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Death Valley National Park


National Parks Image Gallery

death valley national park
©2006 National Park Services
Hundreds of arrowweed plants stand atop a pedestal of roots in an area known as Devil's Cornfield. See more pictures of national parks.

Death Valley National Park
PO Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328
760/786-3200
www.nps.gov/deva

Both rugged and delicately beautiful, Death Valley National Park is a land of extremes. Located in southeastern California, about 150 miles west of Las Vegas, the park features desert land, canyons, and mountains. About 800,000 visitors come to Death Valley National Park each year to view this varied landscape.

Entrance fees: $10/vehicle for seven days or $5/individual for seven days

Visitor centers: Beatty Information Center, Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Museum, and Scotty's Castle Visitor Center and Museum are open daily.

Other services: Two museums, 10 campgrounds, two resort hotels, a motel, and a trailer park

Accommodations:

  • Ten campgrounds. Five campgrounds are open year-round. Five campgrounds are open on a more limited basis. Some reservations are available. 800-365-CAMP.
  • Furnace Creek Ranch. Open year-round. Reservations recommended. 760-786-2345.
  • Panamint Springs Resort. Open year-round. Reservations recommended. 775-482-7680.
  • Stovepipe Wells Village. Open year-round. Reservations recommended. 760-786-2387.
  • Furnace Creek Inn. Open from mid-October to mid-May. Reservations recommended. 760-786-2345.

Death Valley National Park is located in east central California.
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

Visiting Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a place of radical geography: It owns the distinction of having the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere (282 feet below sea level near Badwater) and protects Telescope Peak, which has an elevation of 11,049 feet. At the higher elevations, desert fir, spruce, and quaking aspen are found in abundance in stark contrast to the plantless desert floor of the valley.

Death Valley's landscape encompasses numerous ecosystems and destinations of interest, including salt and alkaline flats that stretch for miles, broad regions of sand dunes, winding ancient canyons, multicolored rock cliffs and ridges, and historical sites. Although the average annual rainfall is less than two inches, Pacific storms occasionally roar in and cause flash floods that wash out roads, trails, and campgrounds. On most days of the year, however, Death Valley is a sunny paradise where one can experience great solitude and tranquility. In the wintertime, it is a haven for "snowbirds," who park their recreational vehicles and stay for weeks, sometimes months.

Because of its unique climate and geography, Death Valley is a realm unlike any other, except perhaps the Dead Sea region of Israel (which is even farther below sea level). Death Valley is a place where life has been largely stripped away, and the original surface of the earth can be seen, naked and bare, in its pure and elementary shapes. Line, form, and color reign here -- not humans, beasts, or nature.

Perhaps because it feels so prehistoric, the desert landscape of Death Valley fascinates visitors. But there is much to see beyond the natural landscapes: Ghost towns of old silver and borax mining communities illustrate the richness of the valley's earth. On the next page, you'll find a guide to the sights of Death Valley.

Death Valley National Park Facts
Region: East central California
Established: 1994
Size: 3.3 million acres
Terrain: Desert, canyons, sand dunes, mountains.
Highlights: Devil's Golf Course, Zabriskie Point, Dante's View, Artists Drive, Ubehebe Crater, and Scotty's Castle.
Wildlife: Desert and migratory birds, desert bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes, foxes, badgers, and mules.
Activities: Ranger-led walks and slide shows, camping, hiking, cycling, birdwatching, and self-driving tours.