Death Valley National Park

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About Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park offers visitors the chance to feel humbled and renewed amidst the prowess of the desert’s spacious immensity, sculpted rock and vivid technicolor sunsets. Desert regions of harsh extremes and unencumbered beauty have inspired artists and outdoor-lovers alike, harboring the more contradictory forces of nature. Snow dusted peaks and record heat? Yes. Wildflower summoning rainstorms between steady droughts? Yes. Relieved fish taking refuge in crystal pools that dot, every so often, an enduring scape of rolling sand and cliffed basalt? Yes, yes and yes. When you go to Death Valley you are not limited to camping, hiking and backpacking, although this in itself could satiate the belly of any hungry outdoorsman or woman. At Death Valley National Park there are opportunities for rock climbing, horseback riding, golfing, off highway vehicle adventures and snowshoeing, to name a few. And after you’ve seized the day, refilled your water canteen and stretched your tired legs out on a sleeping mat outside your tent, you can fall asleep to one of the best stargazing bedtime stories the night sky has to offer.

Campgrounds in Death Valley

Emigrant Campground

1. Emigrant Campground

This tents only, year round campground is awaiting your need for seclusion, with only 10 spots for the picking! No dump station or fire pit (no...

49 Saves
Furnace Creek Campground

2. Furnace Creek Campground

100% Recommend (8 Campers)

One of the most centrally located campgrounds in Death Valley, Furnace Creek is seated in a cradle of astonishing ruggedness, surrounded by the...

Mitch
Mitch: While most of the sites do have some sort of tree coverage for shade, not all do. The site we ended up with was just a...
47 Saves
Mesquite Spring Campground

3. Mesquite Spring Campground

90% Recommend (5 Campers)

Mesquite Spring is your chance to avoid crowds and recharge with some winter camping, minus the noise of RV engines (as many of the RV winter...

Robert
Robert: Stayed here Dec 27, 2014, this is an awesome campsite. If you are a stargazer there is little to no ambient light to interfere...
33 Saves
Mahogany Flat Campground

4. Mahogany Flat Campground

On a ridgeline of the Panamint range awaits Mahogany Flat, one of the only Death Valley campgrounds where you’ll appreciate the shady reach of...

Emma
Emma: The last few miles up are dirt/gravel, you will want high clearance and probably 4WD. The Telescope Peak trailhead is here and...
21 Saves
Wildrose Campground

5. Wildrose Campground

86% Recommend (7 Campers)

Saying the words Wildrose Canyon elicits a sense of the mythical, perhaps even the magical, camping experience. Its namesake, Wildrose Campground,...

Alyx
Alyx: Arrive early for the weekend to grab one of these free campsites. Wildrose Charcoal Kilns are just 7 miles further down the road.
17 Saves
Thorndike Campground

6. Thorndike Campground

At 7400’ elevation, with a camping season that runs March through November, Thorndike campground is not for everyone. Accessible to high clearance...

12 Saves
Texas Spring Campground

7. Texas Spring Campground

In the asperous hills above the Furnace Creek area, Texas Spring provides 92 options that include both tent and RV camping and enviable views of...

Matthew
Matthew: We went into Death Valley without reserving a campsite. Our first stop was to check Texas Springs and there were plenty of...
9 Saves
Sunset Campground

8. Sunset Campground

This large, flat parking lot campground is primarily for RV camping and sits within a mile’s reach of the Furnace Creek Ranch Resort and the...

5 Saves
Stovepipe Wells Campground

9. Stovepipe Wells Campground

Imagine the curved ripple of velvety sand against a backdrop of serrated peaks. The nearby sand dunes make Stovepipe Wells a good spot to park...

Korey
Korey: This may look like a bleak camping spot, but I absolutely loved the people that worked at Stovepipe Wells. At the gift shop...
5 Saves

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Death Valley
hipcamper
April 30th, 2016
Death Valley
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April 30th, 2016
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April 30th, 2016
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April 30th, 2016
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23 Reviews

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Hipcamper Mitch

While most of the sites do have some sort of tree coverage for shade, not all do. The site we ended up with was just a sectioned off area in the flat dirt. Not bad (key word FLAT), but come prepared with some form or fashion of your own shade, just in case!

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Hipcamper A
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The lack of light pollution is epic-- don’t leave Death Valley without spending a night under the stars.

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Hipcamper Emma

The last few miles up are dirt/gravel, you will want high clearance and probably 4WD. The Telescope Peak trailhead is here and it is an awesome hike.

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Hipcamper Alyx

Arrive early for the weekend to grab one of these free campsites. Wildrose Charcoal Kilns are just 7 miles further down the road.

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Hipcamper Cody

One of my favorite DV campsites situated on a ridge line with a view of Badwater Basin and Telescope Peak. One of the most intense elevation increases in the lower 48. Situated at 8200ft it can get a bit chilly at night even for DV. After the Charcoal Kilns the road does get a bit more rough and 4x4 IS RECOMMENDED. However, I have drove a Kia, Nissan Maxima, and Chevy Impala to the top with no problem provided the weather was good. This is where the Telescope Peak trail head is which I highly recommend. Even if you just make it to the saddle at the halfway point there are amazing views of the Death Valley Basin and Panamint Valley Basin. Bring lots of water, food, and proper clothing if you choose to hike.

Hipcamper Korey

This may look like a bleak camping spot, but I absolutely loved the people that worked at Stovepipe Wells. At the gift shop across from the tenting area they had free coffee every morning and the staff was so friendly. Plus the pool attached to the hotel had showers, so I definitely utilized those!

Hipcamper A
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Visit on cooler months, unless you are down for 100 plus degree F heat.

Hipcamper A
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No cell phone service throughout most of the park so best to get your maps organized and downloaded before arrival.

Hipcamper A
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Bring more water than you think you’ll need-- don’t underestimate the power of the desert to dehydrate.

Hipcamper A
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Fill up on gas before getting into the park-- it costs more once inside.

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Take pictures at Artist’s Palette-- multi-colored like its namesake suggests!

Hipcamper A
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Go to Zabriskie point for your first stunner of a view-- just a short walk from the parking area!

Hipcamper A
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Check out Hiking Death Valley by Michel Digonnet for some great info and historical context for this spectacular wonderland.

Hipcamper Matthew

We went into Death Valley without reserving a campsite. Our first stop was to check Texas Springs and there were plenty of available spots with a general store right across the street. A few campsites were shaded, but most were exposed to the sun.

Hipcamper Robert

Stayed here Dec 27, 2014, this is an awesome campsite. If you are a stargazer there is little to no ambient light to interfere with your view. camp ground is close to Scotty's Castle, and Ubehebe Crater. If you winter camp it can be cold dropped to 26 at nite

Hipcamper Rob

A rather bleak parking lot. The worst camping spot in Death Valley, especially if you're tenting. If you are, try to get the sites closest to the sand. Otherwise, stay elsewhere.

Hipcamper Basak

Texas Spring is my favorite campground in Death Valley. It is located among the hills and badlands where you can feel that you are actually camping in Death Valley. Clean bathrooms and drinking water available. In the morning, you can climb up the hills right out of your tent welcome the sunrise. This is a seasonal campground so make sure it is open before you plan staying there.

Hipcamper Jesse

Pro tip...pay the little bit of extra money to stay at the campground attached to Furnace Creek Resort (Fiddler's Campground) and you will get access to their swimming pool and recreational facilities. Fiddler's does not have individual picnic tables or fire pits or much shade so Furnace Creek is a little nicer in that respect but access to the swimming pool was priceless.

Hipcamper Max

Went in September 2016. Made it up there in a 2WD Honda Element, but my poor car was feeling it after. I would go in a 4WD, if at all possible next time. Camping was simple, metal picnic tables and a little camping spot. Keep in mind, it gets extremely cold at nights since the higher elevation. Nobody was staying there but us on this visit. Woke up early and did Telescope peak as the sun rose. Quite the hike and I recommend it to anyone, as it was the highlight of my trip to DVNP.

Hipcamper Max

While driving at night, missed the turn to Mahogany Flats and ended up camping at Stovepipe Wells. It was a flat campground close to a gas station, small ranger station, and a tiny little resort. Relatively nice bathrooms, water, and a beautiful sunrise. I wouldn't choose this as my first choice.

Hipcamper Christopher

There aren't a ton of developed campgrounds in Death Valley, but this seems to be the go to one! Has recently been renovated, so the roads are all paved nicely and the campsites are very well maintained and manicured. I only have experience in the standard drive-in tent sites, however there are numerous hike-in only sites available too. In my opinion the best sites for tent camping are on the farthest loop at sites 100-110. These seem to have the most shade and vegetation. The campsites are very close together so there's not a ton of privacy, but it's never been a problem for me. The bathrooms are solid and are usually pretty clean. Also you can walk to the park visitor center or even the gas station/store from here if you need supplies.

Hipcamper Rachel

Great site right in the park! Basic but it has everything you will ever need (expect shade). Mostly an RV site but it did have some tent camping. The camp host was very friendly. I would recommend it if you cannot find a spot somewhere else. Being in the park is better than not. This campsite was right next to the sand dunes which is a total plus to me.

Hipcamper Natalia

Great access to Badwater Basin and Devil's Golfcourse. Spring for a luxury and pay a small fee to have daily access to the pool area of the hotel next door to campground!

History of Death Valley National Park

Although the Twenty Mule Teams, prospectors with their burros, and lost pioneers represent the extent of human history in Death Valley to most people, it actually started long before and continues today. Native people have been here since at least the end of the last Ice Age. Towns and mining camps have come and gone. Mining companies have moved from harvesting the mineral wealth to developing the valley for tourism. Most recently, Death Valley has become a cherished National Park, visited by humans from around the globe.

The Timbisha Shoshone Indians lived here for centuries before the first white man entered the valley. They hunted and followed seasonal migrations for harvesting of pinyon pine nuts and mesquite beans with their families. To them, the land provided everything they needed and many areas were, and are, considered to be sacred places.
At the height of the California Goldrush a group of pioneers decided, against the warning of their wagon master, to take a "shortcut" across the unknown deserts of the West. This fatal misjudgement would give us one of our greatest stories of trial and heroism, and it would give us the name Death Valley.
For many people, nothing symbolizes Death Valley more than the famous Twenty Mule Teams. These "big teams" pulled massive wagons hauling borax from the Harmony Borax Works near Furnace Creek to the railhead near Mojave, a grueling 165 mile, ten day trip across primitive roads. Although the teams only ran for six years--1883 to 1889--they have made an enduring impression of the Old West.

As a brand new national monument in 1933, Death Valley was in need of roads, campgrounds, ranger stations and other facilities to serve the visiting public. The Civilian Conservation Corps came to the rescue, helping to build the park we enjoy today.