View Map

Overview

Death Valley is a land of foreboding extremes, renowned for its brutal mid-summer temperatures (the highest ever recorded on earth). This vast desert landscape occupies a sunken trough that is the lowest elevation (282 feet below sea level) in the Western Hemisphere. Rugged, purple hued mountains rise to all sides, reaching over 11,000 feet. In spring, wildflowers bloom in spectacular profusion and snows glisten majestically atop the peaks. There are a surprising number of eclectic attractions, beside the raw physical beauty, including vast sand dunes of Stovepipe Wells and the salt pinnacles called Devi's Golf Course. Borax was discovered ...

Death Valley is a land of foreboding extremes, renowned for its brutal mid-summer temperatures (the highest ever recorded on earth). This vast desert landscape occupies a sunken trough that is the lowest elevation (282 feet below sea level) in the Western Hemisphere. Rugged, purple hued mountains rise to all sides, reaching over 11,000 feet. In spring, wildflowers bloom in spectacular profusion and snows glisten majestically atop the peaks. There are a surprising number of eclectic attractions, beside the raw physical beauty, including vast sand dunes of Stovepipe Wells and the salt pinnacles called Devi's Golf Course. Borax was discovered here in 1873: the ruins of the Harmony Borax Works can still be seen, and you can explore Scotty's Castle, a huge mansion built atop a "secret gold mine." You can even play a round of golf on the world's lowest golf course at Furnace Creek. But the main raison d'etre for any visit is to exalt in Mother Nature's handiwork. The best time to visit is winter and early spring, before the fierce heat of summer sets in. A visit takes some planning: take lots of water!

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

view full overview

Christopher Baker for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter and early spring. Avoid summer, if possible due to extreme heat.