After reading and continually hearing about Death Valley National Park, I decided to visit this local national park for myself. Little did I know, I was stepping into what looked like a different planet. The natural wonders of this park are absolutely incredible including: intricate canyons, vast and open salt dunes, and of course the Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. Here is a walk through of my two days at the park:
Warning: you will need an early start as it gets miserable to do anything in the heat of the afternoon. Andrew and I’s first stop in Death Valley was to visit Badwater Basin. This is known as the lowest point in North America, being −279 feet below sea level. It was amazing to see the intricate formations that the salt made in the Earth.
Our next stop through the park was the rollercoaster drive through Artists Palette. It was incredible to watch the rocks reflect and produce vibrant colors from the sunlight. It truly looks like someone took a paint brush with a wide range of colors to the rocks.
Next up, Golden Canyon. Honestly, by the time we made it here the sun was already becoming too much. We decided to opt out of the whole hike, but we did take some time to explore and walk through the canyons. Even with the short amount of time, I knew this was a must-see of the park. Next time, I’m coming here at sunrise to do the whole experience.
We stopped to enjoy some needed shade and a peanut butter sandwich (I would suggest eating at the Furnace Creek picnic area). Make sure to STAY HYDRATED!
We made our way back down to Zabriskie Point to see the breathtaking viewpoint of a Death Valley landscape. We then opted for another drive, following the road down Twenty Mule Team Canyon. This setting may seem familiar as some scenes of Star Wars was filmed here. I would definitely recommend making this a stop on your Death Valley tour, as it is full of incredible views and rock formations unlike anything I have seen before.
Find some shelter from the sun. No hike or long walk is going to be pleasurable in the miserable heat. I suggest checking out Stovepipe Wells Village. The area has plenty of food options, a pool, and other areas to keep you entertained and out of the heat!
We set up camp at the Emigrant campground, which only has about ten available spots. Although the desert is not a place for much privacy, it makes for incredible sunsets and if you are lucky, a sky full of stars.
I would also recommend catching the sunset at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
My favorite time…STARGAZING! The desert never disappoints.
It was an early wake up call, but it’s always worth it for the adventure. We made our way over to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes for a morning trudging up sand mountains.
There really is nothing like the desert. The openness, the landscapes, and the natural wonders always have me coming back for more. I feel like there is still so much for me to discover about this amazing national park.
Have you visited Death Valley? Let me know in the comments below!
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