mesquite sand dunes

Wet Death Valley National Park Reopens with some limitations

An unusually rainy season, including a massive Tropical Storm, decimated much of Death Valley National Park this spring and summer, closing roads and making most of the park unvisitable.

On October 15, Death Valley National Park announced they would be opening most of the park, though there would be some limitations due to road repairs.

Road Status

“Visitors will be able to enter the park on State Route 190 from the west via Lone Pine or from the east via Death Valley Junction. All other park entrances will remain closed,” according to the LA Times. They added that SR 190 will have hour-long delays due to one-lane road situations.

Check Current Road Conditions Here

Other Open Facilities

zabriskie point death valley
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Panamint Springs Resort, Stovepipe Wells Village, and the Oasis at Death Valley will have lodging, gas, and food available.

National Park Campgrounds

Most of the campgrounds in the area should be open. Learn more here.

6 Must-See Areas

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Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

The following are some of my favorite places to explore in Death Valley NP.

Badwater Basin

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Descend to the lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin, where an immense salt flat stretches to the horizon. The shimmering salt polygons are both mesmerizing and surreal. The striking contrast between the pure white salt and the towering Black Mountains in the distance is a sight to behold.

Wander onto the salt flats and experience the unique sensation of standing at the “baddest” water in the United States, a truly iconic Death Valley experience.

The biggest thing to note is that Badwater Basin is a very shallow lake right now. This couple of inches of lake should only last a few more weeks before it dries up. (Unless more rain comes.)

Mesquite Sand Dunes

death valley mesquite sand dunes
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Venture into the heart of Death Valley and discover the mesmerizing Mesquite Sand Dunes. These towering waves of golden sand are an iconic symbol of the park’s unique beauty. As the sun sets, the dunes come alive with dramatic shadows and vibrant hues, making it a photographer’s dream.

Explore this ever-shifting desert landscape and experience the magic of a timeless desert sunset.

Golden Canyon

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

A hiking paradise awaits at Golden Canyon, a breathtakingly colorful and narrow gorge in Death Valley National Park. Wander along its winding path, surrounded by vivid red and gold-hued rock formations, and feel the exhilarating sense of adventure.

The trail leads to the iconic Red Cathedral or can extend into the equally stunning Gower Gulch, ensuring a memorable experience for hikers of all levels.

Ubehebe Crater

Ubehebe Crater death valley
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Step into the otherworldly landscape of Ubehebe Crater, a colossal volcanic marvel in the heart of Death Valley. This massive crater, formed by a powerful volcanic explosion, stands as a testament to the Earth’s geological forces. Take a walk along its rim to experience the awe-inspiring panoramic views and feel the ancient power of the planet beneath your feet.

Ubehebe Crater is a captivating example of nature’s raw and untamed beauty and a must-see destination for those exploring the diverse wonders of Death Valley National Park.

Note: This road is not currently open.

Artist Point

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Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

At Artist Point, nature becomes a canvas, painting a masterpiece with every sunrise and sunset. This stunning overlook offers a panoramic view of the Badwater Basin, where the salt flats sprawl like a vast salt canvas.

The play of light and shadow creates a dynamic and ever-changing artwork, making Artist Point a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Zabriskie Point

zabriskie point death valley
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Zabriskie Point, a place of dramatic beauty and unearthly landscapes, provides an unrivaled perspective of the Death Valley badlands. The undulating hills, eroded by millions of years of wind and water, create a surreal and mesmerizing vista.

Whether you visit at sunrise or sunset, the view from Zabriskie Point is a gateway to the park’s geological wonders, offering a breathtaking glimpse into the heart of Death Valley.

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