Death Valley

Death Valley holds the record of the highest temperature ever recorded. It’s the driest place in the United States located in California.

As we had our accommodation in Las Vegas we decided to visit Death Valley for a day trip. It takes 2 hours to get there by car and we entered the park via Death Valley Junction. When you arrive to the National Park you have to pay an entrance fee of 25 $ per vehicle. We accidentally almost entered without paying because there’s neither a sign, nor a gate, nor service staff, just a ticket machine on the side of the road.

Zabriskie Point

After entering the national park we kept driving for a while without seeing anything special. Then there was finally a sign for a view point. We stopped and got out of the car to see Zabriskie Point.

The almost unbearable heat hit us and we drank some more water before walking up the hill to the view point. While walking uphill breathing got heavier with every step and we felt like ascending a proper mountain. I have never felt a heat like this before and it almost made us feel a bit dizzy. Luckily we were wearing a cap to protect our head from the sun. The temperature app said that it had 42°C but it felt like 47°C.

Zabriskie Point

After taking in the impressive landscape we hurried back to the car. Never have I been so thankful to have a car with air condition. We continued to drive for about 30 minutes to our next stop: the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

Due to the heat we couldn’t walk all the way to the beautiful sand dunes but had to stay close to our car.

The sand dunes looked pretty but they were a bit disappointing. After driving 30 minutes just to see them I expected more than this. Unfortunately it was too hot to walk to the beautiful big dunes in the distance. We had to stay close to the car to avoid dehydration.

While driving further into the National Park we started thinking about having to drive all the way back again. So we decided to head back already and had only one more stop on the way to the exit. The Dante’s View is apparently Death Valley’s most impressive panoramic view point. A steep and dusty road leads up a hill to a parking lot. It was extremely windy up there but the view was awesome.

View of the Badwater Basin: North America’s lowest point at 85,5 m below sea level

Then we headed back to Las Vegas. We still had a long drive ahead of us and we wanted to be back on time to celebrate my birthday wich was the following day.

Death Valley offers some breathtaking views but I didn’t expect the view points to be so far away from each other. The distances are bigger than expected so we ended up driving a lot more than we thought.

Recommendations

  • If you plan to visit Death Valley as a day trip from Las Vegas you should leave early in the morning.
  • Make sure you have at least two litres of water per person.
  • Wear a hat.
  • I wouldn’t go there again in September because of the heat. Try to go at a cooler time of the year so you can actually walk around.
  • Make sure you don’t run out of gas because the closest gas station might be quite far away.
  • Plan in advance where you want to go and at what time. We just drove there without any plan. Looking back we could have used the time better.

Which places in Death Valley have you been to? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments!

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