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Death Valley National Park

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General Information

Death Valley National Park
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Death Valley National Park
Description - Death Valley National Park has more than 3.3 million acres of spectacular desert scenery, interesting and rare desert wildlife, complex geology, undisturbed wilderness, and sites of historical and cultural interest. Bounded on the west by 11,049 foot Telescope Peak and on the east by 5,475 foot Dante's View, Badwater is the lowest point (-282 feet) in the western hemisphere.

Recreation - Death Valley National Park provides a large variety of activities for visitors in any season. Located in the center of the park, the Furnace Creek Visitor Center houses museum exhibits, a visitor information desk and the Death Valley Natural History Association book store. The Furnace Creek Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the peak season, November through April, ranger guided hikes, talks, and evening programs are presented. Costumed living history tours of Scotty's Castle are available every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Roads within the park include California Highway 190, the Badwater Road and the Scotty's Castle Road. Paved roads to Dante's View and Wildrose provide access to major scenic viewpoints and historic points of interest. More than 350 miles of unpaved and four-wheel drive roads provide access to wilderness hiking, camping, scenery and historical sites.

There are hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, but most backcountry areas are accessible only by cross-country hiking. There are literally thousands of hiking possibilities.

Camping is available at several sites within the park. Reservations are accepted for some campgrounds. Furnace Creek Campground is open all
year. Texas Springs campground is located in the Furnace Creek area and is open from October through April. It is first come first served with self registration. During the spring months, February through April, Texas Springs is designated for Tent Camping Only. Sunset campground (October through April) is also located in the Furnace Creek area and is first come first served with self registration. The Stovepipe Wells campground (October through April) is also first come first served as is the Mesquite Spring campground (open all year) at the north end of the park near Scotty's Castle.

Climate - Death Valley is generally sunny, dry and clear throughout the year. The
winters are mild with occasional winter storms, but summers are extremely hot and dry. Summer high temperatures commonly run above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Comfortable clothing providing sun protection and a broad brimmed hat are recommended in summer. Winter requires warmer clothing and light to medium jackets. Sturdy walking shoes are important year round.

Location - This expansive National Park lies in southeastern California on the Nevada border. Several different mountain ranges run through the park mainly in the eastern and southern areas. Highways 190 and 374 dissect the park into north and south. Smaller roads provide limited access to the backcountry of the reserve.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Arthur M. (Reseda, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My two sons and I visited Death Valley during the week after Xmas 2004. During that week, Death Valley, and the rest of California, experienced record rainfall. Driving to Death Valley was an experience in itself. Originally, we were to camp at Furnace Creek, but when we arrived, it was closed due to extreme flooding. Instead, we were able to get a camping site at StovePipe Wells, farther to the north. While the weather was rainy and dreary, the sights were absolutely breathtaking. After surviving our first rainy night at Stovepipe Wells, we awoke to a winter wonderland fantasy world. All around us, the mountains were snowcapped, the visability was crystal-clear! It was one of the most breathtaking views I have EVER encountered. We spent most of the next three days in Death Valley and will always remember it. I highly recommend a visit to Death Valley. But, try not to go when it is in storm conditions as the roads and access points can become washed out.

Filed By: Paula
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: One of my favorite places in the world. Went 1st week of March, oh my gawd! Still more blooms to come. Entered from Shoshone; An amazing lake just before Badwater...Every photograph taken I thought if this is the last, this is the best! Every couple of miles were better than the last. A little warm in the day. The night chills well! Don't forget about Pannament Valley!!! A side trip WORTH GOING; DEATH VALLEY JUNCTION. Marta Beckett puts on a great show. A true creative expression. I have been going to her shows since the '80's. www.amargosaoperahouse.com

Filed By: Tina Marie Love
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly

Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: May 1 - 3 of 2004, my husband and I camped at the Furnace Creek Camp ground. It was my first Death Valley camping trip, but not my first trip to Death Valley. The cite was very nice, and surrounding campers were courteous. Rangers in the park were attentive ensuring the facilities had the needed ammenities and were well maintained. Disposal areas included recycling. At dusk, we would set our chairs up at the edge of our campsite and watch the sun go down. It was not uncommon to see coyotes wonder past, with two deciding to investigate a bit closer. At one point, an Kangaroon rat came barraling at us. I later learned they can jump up to 14 feet and are, as demonstrated, aggressive and relentless. During the evening, we would walk to the swimming pool at the nearby motel and enjoy a tempid swim and shower. We avoided crossing the golf course lawn after hearing the warning rattle of one of the local inhabitants and determined to stayed on the path between the date palms. When a camp cooked breakfast was not on the morning agenda, there was a small, quaint restaurant within a reasonable walking distance that served up a quick and tasty morning meal by friendly, personable waitesses - Junainta in particular. The Visitors Center was also full of historical information and helpful employees who graciousuly and energitically shared their knowledge with me. I love dates so I purchased their Date Receipt book; each time I make one of the receipts, I reminisce of the fun we had on that trip. Temperatures for the days: 5-1-04/105; 5-2-04/105; 5-3-04/107. Remember to bring plenty of water, (and carry it with you) sunscreen and protective clothing, ohn and the camera. We're going back the beginning of March this year.

More Information

Contact Information:
Death Valley National Park, P.O. Box 579 , Death Valley, CA, 92328, Phone: 760-786-2331, Fax: 760-786-3283, TTY: 760-786-3225

Additional Information:
California National Forests & Parks - California's National Parks, Monuments and Forests cover lands from the Pacific Ocean to the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Death Valley Scenic Byway - This National Scenic Byway crosses the sculptured landscape of Death Valley National Monument, a land whose stark setting contrasts the lowest elevation in North America with mountain ridges along the valley.
Desert Region - The Desert Region encompasses the southeast corner of California. It features Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks. The region is studded with glittering yet relaxing resort cities, offers the ideal spot for re-energizing your senses.
Salina Valley Road - This Backcountry Byway in the Desert Region of southeast California leads from U.S. Highway 190 north to Death Valley Road near Big Pines.
Southern California -

Death Valley National Park - Official agency website
Fossils In Death Valley National Park - Very thorough site on fossils in Death Valley National Park.


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