Visit Amazing Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, CA 92328-0579

Explore slot canyons, oases, and magical dunes.

Death Valley is the largest national park in the continental U.S., an incredible 5,000 square miles. But mere acreage totals don’t convey the sheer beauty and weirdness of the place. Imagine sinuous slot canyons, palm-shaded oases, extinct volcanic craters, and velvet smooth sand dunes basking beneath what seems like the world’s hottest sun and brightest moon. It's a land full of improbable scenes and incredible scenery. Consider the annual 135-mile ultra-marathon, a seemingly impossible foot race that cuts right through the heart of the valley in the sauna-heat of summer, when midday temperatures can easily climb over 120°F. Or how about soaring sand dunes that seem to sing when the desert winds blow, and boulders that appear to creep on their own power across pan-flat terrain.

Summer is far less crowded than the peak months during winter and spring, when temperatures dip to a more comfortable level (pleasant during the day and usually cold at nights) and wildflowers spread across the desert floor. In winter, the low-angled light is beautiful and many visitors come for photography workshops. The snowcapped peaks and spectacular Technicolor sunrises and sunsets give shutterbugs plenty to work with. If you do visit in summer, take short hikes in the early morning or late evening, or simply stay in your air-conditioned car to explore—you'll have the desert pretty much to yourself. Stop by the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to get hiking tips and other suggestions on things to do and see. Be sure to include a drive up to Dante’s View (5,475-foot elevation). You’ll likely see nothing else like it.