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  • Writer's pictureMick McMurray

One Day in Death Valley National Park

Updated: May 17

Looking to make the most of your one day in Death Valley National Park? You're in luck! There are some must-see sites that are sure to take your breath away. Whether you're a seasoned photographer or simply an adventure seeker, Death Valley has something for everyone. There are 4 places in the park where lodging is available and many campgrounds. Most are first come first served but there are reservable spots at Furnace Creek through and at Stovepipe Wells through The Village at Stovepipe Wells. We had a reservable spot at Stovepipe Wells with full hookups.

Start your day off right with sunrise at Zabriskie Point. Not only will you witness an awe-inspiring sunrise, but you'll also be joined by a community of photographers capturing the perfect shot. And trust us, the view is worth waking up early for.

Sabrautzky point at sunrise with the sun on the mountains in the background and it cloudy blue sky
Zabrinski Point

Zabrinski Point at sunrise with some orange clouds on the horizon and a blue sky
Zabrinski Point

Photographers at Zabrinski Point lined up, photographing the desert landscape
Photographers at Zabrinski Point

Death Valley Hiking Guide Death Valley NP Guide

Next up, make your way to Badwater Basin. This unique destination features salt flats with geometric shapes and stunning mountain views that are very photogenic and sure to leave you in awe. It's a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike, and it's not hard to see why.

Lorna and Mick at Badwater Basin on the salt flats with the mountains in the background, and the clear blue sky
Lorna and Mick at Badwater Basin

 Badwater Basin with the octagon shapes in the sand with mountains in the background
Badwater Basin

For those seeking a bit of adventure, make sure to check out the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes. Stretching for miles, the dunes offer endless opportunities for exploration and photo ops. Just be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen!

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes with the wind, sculpted, sand and mountains in the background
Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes with the wind, sculpted, sand and mountains, and a blue sky in the background
Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes

Ready to take your Death Valley experience to the next level? Explore Emigrant Canyon Road to Aguereberry Point Road and end up at the Eureka Mine, also known as "Pete and Shorty's." This historic mine was founded by Pete Aguereberry and Shorty Harris in the early 1900s and was mainly worked by Pete until his passing in 1945.

Eureka Mine with old timbers at the main entrance on the hillside
Eureka Mine

Eureka Mine on a hillside on a bright sunny day with a hiker watching
Eureka Mine

From the Golden Canyon Trailhead, you can hike out to Red Cathedral for a truly unforgettable experience.

Golden Canyon Trailhead with a hiker on the trail between cliff walls
Golden Canyon Trailhead

Yellow and orange rock formation Golden Canyon Trailhead
On the Golden Canyon Trail

Golden Canyon Trail  with the red cathedral in the background
Golden Canyon Trail to Red Cathedral

The Artist Drive is a nine-mile, one-way road that offers stunning views of the Black Mountains, the Funeral Mountains, and the Red Pass. What makes this drive so special, however, is the multi-hued hills that line the road, ranging from deep reds and oranges to yellows and greens, with streaks of pink and purple thrown in for good measure. The colors are a result of various minerals and chemicals in the rocks, including iron, manganese, and copper.

Artist Drive with Badwater basin on the left, and the colorful Hills on the right
Artist Drive

The color for Hills along Artist Drive
Artist Drive

the colorful and eroded Hills along Artist Drive
Artist Drive

Overall, spending a day in Death Valley is an experience like no other. Make sure to hit these must-see destinations to get the most out of your trip. And remember, the desert can be unforgiving, so come prepared and always prioritize safety. Happy exploring!

For our Road Trip to Death Valley Click Here


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