This is a great orientation to the most famous and popular destinations in Death Valley.

Whether this is your first visit to Death Valley or you want to revisit some of the most loved destinations, you’ll find them listed, mapped and documented with video clips on this page.

These were all visited and filmed in one day: Sunrise to sunset, so it’s possible to cover them all in a day-long whirlwind tour.

Sequence of Destinations

The destinations are planned out so that they follow a natural progression from sunrise at Dante’s View to sunset at the Oasis at Death Valley (Death Valley Inn). This sequence follows the path of the sun for the best lighting. You’ll proceed from one point to the next with minimal back-tracking. By evening, you’ll have experienced one of the greatest one-day orientations to Death Valley imaginable! Your experiences, pictures and videos will become life memories!

Do you have an extended multi-day visit in Death Valley and want to explore the region in greater depth? Find some cool adventures here!

Dante’s View at Sunrise

The sun is at the perfect angle at this time, lighting up the full length of Death Valley beginning with the Panamint Mountain Range and Telescope Peak on the West side and gradually descending to light up the salt flats below. See the Dante’s View to Mt. Perry adventure to plan a future trip here. 

Zabriskie Point

This, in addition to Dante’s View is a second great sunrise destination with the best view of the iconic Manly Beacon. For a future adventure, did you know you could hike all the way from Zabriskie Point down to the lower opening of Golden Canyon?

Ubehebe Crater

Dante’s View and Zabriskie Point required very little walking. For the best experience of Ubehebe Crater, take the short one-mile loop trail around this massive volcanic formation.

Scotty’s Castle

On this day, Scotty’s Castle Road was washed out! Taking the full tour may require advanced reservations and could take the better part of a day. Save the guided tour for another day. Today, just park there and take the brief hike to the memorial on the hill above, providing an eagle’s eye view of the entire complex!

Titus Canyon

The most spectacular stretch of Titus Canyon is the first mile beyond the lower parking area off Scotty’s Castle Road. You need only walk that lower mile, or less, to experience the best of Titus Canyon! Return another day for a more extended experience of Titus Canyon. Suggestion: Walk the 5-mile stretch to the ghost town of Lead Field. See the Titus Canyon by Mountain Bike as an idea for a future adventure here.

Mesquite Dunes

Enjoy wandering around the dunes. No trails. Return some day at sunrise or sunset for amazing pictures. See sunrise images and video there.

Stove Pipe Wells

This is a great stop with an old Western theme look, nice restaurant, gift shop, motel and campground. Gas here is also less expensive than at Furnace Creek. 

Devil’s Cornfield

Here’s a quick stop on the road from Stove Pipe Wells not far beyond Mesquite Dunes. Good interpretive displays describing the weird arrow weed mounds that look like bundles of harvested cornstalks.

Salt Creek

See Death Valley’s famous pre-historic Pup Fish swimming in salt creek as you walk along a nice boardwalk. Great interpretive displays.

Harmony Borax Works

Quick stop, minimal walking. See the famous Twenty Mule Team Wagon, Borax processing plant and where borax ore was swept from the desert floor for processing. At some future point, you may want to take a quick drive through the Twenty Mule Team Canyon.

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

This is an important stop to strategize a longer stay in Death Valley. Awesome information on everything pertaining to Death Valley, and top rate nightly ranger presentations.

Furnace Creek Ranch

Many features here: A grocery store, gift shop, restaurants, Death Valley Museum, swimming pool, cabins, horseback riding, golf course, cabins, campgrounds. This is the main village at Death Valley. There are a couple great hikes from Furnace Creek to the Tea House and Table Rock above.   

Devil’s Golf Course

Weird salt pillars pushed up from the desert floor as much as 4 feet high and as far as the eye can see! View from the parking area or wander around.

Badwater Basin

Lowest point in North America at 282ft below sea level. Also the hottest! Look closely into the water to see desert water beetles swimming about in this ultra-high salty water. 

Artist’s Drive

Artist’s Palette, near the top of the drive features an astonishing splash of reds, greens, whites, browns and shades in-between. See if you can identify the minerals responsible for each color. Best viewed in the evening just before sunset. Check out some hidden canyon hikes off Artist’s Drive for a future adventure! 

Golden Canyon

Here are the desert “badlands” at their best! Hike around in the canyon. Take one of the paths to the top of a golden hill. For a future adventure take the canyon route all the way up to Red Cathedral and Zabriskie Point

The Oasis (Inn at Death Valley)

If you’re staying at the Oasis, it’s one of the most elegant resorts imaginable…and in this rugged desert scene. And the garden area with its ponds and cascading streams is unbelievable!

It’s evening by now and views of the Panamint Range and Telescope Peak across Death Valley are at their best!

What’s Next After Your Whirlwind Day-Long Orientation to Death Valley?

Now you’re ready for some more in-depth exploration! Build upon the foundation you’ve established today.

Try a few of the adventures you’ll find here!

Whether you spend a day or a lifetime exploring Death Valley…there’s always more to discover! Enjoy!

Death Valley In a Day | Death Valley National Park, California
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Death Valley In a Day | Death Valley National Park, California
Death Valley in a day is a one day whirlwind tour of many of the most popular sites in Death Valley National Park, California. It's a great place to start if you are planning a brief first-time visit and overview of Death Valley.
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