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Best Trails in Death Valley National Park

235 reviews

#5 of 35 National Parks in California

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Hottest, Driest, Lowest: A superlative desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons and 3 million acres of wilderness. Full of nature and history, there are endless activities in the park. About the size of the state of Connecticut, one can spend weeks exploring Death Valley and only scratch the surface of what there is to see and do.

on Zabriskie Point
13 days ago

walking

Easy 2 minute walk up. Beautiful view!

on Death Valley National Par...
13 days ago

hiking

Nice place if you like desert badlands. Danged hot in the summer

on Eureka Dunes
20 days ago

From a photographers point of view, I found Mesquite sand dunes much more photogenic, I guess from a hiking point of view these might be cooler, definitely more of a challenge with the height of the dunes. The road there was worse then the road to the racetrack, even for my SUV. Not sure I would do again, going here will take a whole day, plan accordingly

on Racetrack Road
20 days ago

Tough drive, well worth it with the right vehicle, very unique feature if you can make it there

on Stovepipe Wells Sand Dune...
20 days ago

If this the hike in the Mesquite Sand dunes, then it is well worth it, very photogenic dunes, highly recommend for a sunrise or a sunset moment, have fun exploring!

on Zabriskie Point
20 days ago

EASY walk up a paved path to a overlook, of the very cool Badlands Must do in DVNP!

on Badwater Salt Flat Trail
20 days ago

Cool thing to see, you don't have to walk that far if you don't wish to

on Dante's View Trail
20 days ago

Amazing views! Don't really need to hike much, it's all there at the parking lot

on Gower Gulch Loop Trail
1 month ago

hiking

There is no shade, but the surreal landscape of the canyon more than makes up for it. Even, fairly gentle climb.

on Badwater Salt Flat Trail
1 month ago

Went here with my mom after we hiked out of the Grand Canyon! Very hot-it was 125 degrees when we were here! Easy walk in the lowest place on the country and very cool to see the salt crystallization. Despite the heat, it was still quite crowded here, but not unbearably crowded.

on Zabriskie Point
1 month ago

Went here with my mom after we hiked out of the Grand Canyon! Easy walk up a hill to see some amazing views! Very hot-it was 125 degrees when we were here!

on Gower Gulch Loop Trail
2 months ago

great view, and awesome pits

on Echo Pass / Inyo Mine
2 months ago

off road driving

This was a fun 4x4 drive to take my Jeep on. The road is not easy to spot from the main paved road, hence it is not well traveled and if you do encounter anyone else along the way, they are likely doing the same thing you are. Plenty of solitude with cool rock formations to look at along the way. The road is a bit rocky in a few spots but not anything extreme or crazy. Exploring the Inyo Mine ghost town way out there was pretty cool too. Fun drive :)

on Dante's View Trail
3 months ago

Great views green on the right & salt flats to your left as you continue on the trail past the peak. But the group of 7 I was with really want to question who labelled this as easy, because the way back from continuing on the 3.5 mile one-way kicked our butts with all the uphill climb at that elevation. Yes there is a trail & no scrambling, but we hike often & longer distances but that was not "easy". My legs & butt felt it the next day and that has not happened to me in a LONG time. My lungs were feeling it while on the uphill too.

on Gower Gulch Loop Trail
4 months ago

hiking

I like this hike a lot. Golden Canyon is quite colorful and the short side trail to Red Cathedral is well worth the scramble up the dry falls and climb up onto slopes for the views of the valley from a higher vantage point. The trail is well marked. Following a meandering canyon, Gower Gulch portion has more subtle beauty with more texture and pattern on the canyon sides, less bold color. I hiked on a cloudy April day with a start temperature of about 70F at 9AM. I took my time taking many photos and completed the loop just before 1PM. Temperature was about 78F. Very nice hike, would do again.

on Death Valley National Par...
4 months ago

walking

Most of this trail is a boardwalk that forms a loop. At the furthest part of the loop there is a sandy footpath that leads you along the creek for a more secluded experience. Interpretive signs point out species of interest. Be prepared for no shade and limited parking. The endangered pupfish is found in this creek (it is only found at one other location in the world...also within Death Valley NP). At only 4 centimeters long, they can be hard to spot in the creek, but they dart around to and from vegetation if you look closely.

on Golden Canyon Trail
4 months ago

hiking

We did this as part of the Gower Gulch hike and it made for a nice excursion. Very steep in one area but otherwise quite doable. Hike it at sunset or sunrise for an even better experience; this will also avoid the heat and a lot of hikers.

on Gower Gulch Loop Trail
4 months ago

hiking

Amazing trail! We hiked it at sunset which really brought out the red and purple colors of the surrounding barren rock formations. Very otherworldly and maze-like. There are plenty of tempting side trails/washes that are hard to say no to. The trail basically follows the main wash which later turns into a steep canyon with sheer cliffs on either side of you. Fairly flat with a particular steep section as you climb out of the wash. Trail signs can be elusive.

on Badwater Salt Flat Trail
4 months ago

walking

This was quite an experience. Not only are you walking in North America's lowest, driest, hottest landscape, but you also are surrounded by a dry lake bed of pure salt! The salt is formed into delicate crystals that are outlandish to see close-up. Very easy stroll. The trail drops you off at the salt flat and people are free to wander. Obviously no shade, and can be very hot (although in February it wasn't unbearable...83F).