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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gaman-Bean

Hottest Place on Earth: Death Valley in 4 Days (during the best time of year to go!)

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

"How can rocks and sand and silence make us afraid and yet be so wonderful?" ~ Edna Brush Perkins

Growing up my family traveled to Death Valley National Park quite a few times and I have so many great memories of times spent camping in and exploring the desert. Fast forward to summer of 2020 and I was chatting with my mom and we thought it was the perfect time to plan another family trip there.

Best time of year to travel to Death Valley:

Definitely spring (March is my favorite month). Nights are still quite cool, but days typically only get to the 80s and sometimes 90s. Even more importantly, you can usually still see the wild flowers and the disappearing rivers.

Where to stay:

I would highly recommend booking early to get the best room and deals. We booked about 9 month early and got awesome rooms. The 2 main hotel/resorts are:

We stayed at Stovepipe Wells (the more affordable choice) and absolutely loved it! We had a beautiful view of the sand dunes, the rooms are plenty big and they accommodated our need for adjoining rooms. There is a great restaurant and bar there, pool, and a store and gas station right across the road. Very convenient.

This was the view just outside our room:

Suggested itinerary:

Day 1:

Arrive and check into hotel.

Due to the proximity of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes that is a great place to start. My kids wanted to hike all the way to the largest which can take some time. Sunset at the sand dunes was stunning!

Day 2:

First stop: head to Nevada to see an interesting ghost town Rhyolite

Next stop: Salt Creek to see the disappearing river and pupfish

Next stop: Badwater Basin to step into the lowest elevation in North America (282 feet below sea level)

Next stop: on our way back to the hotel we drove through Artists Palette

We finished the day with the most incredible moonrise and hung outside for a while watching the stars fill the sky.

Day 3:

We started out this day with a beautiful sunrise photoshoot.

And then we hit the road and drove to Ubehebe Crater where you can stop to see some wild flowers and amazing sparkly rock formations on the way. You can pretty easily hike down into the crater, but I would recommend some good hiking boots to avoid slipping.

Off the beaten path tip:

If you have a pretty tough 4 wheel drive vehicle and a couple spare tires, you have got to make the long dirt road trek to The Racetrack Beware because there is no cell service there and in a lot of these locations!!

Next stop: Zabriskie Point which is a great place to hike and explore.

We finished the day with a dinner back at the hotel and a cool swim.

Day 4:

Unfortunately, we experienced a crazy sand storm that day. But the original plan was to go horseback riding at Furnace Creek Stables

We decided to check out a little early to escape the storm and headed to Mono Lake to explore before our long drive home.

Thank you Death Valley for another awesome and memorable trip!



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