One of the best times to visit Death Valley is during the winter season. Since Andrew and I had some time off, we decided to spend five days exploring mother nature! We got extremely lucky as the weather was amazing and not too cold during the nights.
We flew into Vegas at 6am the day after Christmas. We picked up our AWD SUV, grabbed our pal Kai, and quickly stopped by the grocery store to stock up on some water, Hawaiian sweet rolls, lunch meats, and most of all snacks!
There are plenty of things to see at Death Valley, I am glad that we planned at least 1-3 hours per location. Our time at the park was just the right amount of time, I didn’t feel rushed at each site and we ended up with additional time at the end of each day. At about day four I was ready to leave the desert and chow down on some fast food!
Since there are so many amazing things to see, these are my top 5 favorite spots. If you only have a few days to visit the park, I would highly suggest making these your top destinations.
Dante’s Peak – the first stop we made when we got to Death Valley. The top of Dante’s Peak provided an amazing panoramic view of the salt flats below and the mountain ranges in the distance. This was definitely a great way to start off our trip. We loved it so much, we stopped again on our way out.
Spend some time sitting on the rocks and enjoy the view before you leave.
Devil’s Golf Course – this is by far my favorite place we visited on our trip. When you arrive, it’s pretty amazing seeing the salt formed rock formations. The ground pretty much looked like coral made from salt and dirt. The rocks were about a foot tall all around and extended so far into the distance. We stayed for sunset pictures, but unfortunately we got no sunset on our trip.
Golden Canyon – one of the longest hikes we did during our time in Death Valley. The hike is about 2 miles to the Red cathedral but relatively easy. During the hike you can also climb on a sand hill and enjoy the view!
Apparently this is also where some scenes from the original star wars was filmed, so if you’re a fan, definitely cheek it out!
Mesquite Sand Dunes – there are plenty of sand dunes in the Death Valley. We chose to see these because it was one was the closet and easiest to access from the roads.
The hike to the dunes is relatively easy and the sand is soft and cool during the morning. We decided to hike to the tallest dune, sounded like a good idea at first, but it took quite some time. Also climbing sand is not the easiest thing to do.
Don’t pass up taking off your shoes while you walk the dunes.
Darwin Falls – this was truly a gem in the desert! There is no paved path to the waterfall, but following the water pipe leads you right to the falls.
After walking through the desert, we started to see more streams and much more green. It was a pretty much a transformation. After navigating through some rocks, crossing some streams, we finally reached the first waterfall.
For those who are a little more adventurous there is a second waterfall behind this one. To get there you will need to climb pass the rocks.