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Ultimate One Day in Death Valley Itinerary

Death Valley National Park, located in Eastern California, is the largest national park in mainland USA.

It is also one of the most popular national parks to visit in California.

This vast and desolate landscape is unlike anything else in the country and is on the bucket list of several visitors.

Death Valley offers numerous hiking trails, campgrounds and Backcountry camping opportunities, narrow Canyons, colorful Badlands, unique flora and fauna, as well as several other attractions.

With its vast unique landscape and rich history, the park is perfect for tourists of all ages.

Whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, or just exploring the park’s many attractions, Death Valley is definitely worth the trip!

Where is Death Valley located?

Death Valley National Park is located in Inyo County of Eastern California.

It’s about a 2-hour drive from Las Vegas and the distance is about 130 miles.

Death Valley is just over 4 hours 30 minutes from Los Angeles; with a driving distance of 260 miles.

Most visitors often plan a Death Valley one day trip from Las Vegas itinerary because of the proximity between the two destinations.

If driving from Nevada, take Highway 160 via Pahrump to Death valley Junction, then continue along the park road.

How many days to spend in Death Valley?

With its vast desert landscape and an array of wildlife, it’s easy to see why this park is such a popular tourist destination to explore on a Death Valley day trip.

Visitors often wonder how many days in Death Valley are needed to see the attractions?!

Best part? You can easily see the highlights in a day trip to Death Valley if you are short on time!

On your Death Valley 1 Day Itinerary, explore the region around Furnace Creek area.

See the famous Badwater Basin Salt Flats, enjoy the colorful landscape on Artists Drive, and enjoy the panorama at Zabriskie Point.

Want to explore more of this rugged landscape of badlands and canyons?

Use our Death Valley Itinerary 2 Days to see hidden gems within the park including waterfalls, mysterious moving rocks, and even a volcanic crater!

We also have a Death Valley 3 Day Itinerary for those who like slow travel or want to hike more or spend more days within the park.

One Day in Death Valley Itinerary from Las Vegas

If you’re looking for an otherworldly experience, a trip to Death Valley National Park is a must.

The key to seeing Death Valley in one day is to arrive early to escape crowds and cover more ground.

If you plan a Death Valley one day itinerary from Las Vegas, then arrive at Furnace Creek around 9 am or before – that will give you enough time to see all major attractions.

If you have only one day in Death Valley National Park, then begin your trip at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

Furnace Creek Visitor Center is an excellent place to start your trip.

The National Park Service managed information center has excellent resources including maps, souvenirs, essentials like water and hats, and more for your trip.

You can also pay the entrance fee here.

The visitor center has a large parking lot that caters to visitors.

Badwater Salt Flats

Badwater Basin is a must see spot on any 1 Day Death Valley Itinerary.

This is the lowest point in North America and has an elevation of 282 feet below sea level!

A boardwalk Trail will take you from the parking lot to the vast expanse of the hexagonal Salt Flats.

To reach the salt flats, take the Badwater Basin Road in the park.

Badwater Basin does have a large parking lot however it can get full during peak times.

You will find a lot of information and interpretive exhibits about the formation and history of the salt flats near the parking lot.

Artist’s Drive Scenic Loop

This scenic drive, located off Badwater Road, is one of the best ways to experience this amazing park.

The drive is 9 miles long one way and takes about 40 minutes to an hour to drive.

The curvy road goes through narrow canyons and colorful mountains and offers incredible views.

Artist’s Palette, located on the Artist’s Drive, is amongst the most colorful of Death Valley’s highlights.

You can see a vast what array of colors here from vibrant purples to deep hued greens and everything in between!

It’s hard to believe that the colors were formed due to oxidation of different metals.

Get out of the car and hike the half-mile trail to see the colors from up close!

Devils Golf Course

So named because only the Devil could play golf on it, this area is pockmarked by salt and mineral deposits!

Devil’s Golf Course is located between Furnace Creek and Badwater Basin and can be accessed via a small dirt road.

The salt deposits are really sharp here so be careful while walking!

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Want to go sandboarding while visiting Death Valley? Head to Mesquite Sand Dunes!

The sand dunes here are easily over a hundred feet tall and extend as far as the eye can see.

Visitors enjoy climbing to the top of the tall dunes and sliding down the slopes.

The dunes look prettiest at sunrise or sunset.

The Mesquite sand dunes are also popular for stargazing at night.

Zabriskie Point

What to see in Death Valley in one day? Enjoy the panoramas at Zabriskie Point!

Zabriskie point is one of the most famous in Death Valley viewpoints.

From this iconic location, you can enjoy bird’s-eye views of the colorful Badlands, salt flats on the valley floor, the surrounding mountain ranges, and the otherworldly Death Valley landscape.

A short half mile Trail takes visitors from the parking lot to the Overlook.

Sunrises are also spectacular here!

If you want to hike on your Death Valley day trip, then choose between Natural Bridge or Golden Canyon!

Natural Bridge Hike

Natural Bridge Trail is a mile long kid friendly hike.

The trail has everything from uphill paths, rock scrambling fun, and goes through a narrow Canyon.

At the end you will find the beautiful Natural Bridge formation as well as a dry waterfall.

Golden Canyon Hike

The Golden Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hikes inside Death Valley and is a favorite with families.

The hike is 3 miles long and is of moderate difficulty level if you hike all the way to the red cathedral rock formations.

It will take you through the colorful mountains and you can even complete some of the side trails for a more challenging hike.

Views along the hike are just spectacular!

And that concludes the main points of interest to add to your Death Valley Itinerary 1 Day!

Death Valley 2 Day Itinerary

With its star-studded sky and vast expanses of sand dunes, Death Valley is sure to leave a lasting impression.

If you have 2 Days in Death Valley, you can enjoy unique experiences such as camping in Death Valley and hiking to the less popular attractions within the park.

Make sure to rent or get your own high clearance vehicle to make the most of Death Valley in 2 days.

Harmony Borax Works

Harmony Borax Works is a hidden gem of Death Valley National Park.

They are a remnant from when the area was mined for natural resources during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

This factory was used to process ore from nearby mines in order to produce borax, which was then transported via the Twenty Mule Teams to the Death Valley Railroad.

Dante’s View

Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Mosaic Canyon

Rhyolite Ghost Town

Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

The entire hike is accessible and good for families with small kids.

Darwin Falls

Star gazing in Death Valley

Death Valley is an International Dark Sky Park and famous for its star gazing opportunities.

Those who have visited Death Valley and camped here have been mesmerized by the millions of stars that put on a fantastic show at night!

You can easily see the Milky Way, planets, constellations, and many other astronomical objects that are otherwise not visible to the naked eye in Death Valley at night.

Star gazing is a must on any Death Valley two day itinerary!

3 Day Itinerary Death Valley

3 Days in Death Valley

Ubehebe Crater

Racetrack Playa

Scotty’s Castle

Charcoal Kilns

Death Valley Travel Tips

In the summer months, Death Valley gets unbearably hot and dangerous.

In spring, the stunning National Park has several wildflowers blooming in the harsh desert environment and is a beautiful site to see.

Winter is by far the peak season because of the mild climate. Winter months are also great for hiking in Death Valley.

If you plan a trip during December, be prepared for lots of crowds.

Death Valley is very remote and does not have any gas stations.

Make sure that your car is full on gas before entering the national park and refuel every time you see a gas station.

Where to stay in Death Valley?

Death Valley has several campgrounds that acter to RVs as well as tent campers.

Furnace Creek campground is by far the most popular one.

More Death Valley Travel Guides

Death Valley road trip is one of our favorites in America!

If you’re looking for an adventure, you must visit Death Valley National Park.

Whether you’re interested in hiking or camping, death valley has something to offer everyone.

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable experience!

We hope you liked our multi day Death Valley itineraries.

Did we miss any must visit attraction that should be on the Death Valley National Park itinerary? Let us know in the comments.