Places to Visit: Death Valley National Park

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Death Valley National Park

Within a five hour drive from Zion and known as a 'land of extremes', Death Valley National Park is a unique desert landscape featuring sand dunes, colorful rocks, snow-capped mountains, and canyons.

  • Only a five-hours drive, visitors can explore the different, but spectacular desert landscapes of Death Valley and Zion.
  • After a day of hiking or viewing the spring desert wildflowers, stay at one of Death Valley's private resort accommodations.
  • Explore Scotty's Castle and it's underground tunnels with a ranger-led guided tour.


Situated 113 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and 275 miles from Zion, Death Valley National Park is known as a 'land of extremes'.  Featuring sand dunes, colorful rocks, snow-capped mountains, canyons, and three million acres of wilderness, Death Valley is best experienced during the colorful spring and fall seasons.


Between Amargosa Desert and Invo National Forest, Death Valley National Park is located in southeastern California and Nevada. Those traveling from Death Valley to Zion National Park pass through Las Vegas, 113 miles to the southeast of Death Valley. 

Fees and Seasons

An entrance fee of $20 for a private vehicle is valid for seven days.  Fees for campgrounds within Death Valley range between free and $18/night. 

Although the park is open throughout the year, some of the campgrounds are closed during the hot summer months.  Because most visitors chose to avoid the extreme heat of the summer months, there are also reduced hours of operation at the Furnace Creek and Scotty's Castle Visitors Centers.

Services and Amenities

In addition to park-administered campgrounds, there are several accommodations within park ranging from motel-style to first-class resorts.  A variety of lodging is also available to the east of Death Valley National Park in most of the towns along Highway 95 in Nevada, including Tonopah, Goldfield, Beatty, Indian Springs, and the lively city of Las Vegas. 

Additional services include a range of food establishments located within the park's various lodges and inns, including a snack bar, casual restaurants, and upscale dining.

Attractions and Activities

With over three million acres of designated wilderness and miles of backcountry roads, visitors have the opportunity to explore this unique desert environment by hiking, backpacking, biking, and by car.  Ranger programs cover a variety of topics and are held at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center from November to April.  Also popular with visitors is the ranger-guided tours of Scotty's Castle, a unique Spanish-style mansion, and it's system of underground tunnels.

Getting Here

From Death Valley follow Route 374 out of the park to the town of Beatty, Nevada. Here, turn south on Route 95 and travel 113 miles to Las Vegas. Before reaching Las Vegas you'll pass Route 156 leading into the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area, a surprisingly rugged patch of mountains full of camping and hiking options.

From Las Vegas, head north on Interstate 15.  I-15 continues through Arizona across the Virgin Mountains and into St. George, Utah, known for it's world-class golf courses. 

From St. George follow I-15 north for ten miles to Exit 16. Head east on Route 9 and follow to Zion National Park. Before reaching the park's western entrance consider a drive up to Zion's Lava Point overlook, accessed by Kolob Terrace Road in the town of Virgin.