Don’t let the name fool you: most people who visit Death Valley come away feeling more alive than ever.

This extreme arid environment covers 5,219 square miles, from valleys to mountain ranges to the area known as Badwater, which plunges to 292 feet below sea level directly below 11,043-foot Telescope Peak. The racetrack playa (featuring a dramatic 73-foot high rock formation near its center called “The Grandstand”) is an extremely flat surface whose north end is only 1.5 inches higher than the south. Here you’ll find the phenomenon of “moving rocks” – rocks that slowly move with no human or animal aid.

See it all from your car, bicycle or mountain bike (on established roadways only, please.) Visit between November and April and a ranger will be glad to take you on a guided tour of this dramatic region.

The hiking possibilities are literally limitless – including the nearby Ubehebe Crater, a volcanic formation that’s 777 feet deep – but it’s best to brave this extreme region between October and May at the lower elevations. Along the way, you’ll see unique wildlife and plant life that has evolved to survive this harsh climate, including beautiful wildflowers, the native creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote and the Death Valley Pupfish.

Depending on the season, you can find stylish accommodations at the nearby Furnace Creek Inn, a historic four-star hotel. For a more authentic experience, try the Furnace Creek Ranch, a three-star ranch-style property.

They say this ornate structure is built on both lies and an unlikely friendship. Visit Scotty’s Castle for an unusual trip into eccentricity – and back in time. Despite its harsh surrounding, this ornate structure features a $75,000 pipe organ which is rumored to cover the entrance to a legendary gold mine. The castle is replete with hand-carved redwood beams, indoor waterfalls and luxurious leather furnishings.




Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort
PO Box 187
Death Valley, CA 92328
The Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch Resort is situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California – just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. This is one resort with two hotels – the historic, 4-diamond, 66 room Furnace Creek Inn and the more family oriented 224 room Furnace Creek Ranch.

Stovepipe Wells Village
Hwy. 190
Death Valley, CA 92328
After a long day in the desert, sit out on the walkway and watch the sun set over the valley floor before you retire to your comfortable, air conditioned room. Listen to the crickets as desert scenes surround you and you drift off to sleep in a comfortable room with twin, double or king-size beds.

Panamint Springs Resort
P.O. Box 395
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
The private Panamint Springs Resort offers resort accommodations and camping


What to see

Scotty’s Castle
N. end of Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, CA 92328
Located 53 miles southwest of Goldfield (go west at Scotty’s Junction off U.S. Hwy. 95). Built in the 1920s, visitors can tour the massive, multi-story Spanish-style stucco mansion that is filled with original furnishings and stories of Walter Scott’s exploits. Daily living history tours by rangers in period costumes.