Blogs Death Valley National Park

11 Must-Stop Locations in Death Valley National Park

We got so many questions about why on earth we’d want to vacation in Death Valley this spring. But the truth is, it’s such an underrated National Park and the different landscapes and hiking trails were incredible. We managed to pack in so much in just three days. From vast sand dunes, expansive salt flats, dramatic canyons, and dry (and real) towering waterfalls, below is a look at the 11 different stops/hikes we explored during our time in Death Valley National Park.

Golden Canyon/Red Cathedral

This was a 3 miles/out & back hike that takes you through incredible yellow colored canyon walls, through a slot canyon and out to a red rock amphitheater overlooking the golden hills.

Devil’s Golf Course

This is a location where you can park and see, no hiking required. Devil’s Golf Course is a vast landscape of jagged, crystalline salt formations that cover the ground. We even tasted the salt for ourselves. It was named “Devil’s Golf Course” after a 1934 Death Valley guidebook said, “only the devil could play golf” on this harsh terrain, and the name stuck.

Badwater Basin

Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America, sitting at an elevation of 282 feet below sea level. It’s a vast salt flat, stretching over 200 square miles made up of evaporated remnants of a large lake. The pathway itself extends about 5 miles so most people don’t walk all the way out. BUT, the further you walk, the prettier it gets!

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge is a 2 miles, out & back hike leading you to this natural rock bridge through a stunning orange rock canyon. Just past the Natural Bridge is what was referred to as a dry waterfall, which was a sheer cliff where a waterfall once flowed.

Zabriskie Point

This spectacular view is Zabriskie Point, one of the most photographed locations in Death Valley National Park. It was apparently named after one of the first 49ers (gold rush pioneers) to visit the area, Christian Zabriskie.

Ubehebe Crater

Ubehebe Crater is a large volcanic crater 600 feet deep and half a mile across. This was our 2nd stop on day 2 our hiking adventures in Death Valley and another location where my pictures really don’t do the incredible view a justice. It was also SO windy here!

Artist Palette

Artist Palette is one of the most well known locations for photographers. This landscape bursts with an insane mix of colors. Deep purples, rich reds, bright yellows, and soft greens created by minerals and oxidation.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Mesquite Flats was definitely one of my favorite stops of the trip and my pictures really don’t to it a justice. It was so pretty. There isn’t an actual trail here, you just park and walk out into the dunes as far as you want to go. The tallest dune (which is where we decided to go) is about 2 miles round-trip and definitely kicks your butt. Walking uphill in sand is HARD. And running down the mountain for funzies afterwards also kicks your butt, but is so worth it.

Mosaic Canyon

This hike is 3.4 miles, out & back and it leads you through narrow, marble looking canyon walls to another dry waterfall. As you venture into the canyon, you’ll be greeted by stunning rock formations, resembling a mosaic masterpiece.

Father Crowley Overlook

Father Crowley Overlook is located near the western end of park. This vista point is a famous spot for fighter jets to practice going through a narrow canyon and the area is actually an official military “low altitude flight training area”. Think Top Gun.

Darwin Falls

At around 18 feet tall, Darwin Falls is one of the only year-round flowing waterfalls in Death Valley National Park. It was a 1.9 mile, put & back hike and so green along the way. Crazy how we were hiking through a desert canyon that morning and then a lush oasis later that same day.

Ready to plan your own Death Valley excursion now? Yeah, we know.

Hopefully this gave you a little insight on some of the most mesmerizing places to visit inside the park!

As always, travel on my friends.