It’s pretty cool to be able to kick back in the middle of Death Valley National Park and choose from more than 100 varieties of icy cold bottled and draft beer. That’s what you get at this rustic roadside refuge on the west end of the park, where you’re likely to find a crowd even in the hottest months.
While most folks just pull up to wet their whistle after exploring nearby Darwin Falls, you can book a night here too. Choose from 14 basic motel rooms, a cottage, a handful of barebones tent cabins, or simple camping spaces if you brought your own tent or RV.
Panamint Springs is far from fancy, but it offers a weather bonus in summer: It’s usually 10 degrees cooler here than at Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells due to the site’s 2,000-foot elevation. Other nearby places to explore include a “forest” of Joshua trees at Lee Flat (the species isn’t common in the park), and Father Crowley Vista, where darkly mysterious lava flows descend into multihued Rainbow Canyon.