The name may sound terrifying to some, but the Death Valley National Park is considered one of the best landscapes to explore. The name actually came from a story where a group of people was lost trying to cross the desert. According to the National Park Service, one of the men who was rescued said, “Goodbye, Death Valley.”
Even when scientists say that this is the hottest, lowest, and driest place on earth, many would like to see its beauty. If you are curious about what it feels like to be on the Death Valley, here is a travel guide to give you some perspective.
The Death Valley National Park is located at the border of Nevada and Central California. It is located in the northern part of the Mojave Desert, on the Great Basin Desert’s western boundary. Many consider starting from Las Vegas in Nevada, as it is the nearest area by land that is accessible to the said desert. There is also no shuttle service available at the park, except for the ones offered to the guests of Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resorts from Furnace Creek Airport and the Stovepipe Wells Airport. There is no public transportation available for visitors that will take them directly to Death Valley.
The entrance fee to the Death Valley is all valid for seven days with unlimited entry to the park during the same period. Prices are categorized into three – individuals (through bicycle or foot) for US$15, motorcycles for US$25, and non-commercial private vehicles for US$30. An annual pass is also available for US$55, which is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
Entry to the park can also be included if you are holding select The National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Passes. Those who would like to hold special occasions, camping, and visit as a large group may have additional charges, and permits will be required before entering. Online reservations can be done through recreation.gov or in-person through visitor centers nearby the area.
Things To Do
You could be wondering what you can do in the hottest place in the world. The Death Valley national park is home to one of the most scenic mountain sights to see in America – such as the Artists Palette (hills that reflects different colors), Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, Dantes View (bird’s eye view of the death valley), and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes to name a few.
Usual activities such as hiking, camping, backcountry driving, and bird watching can also be done. Make sure to be aware of the fees and permits required. A calendar of events can be seen on the National Parks Services that will provide the necessary information if you would like to join some of them.
What You Should Remember
As you have read, Death Valley can kill you due to its high temperatures. Always keep yourself hydrated by bringing about a gallon of water if doing some strenuous activities. Check the temperatures as well when visiting the park, and do not proceed when it becomes too hot. In case you are already in the park and feel unwell, get out of the sun as soon as possible and dampen your clothing. Some may think that it is better to visit when there is rain in the area. However, flash floods can happen when it proceeds to a rainstorm. Be careful when on foot or even when driving.
You may not believe it, but most people who died in Death Valley are involved in a car accident. Even if the road is wide and free, always observe traffic signs and follow certain regulations. In addition, always be aware of what you are stepping on when on foot in the desert. Venomous animals and insects can kill you, such as rattlesnakes and scorpions. Do not enter mining areas as well. They might be unstable or emit gases that are poisonous when inhaled. Obviously, beware of illegal marijuana cultivation sites and get out immediately to a safe area.
There are plenty of safety reminders that you have to remember when visiting Death Valley. Though the name suggests an unfortunate event, it is a wonderful experience to be able to explore this desert. By following safety precautions and being aware of your surroundings, you can still get back home alive and well!