DESERT CAMPING TRIP AT DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
TRIP · 3-day camping trip
FOR · Friends & first-time campers
VIBE · Easy & relaxing
COST · $$
DRIVE · 4.5 hours from LA
RESERVATIONS · Yes, book a site at Furnace Creek Campground
IDEAL DATES · October - April
PETS · Welcome at camp & on roads, but not on trails
WHY DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK?
Death Valley is a land of extremes:
- It's the largest national park in the country outside of Alaska at over 3.4 million acres
- It's home to Badwater Basin: the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level
- Death Valley was the hottest place on Earth ever when it reached 134 degrees fahrenheit in July 1913
It's an ideal place for desert camping during the winter. From salt flats to sand dunes, Death Valley is a fascinating departure from the everyday.
BOOK A CAMPSITE AT FURNACE CREEK CAMPGROUND FROM OCT. 15 TO APRIL 15
Death Valley NP has nine campgrounds: Furnace Creek, Sunset, Texas Springs, Stovepipe Wells, Mesquite Spring, Emigrant, Wildrose, Thorndike & Mahogany Flat. Furnace Creek is the only campground that can be reserved ahead of time. All others are first-come, first-serve. You won't find hot showers at any of the campgrounds, but there is drinking water & toilets at most (Emigrant, Thorndike & Mahogany Flat do not!).
Check-in: After 1 PM | Check-out: Before 2 PM
Quite hours: 10 PM - 6 AM
Nightly fee: $22
EACH CAMPSITE COMES WITH:
- A picnic table
- Fire ring
- Space for up to 8 people
- Two parking spots
- Trash collection (on site)
- Restrooms (on site)
LEAVE LA & STOP BY DELIGHT'S HOT SPRINGS RESORT FOR LUNCH & A NATURAL HOT SPRINGS EXPERIENCE
- Go off the beaten path & buy a day pass ($20 to $30 per person) at Delight's to soak in natural hot spring water in their private & group pools. Grab lunch afterwards at Tecopa Brewing Company. The LA Times wrote about this place too!
- Located at 368 Tecopa Hot Springs Road in Tecopa
- Call ahead!! The resort is only open seasonally.
- LAST PIT STOP · Chevron - Old State Hwy 127 in Shoshone
CHECK-IN & SET UP CAMP AT FURNACE CREEK CAMPGROUND
- Set up your tent & familiarize yourself with the campground
COOK UP DINNER & ENJOY THE SUNSET
CAMPFIRE, S'MORES & STARGAZING
- Temperatures can get down to the low 40s in Death Valley NP so be sure to bring layers & stay warm!
STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW
There's a $30 7-day park entrance fee for each car
There is limited cell phone reception throughout the park so plan ahead! Limited free wifi is available at the Death Valley Lodging Company in Stovepipe Wells.
Flash floods can happen! If you're caught in a rainstorm, especially while hiking in the canyons, quickly move to higher ground.
MAKE BREKKIE, PACK A DAY PACK WITH LUNCH & DRIVE TO MESQUITE FLAT DUNES
- This is the largest sand dune area in the park and the only dune where sand boarding is allowed! How do you sand board? Bring a small snowboard with minimal bindings or a skateboard without wheels.
- Pack plenty of water, sunscreen, sunhat, snacks, lunch & wear closed toe shoes
- Hike along a 2.8 mile round-trip trail through Mesquite Flat Dunes. It's considered easy, but it totally depends on the heat! Check the weather before you head out & hike earlier in the day if you can. Also, conserve your energy for the next hike...
DRIVE TO MOSAIC CANYON TRAILHEAD
- You'll have to drive along a dirt road to reach the trailhead from Highway 190, but it's doable in a car!
- This is a 3.6 mile out and back trail with 1,076 feet of elevation gain. It's a harder hike that requires some scrambling in areas, but you'll get to see beautiful, colorful slot canyons along the way.
- Enjoy lunch & snacks along the trail
RETURN TO CAMP & CLEAN UP
- Nosh on your favorite snacks & chill after all of today's hikes.
ABOUT TWO HOURS BEFORE SUNSET, DRIVE TO DANTE'S VIEW TRAILHEAD
- It's about a 35-minute drive from Furnace Creek campground to Dante's View Trail, but this one-mile round-trip trail with 225 feet of elevation gain will give you stunning views of the park & Badwater Basin. The views are worth it!
HEAD BACK TO CAMP FOR DINNER, DESSERT & CAMPFIRE STORIES
- Enjoy your last night at Death Valley National Park!
PACK UP, CLEAN UP & CHECK OUT BY NOON
- Cook up brekkie & pick up any pieces of litter around camp
PAY IT FORWARD LIKE BEZZI
Your outdoor experiences helps people have a safe & memorable time in nature. Share your knowledge about Death Valley National Park below & tag us @bewilder_camp if you used this itinerary!
LAST UPDATED: September 19, 2021
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