The hottest, driest and lowest point in North America, Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 states. And with over three million acres of wilderness area, there’s a huge diversity in the flora and fauna throughout the park. From majestic sand dunes and salt flats, to snow capped peaks, a lush oasis and even a massive crater, there’s something for just about everyone at this remote national treasure.
- A stop at Badwater – the lowest point in the US – is a must do on any Death Valley itinerary. There’s boardwalk access out to the salt flats, and from there you can roll as far as you like. It’s best to hit this area in the morning though, as it can get quite hot later in the day. Additionally, don’t forget the insect repellent, as the biting flies that are common in Death Valley really like this area of the park – especially in the summer.
- Many visitors flock to Zabriskie Point and Dantes View, off of Highway 190; while most folks entirely pass up the scenic 20 Mule Team Canyon Drive, which is located between the two. This 2.5-mile scenic drive winds up and down the colorful eroded badlands, and offers an off-the-beaten-track experience without having to trek through the desert for days.
- Although there’s no shortage of food offerings at Furnace Creek, head on over to Timbisha Shoshone land and try something different for lunch. Just follow the signs to Timbisha Village Tacos from highway 190, between the Furnace Creek Inn and Furnace Creek Ranch. There aren’t many choices on the menu – Indian tacos, burritos, taco salad and shaved ice – but the food is tasty and the prices are reasonable. And although their hours vary, they are usually open for lunch. To-go food is also available.