Drive From Las Vegas To Death Valley National Park – Death Valley is the hottest, driest, and lowest place in the United States. But don’t let its mysterious name and seemingly barren landscape discourage you from planning a trip here. This park is full of wonderful surprises. Get the details on how to plan a Death Valley day trip from Las Vegas in this article.
This day trip starts and ends in Las Vegas. It’s a big day with a lot of driving and a busy schedule in Death Valley. You should start very early to maximize how much time you have in the park.
Drive From Las Vegas To Death Valley National Park
This day trip is perfect if you want a quick taste of Death Valley. You can visit the most famous sights, see the Mesquite Sand Dunes, take several short scenic drives, and hike Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the United States.
A Family Friendly Road Trip Through Las Vegas And Death Valley National Park
You don’t need a 4×4 for this Death Valley day trip. A regular car is fine for this trip. You will drive on one to two gravel roads, but the road conditions are suitable for a standard car.
If you like the idea of taking a day trip to Death Valley but don’t have a rental car or prefer to do it with a guide, this small group tour gets a lot of rave reviews.
Adding up the distance you drive in Death Valley, round trip from the toll station, here are the totals.
As I said before, it’s a big day for driving and you’ll be spending a lot of time in your car. Adding an extra day to your visit to Death Valley helps balance out the long drive to and from Las Vegas. If you’re wondering what you can do in Death Valley with more time, check out our 2-day Death Valley itinerary.
Visit Death Valley National Park In One Day From Las Vegas
Below is a map of Death Valley. This map includes driving directions from Las Vegas to Death Valley as well as driving directions through Death Valley.
How to use this map? Click the tab in the upper left corner of the map to view layers (destinations and routes). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click on the map icons, you can get more information about each point of interest.
If you click the star next to the map title, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you’ll see this map in your list.
All times for this route are approximate to give you an idea of how to plan your time.
Las Vegas To Los Angeles Roadtrip
There are two routes to choose from: NV-160 through Pahrump and Death Valley Junction or US-95 through Indian Springs and Amargosa Valley. I recommend taking the NV-160 through Pahrump. All in all, it’s a very scenic drive and quite a bit faster than driving on US-95. Plus, locals told us there’s a huge speed trap on US-95 near Indian Springs.
PRO TRAVEL TIP. To maximize your time in Death Valley (especially if you’re visiting during the shorter winter days), get an early start. How soon? If you leave Las Vegas at 7am, you’ll arrive in Death Valley by 9am, giving you plenty of time in the park today. However, if you don’t mind an earlier start, hitting the road at 6am gives you an extra hour of daylight.
After arriving at Death Valley, the first thing you will see is the park entrance sign. Take a photo if you like, then continue for a few minutes to the toll station.
There are no park cabins in Death Valley. You simply park, pay your fee ($30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days) at an automated toll booth, place your receipt/ticket on the dashboard of your vehicle, and then continue on your way.
Useful Tips For Driving In Death Valley National Park
Just past the toll plaza, turn left on Furnace Creek Wash Road (follow signs to Dante’s View) and drive 13 miles (about 25 minutes) to Dante’s View. The road becomes very winding as there are several turns near the very end of the drive.
The heart of Death Valley stretches before you. Below is Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the United States. If you look carefully, you can see a road that goes through the valley to Badwater Basin. You will drive that road later today when you visit Bassein.
. Both Twenty Mule Team Canyon and Golden Canyon have been introduced, and you will visit Twenty Mule Team Canyon next.
After Dante’s View, return to Highway 190 and turn left to continue into the park. Drive 6 miles to the entrance of Twenty Mule Team Canyon. The drive from Dante’s View to Twenty Mule Team Canyon takes about 45 minutes.
Directional Sign To Las Vegas From Death Valley National Park California Usa Stock Image
Twenty Mule Team Canyon is a one-way road through yellow and white mudstone hills. Borax was mined from this area 100 years ago.
I expected this to be an uninteresting waste of time. Boy, was I wrong. The landscape here is gorgeous in a chalky, desolate way.
Two-thirds of the way through the drive is a small turnoff, big enough for several cars, that provides access to many of the short hiking trails in these hills. Definitely go out and do this! From the tops of these hills there is a wonderful view.
Zabriskie Point is another very popular sight to see in Death Valley. You know it’s popular when the parking lot is huge and there’s a paved trail to the overlook. This was the most crowded place we visited in Death Valley.
Death Valley National Park
Enjoy the view, but skip the hikes (you’ll need time to visit other places in Death Valley today). The visit here lasts about 15 minutes.
Since you have such a tight schedule today, I recommend packing a picnic lunch. You can have lunch at Zabriskie Viewpoint or eat it on the drive to Badwater Basin.
There are restaurants in Death Valley, but your options are very limited. You can dine at one of the restaurants at The Oasis in Furnace Creek or you can take a one-hour tour of Stovepipe Wells.
This quick stop is worth it if you want to see the Devil’s Golf Course, aka the Devil’s Golf Course. If you decide to go out in these apartments, be careful. These formations are surprisingly sharp and you can get hurt. You might want to think twice before letting the little ones explore this place.
Top Photo Spots In Death Valley
We thought the Devil’s Golf Course was just fine. I think it’s worth skipping, but since you’re right past it on the way to Badwater Bass, it doesn’t add much time to your day.
Get here from Zabriskie Point. Drive along Furnace Creek and turn onto Badwater Road. Drive past West Side Road and then turn right onto Devil’s Golf Course (there will be a street sign that says “Devils Golf Course”). It’s a short drive down a well-maintained gravel road to the parking lot. This whole trip is 10 miles and takes about 15 minutes.
Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the United States, at 282 feet below sea level. Get out on the salt flats and enjoy this unique landscape.
This is a 9 mile scenic drive through more of Death Valley’s unique landscapes. Artist’s Drive is a one-way road from south to north. To get here from Badwater Basin, drive 5 miles north on Badwater Road and turn right onto Artist’s Drive.
Travel From Las Vegas, Nevada To Death Valley, California
There are many places to stop to enjoy the view and take photos, but there are two places that we think are really worth it.
There is an unmarked, unnamed canyon worth a quick visit. It is located 3.4 miles from Artists Drive (0.9 miles to the Artist’s Palette parking lot). Park at the dip in the road and walk east into the canyon. You can study here for 10 to 30 minutes. It can be a little difficult to climb the first obstacle to enter the canyon, but once you get past this, the rest is easy.
The second must-see on Artists Drive is the rainbow hills of Artist’s Palette. These pink, aqua and purple hills are the result of the oxidation of metals in the soil. Park in the parking lot if you want to see these hills up close.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes is one of the most photogenic places in Death Valley. If you are here with children, this may be the most important thing for them. We saw many people on sleds sliding down the steeper sand dunes. We also saw more young children here than anywhere else in the park.
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By the time you finish at the Mesquite Sand Dunes, it will be 5 o’clock. During the winter months, sunset varies between 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM, depending on the month you visit. If you plan to do this Death