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Location: Inyo County

Day 1 - 6 Mar 2021

Furnace Creek

Inyo County, Furnace Creek
Inyo County, Furnace Creek

Content: This epic 2 day road trip heads straight into the heart of Death Valley National Park, California. Furnace Creek is the main central area of the park where I chose to do my sightseeing. Note: Death Valley is one of the hottest places on earth. Avoid summertime visits, and plan your trips here in the spring, fall, and winter months.

Zabriskie Point

Inyo County, Zabriskie Point
Inyo County, Zabriskie Point
Inyo County, Zabriskie Point

Content: Visiting Zabriskie Point is a great introduction to Death Valley. It is a beautiful overlook that reveals the vast expanse landscape, full of varying shapes and beautiful desert colors. This spot is easily accessed with a parking lot right next to it. It involves a short walk up a paved road to the central viewing platform. Tip: As with all desert viewpoints, these spots are best viewed in the morning or afternoon to get the full affect of the shadows and colors. It’s still lovely at noon, but some of the color tends to get washed out with the harsh sun.

Location: Furnace Creek

Day 1 - 6 Mar 2021

Last Kind Words Saloon & Steakhouse

Furnace Creek, Last Kind Words Saloon & Steakhouse
Furnace Creek, Last Kind Words Saloon & Steakhouse
Furnace Creek, Last Kind Words Saloon & Steakhouse
Furnace Creek, Last Kind Words Saloon & Steakhouse

Content: We stopped at The Last Kind Words Saloon for lunch. I love the name of this place, and the look and decor is exactly what you’d picture a saloon to look like in the middle of the California desert. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an old Western Hollywood film. This bar and restaurant is located at the Ranch Hotel at Death Valley Oasis.

Borax Museum Furnace Creek

Furnace Creek, Borax Museum Furnace Creek
Furnace Creek, Borax Museum Furnace Creek
Furnace Creek, Borax Museum Furnace Creek

Content: On site at the Ranch Hotel is the Borax Museum. This is a free, open air museum that you can walk through. Browse old mining equipment and learn about Death Valley’s mining history.

Location: Inyo County

Day 1 - 6 Mar 2021

Devils Golf Course

Inyo County, Devils Golf Course
Inyo County, Devils Golf Course

Content: Devil’s Golf Course is a spot only reached by car. It’s a crazy field of sharp, jutting rocks. Great spot for photos or learning about the different types of geology in the park. I wouldn’t recommend this spot to be at the top of your Death Valley bucket list, but it was a nice visit if you have some time fill, like we did while we were waiting to check in to our hotel.

Keane Wonder Mine

Inyo County, Keane Wonder Mine
Inyo County, Keane Wonder Mine

Content: We made the slow drive down a really rocky road to this cool old abandoned mine. The drive felt really adventurous and fun, and there was a parking lot near the mine. There is a short uphill hike involved to get to the mine. Once there, learn a bit about the history of the mine, and enjoy the amazing overlook of the desert below.

Location: DEATH VALLEY

Day 1 - 6 Mar 2021

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

DEATH VALLEY, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
DEATH VALLEY, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Content: I recommend putting the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at the top of your list. It’s an awe inspiring expanse of desert sand dunes that you can freely explore. We came here for sunset. Seeing the colors change in the sky, while the shapes and lines of the sand dunes change with the fading light is absolutely magical. Big tip: It takes a long time to walk out to the middle of the dunes. The dunes near the parking lot are well-tread, and are full of foot prints. If you’re looking to reach the more pristine dunes a little farther out, give yourself time to do some walking. It’s not easy to walk quickly in sand. Also, be sure to bring water!

Location: Furnace Creek

Day 1 - 6 Mar 2021

The Ranch at Death Valley

Furnace Creek, The Ranch at Death Valley

Content: We had dinner at the 1849 Restaurant, on site at the Ranch Hotel. Casual dining spot with pizzas and an ice cream bar.

The Ranch at Death Valley

Furnace Creek, The Ranch at Death Valley
Furnace Creek, The Ranch at Death Valley
Furnace Creek, The Ranch at Death Valley
Furnace Creek, The Ranch at Death Valley

Content: The Ranch Hotel at Death Valley Oasis is one of only 2 hotels in the National Park. This is the more affordable option of the 2 hotels, and I absolutely recommend it. Comfortable rooms with a nice patio, and great onsite dining, general store, and bar.

Location: Furnace Creek

Day 2 - 7 Mar 2021

Badwater Basin

Furnace Creek, Badwater Basin
Furnace Creek, Badwater Basin
Furnace Creek, Badwater Basin

Content: Being at Badwater Basin salt flats for the sunrise was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in my life. This spot is famous for being the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. It is also famous for its amazing salt rock formations, naturally laid out in bizarre hexagonal shapes in the ground. Near the parking lot, the salt is worn down from so many visitors walking on it. So my tip is to keep walking out until you reach the better salt formations. I walked for about an 45 minutes to reach what I felt was the middle of the salt flats. Out there, the rock formations were pristine and untouched by humanity. We were the only 2 out there in the dark, and it was eerily void of sound. We sat there and watched the sunrise. Once the morning sun hit the ground, it lit up the white salt to a bright orange. Absolutely beautiful. Be careful out there alone and be sure to bring water.

Artists Drive

Furnace Creek, Artists Drive
Furnace Creek, Artists Drive

Content: Artist’s Drive is a lovely 9 mile loop drive that takes about an hour to complete, or more if you’re planning to stop often for photos, or if you get stuck behind slow drivers. It’s a beautiful scenic drive with a winding and twisting road that takes you through some colorful and amazing rock formations.

Artist's Palette

Furnace Creek, Artist's Palette
Furnace Creek, Artist's Palette

Content: Artist’s Palette is a stop along Artist’s Drive that I recommend if you’re looking for a cool photo spot, or want to see the amazing colorful rocks up close. This spot is where the colors are the most intense. Pastel pinks, teals, and purples are sprinkled through this space, making it feel like the surface of another planet.

General Store

Furnace Creek, General Store
Furnace Creek, General Store
Furnace Creek, General Store

Content: The general store at The Ranch Hotel is a great spot to end the trip. They have an impressive collection of Death Valley souvenirs, and they have a well stocked grocery section. Stop here to pick up some lunch and snacks for your drive home, or to your next road stop destination.