Death Valley National Park Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, California. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.
We’ve done this twice, and still have more hiking to do; we fly in to Vegas, drive to Yosemite and stop at Death Valley and stay at the Furnace Creek Ranch for a night. In Vegas in 2013 it was 116 degrees and our shoes were melting on the pavement. We got to Death Valley and drove up 5000 feet to Dante’s View – it was only about 100 degrees at the top and the Ridge hike was really cool… the views are spectacular. Next we drove down the mountain and sweltered up to Zabriskie Point… even though it was around 123 degrees in the shade… the sand dunes were painted in gold. We next drove to the Visitor Center – it was 129 degrees! The A/C inside was a life saver. From there we checked in at Furnace Creek and later played a round at the Devil’s Golf Course [you’ll figure out quickly why you can’t find your ball] and then hit Badwater, 282 feet below sea level. On the way back we drove up Artist’s Ridge Road and checked out the multi-colored Artist’s Palette, and then went back to the motel for some more A/C. Death Valley is quite an experience. Heed the warnings to avoid hiking on salt flats or anywhere below sea level when it's hot; seriously you lose water just as fast as you drink it. Don’t "save H2O for later;” be sure to drink as you hike. If feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated. We heard about a man who started out on the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail (only a 1 mile trail), which is great at sunset and gleams like gold (4 miles north of Artist Palette) - but don’t be tempted in the heat; he only had two water bottles; he told his wife to meet him with the car on the other end; sadly he never showed up and didn’t survive. Also in 2014 Harry Potter star Dave Legeno died of heat stroke at aged 50 while hiking in Death Valley. HEED the warnings.
The next morning we hit the Mesquite Sand Dunes at sunrise, exited Death Valley and drove on to Father Crowley point, on to Lone Pine and up 395 toward the much cooler Sierras. Death Valley is a must see National Park. Highly recommend it and take the longer hikes during cooler weather.
This place is unreal. I recommend the Golden Canyon trail to Zabriskie Point. Zabriskie Point at sunrise and Artist Palette at sunset. Do at least one canyon hike as well... Fall, Mosaic, or Natural Bridge.