I spent almost the entire day in Death Valley National Park in November with a close friend of mine. Coming from a very humid area, I was a little unprepared for the dry weather. Definitely bring lots of water! The good news is the visitor center within the park has water fountains you can fill up at if you need more water throughout your day.
Death Valley NP is massive! The best part was being able to drive around, park the car, do some exploring, then hop back in and continue. That gave us the opportunity to see most of the popular stops in just one day.
Our first stop was Zabriskie Point, which was near the entrance to the park from the Nevada side. From here, we could see some very incredible desert views. If you don’t have time to do any hikes in the park, I’d highly recommend this stop. You get all the amazing views without the effort!
After our stop at Zabriskie Point, we drove to the trail head for the Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch and Badlands trail. This trail took us through some beautiful landscapes and overall wasn’t too challenging. We did the whole 6.4 mile loop, but there were plenty of opportunities to cut the hike short.
One of the off shoots of the trail takes you to Red Cathedral, which is shown in the picture below. It’s definitely worth the 1 mile round trip off the trail to get up high and see the area from above.
Some hills were smooth while others were jagged. There were several smaller trails where people wandered off the main trail and went out on some of these peaks. We were on a time crunch, so we mostly kept to the trail.
The landscape changed quite a bit as we finished the Golden Canyon and Badlands loop and began wandering through the Gower Gulch portion. Here we are approaching Gower Gulch.
I loved looking out at the mountains in the background and the flat valley in between.
After our hike, we drove to Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in North America. It was really fun walking on the salt flats and taking some detailed pictures. This was definitely one of the more crowded areas of the park.
Check out all the salt!
Since we were tired from our hike, we decided to spend some time in the car driving around Artists Drive. Along this short loop, you can see some beautifully colored hills like the one below. If you’re in a time crunch, I’d suggest skipping the drive. We got stuck behind some slower vehicles and it took us a lot longer than we had hoped to get through the drive.
Check out all the colors!
To end our day in the park, we drove to Dantes View to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, we were stuck behind a very slow vehicle and missed most of the sunset. However, we were still able to see such a beautiful sky and the salt flats down below. I’d love to come back to Dantes View during the day sometime to see everything more clearly.