Lying mostly in Inyo County, California, near the border of California and Nevada, in the Great Basin, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Death Valley constitutes much of Death Valley National Park and is the principal feature of the *Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. >> *Places of interest in the Death Valley area
State Route 190, the Badwater Road, the Scotty’s Castle Road, and paved roads to Dante’s View and Wildrose provide access to the major scenic viewpoints and historic points of interest. More than 350 miles (560 km) of unpaved and four-wheel-drive roads provide access to wilderness hiking, camping, and historical sites.
There are hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, but most backcountry areas are accessible only by cross-country hiking. There are thousands of hiking possibilities. The normal season for visiting the park is from October 15 to May 15, avoiding summer extremes in temperature.
Entrance fees valid for seven days. Fees as of 2020 are:
- $15 – per individual on foot or bike
- $25 – per motorcycle
- $30 – per vehicle
- $55 Death Valley Annual Pass
There are nine designated campgrounds within the park, and overnight backcountry camping permits are available at the Visitor Center.
Follow Desert Survival guidelines. The name of the park says it all. Unprepared tourists die each year within the borders of the park.
Death Valley’s Badwater Basin is the point of lowest elevation in North America, at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. On the afternoon of July 10, 1913, the United States Weather Bureau recorded a high temperature of 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, which stands as the highest ambient air temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth.