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Jon Sullivan/PDPhoto.org

Shallow pools of water reflect the sky at Badwater salt flats in Death Valley National Park


Scenic Drives  · Death Valley Area

Death Valley Area

Death Valley California is the hottest, the lowest AND the driest place in the Western Hemisphere! Why do 850,000 people visit Death Valley each year? California has other deserts but none as well known. Death Valley is like none other in harsh beauty, largely unmarked by human endeavors. Our scenic drive takes you to the highlights of this very special California destination.
Despite the extremes, there are many highly adapted plants and animals in Death Valley as well great beauty among the dunes and peaks of this famous desert. Hugging the easternmost border of California, Death Valley is the largest national park in the conterminus U.S., much of it inaccessible by passenger vehicle.
Plan your visit to Death Valley California with our free printable map.

Death Valley Scenic Drive

Visitor Info
Death Valley National Park
Scenic Drive Index Print/Zoom

SCENIC DRIVES: The open landscape, nearly void of vegetation and human settlement, is silent and stark, affected primarily by the time of day and seasons. Attempts at habitation and commerce remain – the Harmony Borax Works in the 1880’s and Scotty’s Castle the home of an eccentric, stand empty. Most animals are nocturnal in the desert, to avoid the hot sun and dry daytime air.

The names of places are familiar and evocative – Badwater, Furnace Creek, Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point, Devil’s Golf Course. In summer, it can be too hot to explore outside your car for very long. Our route takes you to some of the major sites in the park; if the weather is good, explore some of the smaller roads to other sites. Not all roads are open all year due to weather conditions so check with park authorities if you plan to explore back roads.

Our scenic trip starts from Highway 395: take 136, or 190 if you are coming from the south, to enter the park. Continue on 190 until it branches to Badwater where you can experience the feeling of being at the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere. Retrace your path back to 190 and follow the signs to Dantes View.  

Retrace your path back to 395. If you are ready for more exploration, a detailed map and description of the Death Valley National Park is included in the National Parks section.


Jon Sullivan/PDPhoto.org
Find out how rocks make tracks at Racetrack Playa, a dry lake bed in Death Valley National Park

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