travel time, Death Valley in one day is absolutely possible! Eat your Wheaties and be prepared for an early morning with a lot of driving. You are going to see all of Death Valleys’ top locations.

Death Valley National Park looks like it is from another planet! The pictures on Instagram barely do it justice. You will have to see this incredible and one-of-kind location for yourself. We have learned some valuable tips the hard way, so do not make these 6 mistakes on your one-day visit to Death Valley. 

Is One Day In Death Valley Enough

One day in Death Valley is enough time to see all of the highlights of the national park. However, as the largest national park in the United States outside of Alaska, you are going to need to have an itinerary in advance before your visit.

Follow my itinerary below and you will be able to experience all of Death Valley’s famous sights in one day. You will also find helpful tips and advice throughout the post to ensure that you have an epic trip to Death Valley National Park.

California Bucket List Challenge ✅

How many things can you check off on this ultimate California bucket list?

Get 70+ unique and fun ideas for must things to do in California

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Where is Death Valley National Park

    I am embarrassed to say this, but I didn’t even know Death Valley existed until about a year ago. I cannot be the only one! Right? I am originally from Philadelphia, PA, and we barely do any hiking, let alone visit a desert in the middle of nowhere for a vacation.

    However, when I saw pictures of Death Valley, I immediately knew this is a place that I have to visit! 

    So where can you find Death Valley? The national park shares occupancy between California and Nevada in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert.

    How to Get to Death Valley 

    You will need a car to see Death Valley unless you decide to do a tour from Las Vegas. The closest airport is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

    where is death valley national park

    It is about a 2-hour drive from Vegas, which is why many people day trip from there. Death Valley is a 4 hour drive from Los Angeles. Or if you are road tripping in from northern California like us, it was an 8.5-hour drive from San Francisco, CA. 

    🚗 If you plan on renting a car to visit Death Valley National Park:

    ✅ Avoid the hassle and book your car rental ahead of time for the lowest rate by clicking here! 

    Find all of the details on how to get to Death Valley, the best tours to book, how to prepare for a Death Valley road trip, and many more helpful tips.

    💡 Know before you: If you are traveling from northern California, the quickest route is to go south to route 190. If you go north, you will travel by Yosemite, which is gorgeous and also an epic location for you to visit on your road trip. However, it adds an additional hour of travel time. 

    Death Valley in One Day Itinerary & Map 

     Help simplify your one-day in Death Valley National Park itinerary and plan your driving route in advance. Since you have limited time, you need to be on top of your game and have a clear direction of where you are going.  

    The first thing you need to decide when planning your itinerary is if you would like to see locations at sunrise or sunset. Trust me, you do! You can not go wrong with catching a sunrise or sunset at any of these beautiful locations in Death Valley. However, the most popular spots include: 

    • Zabriskie Point: Sunrise 
    • Mesquite Sand Dunes: Sunrise or sunset 
    • Badwater Basin: Sunset 

    Map of Death Valley One Day Itinerary

    A. Zabriskie Point
    B. Dante’s View
    C. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
    D. Ubehebe Crater
    E. Artist Drive
    F. Devil’s Golf Course
    G. Badwater Basin

    1. Don’t Make This Mistake When Visiting Death Valley

    Download your map! Like, do it now before you forget! You will not have service once you are inside Death Valley National Park. At the visitor centers, they do provide you with a map, which is helpful. However, we still managed to get lost and miss our turns multiple times. 

    💡Know before you go: Pro tip, if you are in a pinch and need service, you will get some bars by the hotels, Furnace Creek, and Stovepipe. Otherwise, you are SOL! 

    What to Do in Death Valley in One Day

    There is a lot to cover in one day, but with a well-thought-out plan and itinerary, you should be able to visit all of the top locations in Death Valley National Park.

    Zabriskie Point 

    To get to Zabriskie Point: From Furnace Creek, drive southeast on Highway 109 for 4 miles. Turn right into the parking lot for Zabriskie Point.
    Time Spent: 1 hour for sunrise. If not going at sunrise 15 to 20 minutes

    zabriskie point is a must visit at death valley in one day

    First up for your one day in Death Valley itinerary is Zabriskie Point. At Zabriskie Point, you will experience stunning panoramic views of the badlands.

    It is a short and paved uphill walk to the vista point. The golden rugged rock formations make for a jaw-dropping landscape. You should plan to see Zabriskie Point at either sunrise or sunset.

    Zabriskie Point at Sunrise 

    Many blogs and Death Valley’s website recommend seeing Zabriskie Point at sunrise. Which we agreed, was absolutely beautiful. The golden and chocolate brown hues of the mountain range look the best in the morning sunlight.

    My favorite part was, while the sun was getting ready to rise, the moon on the opposite side was slowly setting at the same time. 

    Zabriskie point sunrise death valley

    2. Don’t Make This Mistake When Visiting Zabriskie Point at Sunrise 

    We arrived way too early for sunrise! Once you get to the parking lot, it is pretty easy to navigate the short hike to the top. It took us less than 10 minutes. However, be mindful that the sun is rising over a mountain range.

    In other words, even though the sun has already risen in other areas of the park, it will still take about an additional half-hour to rise above the mountains. You will need to be patient to get that perfect sunrise photo. 

    💡Know before you go:

    • Wear layers: it was very chilly in the morning. 
    • Check your weather app the night before to get sunrise time. 
    • If you go during high season, consider doing the Golden Canyon Hike to avoid the crowds.
    • Pack a headlight or flashlight to navigate the trail.

    Dante’s View 

    To get to Dante’s View: It is a 30-minute drive from Zabriskie Point. Follow CA-190 E for 7 miles and turn right onto Furnace Creek Wash Road, and continue straight towards Dante’s View.  
    Time spent: 20 minutes. There is a short uphill hike you can do to get higher-up views.

    dante's view one day in death valley

    When you are looking at a map, Dante’s View also looks to be a little out of the way from the other must-see locations in Death Valley. We even contemplated skipping it. However, I am so happy we didn’t.

    There is a steep and winding road to get to the parking lot. The moment you step foot out of your car, there are spectacular views. At Dante’s View, you will be overlooking Death Valley onto Badwater Basin and Panamint Valley.

    It is truly breathtaking and one of my favorite locations we visited in Death Valley. If you have time, you can do a short but steep hike to get even higher views of Dante’s View. 

    Furnace Creek

    If you like to start your busy day of exploring with a full belly, this is a great opportunity to make a pit stop at The Oasis at Death Valley, which offers a couple of breakfast options. This is where we stopped on our day trip to Death Valley to quickly refuel before our busy day of exploring.

    • Date Grove Diner: At the Ranch Inn. Opens at 6 am 
    • The Inn Restaurant: At the Inn Death Valley. Opens at 7:30 am

    Mesquite Sand Dunes 

    To get to Mesquite Sand Dunes: 1-hour drive from Dante’s View. Head east to CA-190 W, and continue until you see the signs for Mesquite Sand Dunes. 
    Time Spent: 1 to 1.5 hours

    Mesquite Sand Dunes Death Valley one day itinerary

    While it is still early, I suggest making Mesquite Sand Dunes your next stop in your one-day Death Valley itinerary. Teleport yourself to a slice of the Sahara desert! The mounds of rippled sand cover a vast area in Death Valley.

    You will have to do a little bit of hiking to get to the larger dunes, so it is best to do this before the afternoon heat or right before sunset.

    There is a dune that is larger than the others and the most popular one to visit. It is a farther hike out, which you may not have time for with only one day in Death Valley. Also, you will most likely have to share that sand dune with other people.

    A way to save time was by going in the other direction and finding a secluded spot on the dunes that were closer to explore. It took us about 20 minutes to hike out to the sand dunes. 

    where to stay in death valley

    💡Know before you go:

    • The sand dunes are impressive. However, I did expect them to be bigger. The tallest dune is about 100 ft. 
    • Wear appropriate footwear and pack an extra clean pair of socks for after the dunes.
    • Some people brought sleds to surf down the dunes. I would leave those at home. Sandboarding is prohibited in a lot of the areas on the dunes. To me, it is just not worth the effort or space in your car. 

    If you are looking to off-road on some awesome sand dunes, Pismo Beach allows you to drive on the beach. Or you can book a jeep excursion to soar over massive sand dunes. 

    3. Don’t Make This Mistake When Visiting Death Valley 

    We greatly underestimated how much water we needed. Staying hydrated during your one day in Death Valley is so important.

    Road tripping, in general, causes you to get dehydrated, and then add in the climate at Death Valley! You can run into some serious health issues if you are not keeping up with your fluid intake.

    Bring some coolers and whatever you originally planned on packing. Double it! There are plenty of bathrooms around the park, so don’t worry about having to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes.

    Ubehebe Crater: 

    To get to Ubehebe Crater: 1-hour drive from Mesquite Sand Dunes. Turn left onto CA-190 E, continue for 5 miles, and turn left onto Scotty’s Castle Road for 33 miles. Turn left on Ubehebe Crater Road, and arrive at Ubehebe Crater in 5 miles. 
    Time spent: 15 to 30 minutes

    I want to start by saying Ubehebe Crater is a location where if you feel like you do not have enough time to do everything, this would be the one that I would say you should skip.

    It is an hour out of the way from the other must-see locations and a lot of extra driving to add to your already full day. However, it can be done. 

    Ubehebe Crater one day itinerary death valley

    Ubehebe Crater is a quick visit, the crater, is located just a few steps away from the parking lot. The Ubehebe Crater is a 600 ft volcanic crater that was created about 2,000 years ago from a steam and gas explosion.

    There is a trail that walks along the rim of the crater, which we decided not to do because of time. You can still see and experience the Ubehebe Crater without walking the trail. 

    Break up the long drive back from Ubehebe Crater and stop for some lunch. You can either go to Stovepipe Wells Village or Furnace Creek. Furnace Creek is the better option if you want to save time because it is along the way. 

    4. Don’t Make This Mistake When Visiting Ubehebe Crater

    Without using our GPS, it was easy to miss the turn to take you toward Ubehebe Crater. Keep your eyes peeled for Scotty’s Castle Road, do not continue on 190 because it will take you in the wrong direction. 

    Artist Drive

    To get to Artist Drive: If you are coming from Ubehebe Crater it is about a 1 hour and 40-minute drive. If you stop at Furnance Creek first, it is only a 26-minute drive. From Furnace Creek go on CA-190 E for 1 mile and turn right on Badwater Road, continue for 8.6 miles, turn left onto Artist Dr.
    Time spent: 45 minutes to 1 hour

    Artist drive and Artist Palette dog friendly death valley

    Where you can find the best rollercoaster roads!! Artist Drive is a 9-mile one-way winding drive through multi-hued mountains. The scenic loop has a couple of stops along the way where you can get out of your car and explore. One must-visit stop is to view Artist Palette.  

    Artist Palette

    Artist Palette is a way to see Rainbow Mountain without hiking at an elevation of 16,000 ft in Peru. To get to Artist Palette, it is a short and steep hike.

    how to get to death valley

    Splatted across the mountains are the subtle hues of green, blue, purple, and yellow. The rainbow colors are from a mix of rich minerals and elements found in the soil that have oxidized and produced these colorful mountains.

    5. Don’t Make This Mistake at Death Valley

    There are only three gas stations in Death Valley National Park. And you guessed it. They are very pricey, even for California. Be aware of your gas tank at all times. If you need to get a tow in Death Valley, it is extremely expensive and will put a damper on your plans for the day.

    We cut it close and did not realize how low our tank was and had to drive about an hour (there and back) out of the way to get gas.

    Another tip would be to make sure you fill up your tank before entering the park, whether you need to or not. You will start your day off with a full tank and spend less on gas. 

    In my post: Gas Stations in Death Valley: Tips For Your Road Trip discover where the gas stations are located in Death Valley, where to get cheaper gas nearby, can you charge your electric car in Death Valley, and more tips to help you have the best and safest trip to Death Valley National Park.

    Devils Golf Course

    To get to Devil’s Golf Course: a 15-minute drive from Artist Palette. Directions from Artist Palette, head back towards Badwater Road for 3 miles, make a left onto Badwater Road, continue for a mile, and make a right onto West Side Road. Devil’s Gold Course will be 2.5 miles. 
    Time spent: 15 to 20 minutes 

    devils golf course death valley national park

    The perfect stop before Badwater Basin. Once you get out of the car, there is a large field of jagged crystallized salt formations.

    The Devil’s Golf Course gets its unique name after a 1934 National Park guidebook stated, “Only the devil could play golf” on its surface. You are allowed to walk on Devil’s Golf Course, but watch your footing because you could easily trip and fall onto the sharp salt slabs.   

    Badwater Basin

    To get to Badwater Basin: 15-minute drive from Devils Golf course, drive towards Badwater Road. Make a right onto Badwater and continue for 8 miles. 
    Time spent: 1.5 hours

    Save the best location for last, Badwater Basin is a must-add to your Death Valley one day itinerary. Tip, arrive right in time for sunset, trust me is it worth it! Your pictures will be incredible.

    Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level and just to nerd out for a second. How COOL is that? A once in a lifetime experience. 

    Badwater basin death valley at sunset

    From the parking lot, you can see the start of the salt flats. Don’t be fooled! The salt flats that are photographed all over social media are a 30-minute walk away. The farther you walk out, the salt flats begin to transform into their unique honeycomb and geometric shapes.

    The salt flats are enormous, so it was easy to find a spot all to yourself with no one else in your photos. 

    The best time to visit Badwater Basin is right before sunset to experience the sky light up in beautiful colors of blue, yellow, and pink. 

    6. Don’t Make This Mistake Before Visiting Badwater Basin 

    We did not realize that the walk to the hexagonal salt flats would take so long, so be prepared and arrive at Badwater Basin at least 30 minutes before sunset.

    Do not be like me and only have 15 minutes. I did not want to miss the epic sunset over the salt flats. I had to sprint some of the ways and was extra sweaty for my photos, not a good look. 

    💡Know before you go:

    • If you are traveling alone, bring a tripod to take photos! That is what I ended up having to do, and it worked out great! 
    • Badwater Basin gets extremely hot, especially in the summer. Bring lots of water, and sunscreen, and try to visit in the morning or at sunset.
    • Also, don’t forget a cooler to keep your fluids and food extra cold. We like this one for road trips. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and its quality is comparable to yeti, but not as expensive.

    Other Things To Do in Death Valley in One Day

    If you have more time:

    • Natural Bridge (1-mile hike) 
    • Charcoal Kins: Beehive-shaped structures built in 1876
    • Keane Wonder Mine: A historic gold mine 
    • The Racetrack: A dry lakebed, difficult to visit, you will need a car with 4×4 and high clearance
    • Golden Canyon Trail: A popular hike through the golden badlands
    • Titus Canyon: A 27-mile drive through Death Valley, where you can see colorful rock formations, rugged mountains, and narrow canyons. 

    Top Day Trip Tour: Las Vegas to Death Valley

    If you are in Las Vegas you can easily visit Death Valley in one day! Death Valley National Park is a two-hour drive from Las Vegas. Instead of renting a car and making the drive yourself, you can book an awesome day trip tour and see all of the highlights of Death Valley with a tour guide.

    death valley in one day: visit the Mesquite sand dunes

    The Death Valley Day Trip from Las Vegas is a full-day excursion. Your professional tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and share with you all of the interesting facts about Death Valley’s history, landscape, and wildlife.

    On your tour, you can expect to visit the ghost town of Rhyolite and the popular attractions in Death Valley including Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Furnace Creek, Artist’s Palette, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, and more. Your entrance fees, lunch, snacks, and bottled water are all included as well.

    Book the Ultimate Death Valley Day Trip from Las Vegas here

    Death Valley National Park Entrance Fees

    There are two main entrances to Death Valley National Park: Death Valley Junction & Panamint Springs. Choosing which entrance depends on what direction you are coming from.

    To purchase your entrance fee, you can do this by an in-person payment at the park entrance either by credit card or cash at any of these locations during business hours:

    • Furnace Creek Visitor Center
    • Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station
    • Lone Pine Interagency Visitor Center

    The other option for payment of park entrance fees is using a credit card at one of the many 24/7 kiosks. This is the more convenient option, especially if you are limited on time. You can find these kiosks at some of the popular locations such as:

    • Furnace Creek Visitor Center
    • Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station
    • Grapevine Ranger Station
    • Ryan Kiosk (east entrance to park on Hwy 190)
    • Zabriskie Point
    • Badwater

    Death Valley Entrance Fee

    The Death Valley entrance fee is $30 per vehicle for a 7-day period from the date of purchase. This permit allows all persons traveling with the permit holder in one single private, non-commercial vehicle (car/truck/van) to leave and re-enter the park as many times as they wish during those 7 days.

    Death Valley Annual Pass

    The annual pass is $55.00 and provides free entrance to Death Valley for 12 months from the date of purchase

    America the Beautiful Annual Pass

    $80 yearly pass covering entrance and standard amenity fees for national parks and other federal fee areas for 12 months from the time of purchaseAmerica the Beautiful Annual Pass easily pays for itself if you plan on visiting two or more national parks in a year.

    Driving Through Death Valley National Park

    It is an epic drive through Death Valley National Park! There are some things you should know before you make that drive.

    Death Valley National Park is over 3 million acres of land and nearly 1,000 miles of paved and dirt roads. Before your road trip, make sure your car is well maintained. Get your oil changed, check your tire pressure, and make sure you have a spare tire available just in case of a flat.

    where to stay in death valley or nearby

    If you are visiting in the summer months, check that your car’s cooling system and tires are prepared for the scorching summer heat.

    There is limited to no cell service in the park, download your maps before your trip to make sure you do not get lost. Also, always have plenty of extra water in the car to stay hydrated in Death Valley’s heat.

    What is Death Valley Known For

    If you are a newbie to visiting national parks, like I was, you may be curious what is all the hype about Death Valley.

    Besides the unique landscapes, Death Valley is known for being the hottest location on earth and the driest place in North America! It also has the lowest elevation, at -282 below elevation.

    When is the Best Time to Travel to Death Valley

    Now that I have just told you that Death Valley is the hottest place on earth, when should you visit? You can visit Death Valley year-round. However, the best months to visit are between mid-October to mid-May. 

    The summer months can reach extreme highs and exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring is the most popular time of year to visit because of the warm days and wildflowers that grow in the valley.

    To avoid crowds and the summer heat, you can visit the national park in the winter. The winter months are a beautiful time to explore the valley and you will find cheaper accommodations.

    Also, it is the perfect weather for hiking and camping. You can find tips for visiting Death Valley in the winter here.

    Dog friendly Dantes View death valley

    If you are thinking about taking your dog to Death Valley National Park, the time of year is vital in planning your trip.

    🐾 I provide a dog-friendly guide to visiting Death Valley here. I cover everything from where to stay, where you can go with a dog, and how to see all of Death Valley’s must-see locations with your pup. 

    💡Know before you go:

    If you are worried about the national park will be too crowded. As I said previously, Death Valley is the largest national park in the United States. We visited on a busy weekend during high season and found that we had plenty of space to ourselves, available parking, and no crowds.

    However, there were limited bookings for hotels in Death Valley and the nearby cities. Everything nearby was sold out for the weekend.

    Avoid the last-minute stress & book your hotel in or nearby Death Valley ASAP.

    Not sure where to stay? Check out my post Where to Stay at Death Valley: A Must Read Guide

    How Many Days Do You Need in Death Valley

    You can visit Death Valley in one day if you use your time wisely. However, if you have time to spare, two days would be the ideal amount to see the major highlights in Death Valley National Park.

    If you plan on doing a fair amount of hiking, you may want to spend additional time in the park.

    💡Know before you go:

    There are two entrances at Death Valley National Park, so when you map out your day, be sure to use to put the correct entrance in your GPS.

    The options are either Highway 190 (the road that crosses the National Park from east to west). You can either enter through Panamint Springs to the west of Death Valley Junction to the east.

    How Much to Expect to Spend at Death Valley

    The entrance fee to Death Valley National Park is $30 per vehicle for one week. You pay at one of the 24/7 machines located at various locations in the park. The easiest ones to find were at Furnace Creek Visitor Center or Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station. 

    💡 Know before you go:

    The America the Beautiful Annual Pass is a year pass to the national parks from the time of purchase. It is $80 and worth it if you plan on visiting two to three national parks in the next year. 

    Where to Eat in Death Valley 

    We were pleasantly surprised by the food options in Death Valley. Either bring your food with you on the go or can sit down and relax at one of these restaurants inside the park: 

    • The Oasis at Death Valley hotels in Furnace Creek
    •  Stovepipe Wells Village 
    • Panamint Springs. 

    Where to Stay in Death Valley 

    If you are road tripping to Death Valley, you have a few options for lodging. Either inside the national park or you can stay in one of the nearby cities. 

    If you are only visiting Death Valley in one day, I suggest staying in one of the towns outside of the national park for cheaper hotel rates.

    Find my ultimate guide on where to stay in Death Valley and the accommodation that best fits your travel schedule and budget. 

    Lodging Inside of Death Valley National Park 

    The Oasis at Death Valley: Located in Furnace Creek

    The Oasis has two hotels in Death Valley, which are The Inn and The Ranch. They are only about a 5-minute drive from each other. The Oasis is a popular location to stay when you are visiting Death Valley. During high season, I suggest booking here as soon as possible, because their accommodations will book up months in advance.

    The Inn at Death Valley

    Why Stay Here: The Four-Diamond Inn at Death Valley is your luxury option for lodging. This hotel is an oasis in the middle of the desert. They like to pamper their guests with amenities like a sauna, spa treatments, tennis courts, a gym, a swimming pool, and multiple restaurants.

    🏩 Find the best rates at The Inn at Death Valley here

    The Ranch at Death Valley

    The Ranch at Death valley

    Why Stay Here: The Ranch at Death Valley is a family-friendly accommodation within the National Park. It is your moderately priced option for a stay in Death Valley. At the Ranch, you can find a playground for kids, fire pits, horseback riding, a swimming pool, restaurants, basketball, and volleyball courts.

    🏩 Find the best rates at The Ranch at Death Valley here

    The Panamint Springs Resort

    Why Stay Here: The budget-friendly option of accommodations in Death Valley National Park. Panamint Springs offers lodging in one of their cabin-style motel rooms or you can book your stay at their campsite and RV site. They also have a restaurant on-site and the facility is dog friendly.

    🏩 Find the best rates at Panamint Springs Resort here

    Camping in Death Valley

    where to stay in death valley, camping in death valley

    There are RV hookups and campgrounds in various areas of the national park. In some of the locations, you will need to make a reservation during the high season. To find out more about camping in Death Valley National Park, you can visit their website here. 

    🐾 Traveling with your furry best friend? You are allowed to camp in Death Valley with your dogs. If you need a dog-friendly tent perfect for Death Valley and other outdoor adventures visit my post 13 Best Tents For Dogs: Ultimate Guide & Review

    Neighboring Cities Outside of Death Valley 

    I would decide on what town you want to stay in outside of the national park by the direction you are planning on going to next on your road trip. 

    Beatty, Nevada: Located at the northwest entrance of Death Valley, also referred to as the “Gateway to Death Valley.” Beatty is where we stayed. There is a lot to do and see in Beatty, Nevada, including a ghost town.

    Top things to do Beatty, Nevada

    It is a small town with a few restaurants to grab a bite after a long day in Death Valley. You can also find other touristy shops and destinations in the area to explore. 

    Pahrump/Death Valley Junction: You will pass through Death Valley Junction if you drive in from Las Vegas, Nevada. 
    Panamint: Those traveling from Los Angeles will enter the park at Panamint Springs.  

    What to Pack for Your One Day in Death Valley

    • Hiking or comfortable shoes for walking trails
    • Thermoregulating hiking socks: are perfect for hot days and cool nights.
    • Sweat-wicking shirts: a must when hiking or exploring Death Valley
    • Lightweight hiking pants or leggings
    • Long sleeve pullover 1/4 zip: Layers are important with the temperature fluctuations.
    • Sunglasses/Sunscreen/Sun hat
    • Cooler to keep your fluids and food extra cold. We like this one for road trips. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and its quality is comparable to yeti, but not as expensive.
    • Water—at least one gallon per person per day
    • Hydration backpack or waterjug
    • Food and snacks
    • Day pack
    • Spare tire
    • Jumper cables: In case of an emergency. It is extremely expensive to get a tow from the national park
    • Headlamp or flashlight: for sunrise of stargazing
    • Pocketknife
    • Download Gaia or ALLTrails for hiking maps

    Where to Next? 

    We continued our road trip to northern California to see the mesmerizing tufa towers at Mono Lake and the unique hike at Black Point Fissures where you can experience slot canyons, epic views, and volcanic rocks.

    • Griffith Observatory Sunrise Hike: Experience gorgeous views of Downtown LA and Mt. Hollywood. 
    • Pfeiffer Beach: The Purple Sand Beach in Big Sur, CA. 
    • Half Moon Bay: A cozy beach town in northern California. Visit for great seafood and beautiful views of the California coast. 
    • Jack London Square: Located on the waterfront in Oakland, CA. Only a bridge, short drive, or BART ride away from San Francisco. 

    Pros and Cons Death Valley in One Day

    Death Valley in One Day Pros:

    Death Valley is unique and otherworldly. It is a one-of-a-kind location for the Western Hemisphere. To get something similar, you would have to travel to Bolivia or the Middle East. 

    For us, a big pro was that Death Valley is dog friendly. There are some restrictions and rules for dogs. However, we still found ways to visit the must-see locations at Death Valley. You can find my tips and guide on taking your dogs to Death Valley National Park here! 

    Other pros we found were that there is a decent amount of bars and restaurants in the park. Also, you find yourself alone in many areas, and it did not feel too crowded. 

    Death Valley in One Day Cons: 

    Death Valley is a difficult location to get to. If you do not live in California or Nevada, you will have to fly into Las Vegas, rent a car, and then drive 2 hours to Death Valley. Also, you can only visit Death Valley during certain months of the year if you do not want to be out in 100 + degree weather.  

    Another con I would say is that you do need to depend on a map to navigate your way through Death Valley. I advise planning this ahead of time and downloading your maps in advance. It will be a huge time saver when you are visiting! 

    In Conclusion: Can You See Death Valley in One Day?

    Yes, Death Valley in one day is possible and totally worth it!! I hope this guide will help you in planning your Death Valley one day itinerary and you will not make any of the same mistakes we did our first time visiting.