Visiting Death Valley in a day – diabolical and divine.
Most people wouldn’t think to visit Death Valley National Park but it is the biggest national park in the lower 48. Death Valley has recorded to be the hottest place on earth (134 degrees Farenheight at Furnace Creek) and dryest place in North America.
I decided to take a trip to Death Valley in a day due to a work trip taking place in Las Vegas. If you know me at all, you know that I have been to Vegas and it holds little entertainment value for me in this day and age. I’ve been to Hoover Dam and while Grand Canyon is a sight to behold, I wanted to go somewhere else, somewhere different.
Death Valley was it.
If you’re low on time, I recommend visiting Death Valley in a day on a tour since they will pick you up and drop you off and you don’t have to worry about the usual things. I suggest renting a car with GPS if you have time. Be sure to bring more than enough supplies (batteries, food, water) – just in case you get lost.
I went with Casino Travel because of the small group size and most of the stops were ones on my list. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, a hat, and a jacket. It is freezing in the morning in Vegas (it’s the desert after all) and then it’ll warm up throughout the day at different elevations but temperatures drop down again in the afternoon.
Breakfast was included, which was a nice touch. It consisted of peanut butter crackers, a muffin, and an apple along with a small orange juice. Unlimited bottled water is also included during the entirety of the trip.
Ralph – our tour guide was excellent. Ralph is patient, very knowledgeable, and is not offended if we passed out during his monologues since it is 6 am. He also makes more than enough stops for bathroom breaks and to get any snacks. There is even a McDonald’s stop in the morning for coffee or a hot breakfast.
Death Valley Stops
The stops are the most important part of the tour. I was looking forward to Dante’s View/Peak but it was closed during this time for unfavorable conditions.
- Zabriskie Point: Photos here are epic. It gets windy so hang onto your things (hat, camera, etc.) and there’s also some points off the trail that you can get to.
- Badwater Basin: The lowest point at Death Valley. There’s even a nifty little sign that every tourist wants to have a photo with. You can also walk along the trail of the salt flats. While it was fun, the salt flats did not impress me as much as I wished.
- Artist Drive and Palette: Another quick stop to catch all the different colors that the minerals and sediments make. You can also hike inwards to here but then you’re taking photos in the opposite direction that you need to.
- Devil’s Golf Course: A fun stop with a name that says it all about the area. No person would ever want to play golf here. Be careful walking around since the rocks are very sharp and can easily cut you.
- Mesquite Sand Dunes: One of my favorite stops of the day since the dunes are huge! It’s shocking there are sand dunes in North America. Sandboarding is allowed here. However, motorized vehicles are not.
- Rhyolite: A quick stop to get a glimpse of the leftover remnants of a ghost town. It’s also freezing during this time of day and because we’re higher up.
If you liked this post, maybe you’ll enjoy my other hiking trips such as to Peru.