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Camping in Death Valley | NEW Guide Death Valley Campgrounds

Camping in Death Valley is an amazing adventure. It is a very well-known national park in the United States. It is at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada and is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in North America. The home of the hottest temperature in the world is there.

Why Go Camping in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park has lots of different campsites. And even some of the best glamping in California sites are near Death Valley.

There are many death valley camping sites to choose from. That is where this post comes in! 

And if you’re a nature lover who never wants to leave the outdoors, then you need to go camping in Death Valley. Not only is it in the most beautiful desert in the world, but it is also the hottest and driest place in North America. Join us as we explore this unique place and what it offers. And it embodies some of the best quotes about camping.

What is death valley camping Like?

Camping in Death Valley National Park is an adventure in the wilds of California. With miles of backcountry roads to explore, it’s the perfect place for those seeking a remote camping experience. The winter months offer cooler temperatures and a quieter atmosphere, making it a great time to camp. Be sure to bring plenty of drinking water, as water sources can be scarce in some areas.

If you prefer a more traditional camping experience, there are campgrounds with RV hookups and amenities available. A campground map is available for planning your stay. Mesquite Spring is a popular camping spot, offering amenities like showers and Bocce Ball courts. With lots of camping options, Death Valley National Park has something for everyone.

Best Time of Year for Camping In Death Valley 

The best time of the year for camping in Death valley is from May to September. This is when the temperatures in Death Valley National Park are extremely hot during the day, but they cool down at night, making camping a great option. The spring and fall are the best times to go camping in Death Valley National Park when the weather is more moderate. Just like camping in Big Sur.

Weather in Death Valley in the Summer Months

Death Valley, located in eastern California, is known for its harsh and unforgiving climate, especially during the summer months. The summer months in Death Valley, typically from June to September, are characterized by scorching hot temperatures that often exceed 120°F (49°C), making it one of the hottest places on Earth. The heat is so intense that it can be life-threatening for those who are not properly prepared. Additionally, the air in the valley is extremely dry, with humidity levels hovering around 10%, making it difficult for the body to cool itself down through sweating.

The lack of vegetation and shade exacerbates the heat and makes the valley feel even hotter. Visitors to Death Valley during the summer months should take extreme caution and prepare accordingly, including bringing plenty of water, wearing lightweight, breathable clothing, and avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day.

death valley camping: Peak Camping Season

The peak camping season, or the busy camping season, in Death Valley National Park typically runs from October to April. During this time, the weather is mild, and the temperatures make them the cooler months, making it an ideal time to explore the park’s vast landscapes and scenic vistas. The days are usually warm, with temperatures hovering around the mid-70s (23-24°C), and the nights are chilly, dropping to around 40-50°F (4-10°C). This temperature range is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and exploring the park’s various attractions, such as Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, and Dante’s View. Additionally, during peak camping season, visitors can enjoy the park’s various amenities, including ranger-led programs, guided tours, and stargazing events. However, it’s important to note that the peak season is also the busiest time of year, so visitors should plan ahead and make reservations early to secure their preferred campsites.

Can You Have a Campfire In Death Valley?

Yes, but with a permit only. The Death Valley National Park Service offers a “campfire permit” which is free. According to the National Park Service, “The permit allows you to build a campfire in a safe location and developed campsite within the National Park. The National Park Service does not provide wood for campfires. And you may not gather any wood. Plus, during certain times of the year, they may restrict fires.

backcountry camping options when Camping in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park offers a variety of backcountry camping options for visitors seeking a more immersive and remote experience. With over 3 million acres of wilderness, visitors can choose from several designated backcountry camping areas, including Emigrant, Panamint, and Saline Valleys. These primitive campsites are accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles and offer no facilities or services. Visitors must bring all necessary equipment and supplies and practice Leave No Trace principles. Which means you tent campers have to dig pit toilets, and keep your campsite clean. 

A backcountry permit is required, which is available for free at ranger stations throughout the park. Backcountry camping in Death Valley National Park provides a unique opportunity to explore the park’s rugged terrain, solitude, and natural beauty, but visitors must be prepared for extreme weather conditions and potential wildlife encounters.

The 8 Best Places for Camping In Death Valley

 Furnace Creek Campground

Furnace Creek Campground is the only National Park Service campground in Death Valley National Park where you may make reservations. It is in the park’s heart, just south of Furnace Creek. Amenities at this campground include fire pit, running water, and picnic table.

There are 150 campsites at furnace creek. But only 18 have hookups. There is the furnace creek visitor center which gives you access to a water refilling station and a dump site. There are some general stores nearby. And Furnace Creek isn’t too far from Sunset Campground.

Fiddlers Campground

Fiddler’s Campground is a private campground that is nestled in the heart of Death Valley. The Campground is within walking distance of Furnace Creek Ranch, a desert resort that offers many amenities such as showers and bathrooms, restaurants, a store, and more.

The Campground has a communal campfire ring that is open to all guests, as well as a dirt lot with tent spaces and RV spaces. Many other campgrounds in the area are less expensive than the Campground.

This campsite is a great jumping-off point for popular hikes like the Golden Canyon and Zabriskie point.

Sunset Campground Death Valley

Camping in Death Valley at Sunset Campground is a rustic experience. Many people visit Death Valley National Park for the stunning scenery, but it’s also a great place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Sunset Campground has 270 campsites and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Prices start at $14 per night and RVs are allowed. The campground is a gravel lot, which is not good for tent camping, but is a good option if you have a camper or an RV. This campsite is also within traveling distance of Badwater Basin. 

Texas Springs Campground Death Valley

The Texas Spring Campground is a primitive camping area in Death Valley National Park. With 92 campsites, the campground is open from fall to spring. Prices start at $16 for a campsite and there are magnificent views, fire pits, and picnic table. Restrooms and showers are also available.

The campground is on a first come basis and is near the golden throne, the artists’ palette. This campground is also close to the iconic Badwater Basin. One of the best sites to see when camping in Death Valley. 

Mesquite Spring Campground

Mesquite Spring is a remote spot in northern Death Valley, just 30 miles from Scotty’s Castle road. And near to ubehebe crater.

Mesquite Spring is a first come, first serve campground in Death Valley National Park. It is open year-round and provides flush toilets and running water. It is a great base camp for Eureka Dunes and Racetrack Playa.

Wildrose Campground

The Wildrose Campground is the first campground in Death Valley. It is near the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns and has been around since the early 1900s. There are no hookups, but the campground is a scenic place to stay. Rolling hills, colorful badlands, and a higher elevation surrounded the campground.

Stovepipe Wells Village

The Stovepipe Wells campground is a 25-acre campground with full hookups, showers, and bathrooms. The campground is at the entrance to Death Valley National Park.

There are 14 RV sites with full hookups and views of Death Valley. The 190 campsites are primarily for RVs and trailers. And of course a fire pit. 

Stovepipe Wells Rv Park is one of the biggest and most popular campgrounds in Death Valley. And a splendid choice for death valley camping. 

Panamint Springs Resort

Panamint Springs Resort is a small, rustic, western-style resort in the beautiful Panamint Valley in Death Valley National Park. The resort has lodging, camping, and RV services and provides marvelous views of the distant sand dunes and the high Panamint Mountains.

This isn’t backcountry camping. And if you are looking for a little more luxury when visiting death valley, then this is the place to go. 

Dispersed Camping In Death Valley

Best places to visit in Death Valley

Mahogany Flat Campground

Mahogany Flat Campground is in Death Valley National Park. It is in a Pinyon Pine and Juniper forest at an elevation of 8,200 feet. They have awarded it the designation of a “dark sky” campground because of the absence of artificial light. 

The campground has nine campsites on a first come, first serve basis. This is a rustic campground that offers no hookups, and the bare minimum amenities. 

But it has great panoramic views. And is close to Telescope Peak. It is a glorious spot for out-in-the-wild solo camping in Death Valley.

Emigrant Campground 

Emigrant Campground is a small campground with 10 sites southwest of Stovepipe Wells. Campers have access to flush toilets, but they have to walk 270 feet down a dirt trail. 

The campground overlooks the Cottonwood Mountains and the Panamint Range. This makes it a scenic place for death valley camping. This backcountry campground is just off Emigrant Canyon Road.

Thorndike campground

Thorndike campground is a campground with six tent sites, at 7,400 elevation. The Thorndike campground is very basic. 

It has vault toilets, but no showers. And this is an impressive site for dispersed camping in Death Valley. It is a great Death Valley Campground if you can look for just the basics. And some backcountry camping.

Homestake dry camp

Death Valley Homestake Dry Camp is a great place to camp if you are looking for a place that is remote and away from it all. This campground is in the heart of Death Valley National Park and offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. There are no hookups available at this campground, but there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring the nearby canyons and mountains. 

More Dispersed Camping Sites in Death Valley National Park

  • Saline Valley
  • Panamint Dunes
  • Vanderbilt Rd. 
  • Big Dune Recreation Area
  • Alabama Hills 
  • Side Trail Dispersed Campsite
  • Sierra View Mobile Home Park

Best Car Camping In Death Valley

Car camping in Death Valley National Park is allowed. But there are some things to remember.

There are a few things to keep in mind when car camping in Death Valley, however. First, because of the extreme temperatures, you’ll want to make sure you have a reliable and well-ventilated vehicle. 

Second, you’ll need to be prepared for the possibility of flash floods. 

And finally, because of the remote location, you’ll want to make sure you have all the supplies you need before you head out.

There are rules from the NPS (National Park Service) that need to be followed at the car camp.

  • You can only car camp on a dirt road.
  • Car Campers Must be at least 1 mile from a paved or a day-use-only road. As well as 1 mile from all mining structures and at least 100 yards from a water source.
  • You can only car camp in an area that has been previously disturbed.
  • And Park your vehicle immediately on the shoulder. And next to the road in an area that has been driven on.

But if you’re prepared for those things, car camping in Death Valley can be an incredible experience. There’s nothing quite like falling asleep under the stars, waking up to a beautiful sunrise, and then exploring all the incredible landscapes that Death Valley offers. 

Echo Canyon Road

Echo Canyon Road is one of the best places for car camping in Death Valley is a paved, one-lane road that leads up to the Echo Canyon Campground. 

There are no hookups or water at the campground, but there are flush toilets and a dump station. The campsites are first-come, first served, and there is a maximum stay of 14 days. 

Hole in the Wall Road

The Hole in the Wall Road is one of the most popular camping destinations in Death Valley National Park. The road is open to all vehicles and is a great place to hike, car camp, and enjoy the views of the valley. 

The road is unpaved and there is no gas station or cell service in the area. Note that we know this area for flash flooding, so be prepared. 

 Lemoigne Canyon Road Car Camping Death Valley

 Lemoigne Canyon Road is one of the most popular car camping areas in Death Valley National Park. The canyon provides access to several hiking trails. There are also many campsites along Lemoigne Canyon Road. 

More Campgrounds in Death Valley National Park

Fiddlers Campground

Fiddlers Campground is a popular option for last-minute campers in Death Valley National Park. The campground is conveniently located near Furnace Creek, making it an excellent choice for those looking to explore the park. While the campground does not accept reservations, campsite spaces are usually available for those who arrive early enough.

The sites themselves are spacious and offer plenty of shade, making them comfortable even during the hottest months of the year. Additionally, the campground is well-maintained, with clean facilities and friendly staff. Overall, Fiddlers Campground is an excellent choice for last-minute campers looking for a comfortable and convenient camping experience in Death Valley National Park.

Diaz Lake Campground

Diaz Lake Campground is an established campground located near Death Valley National Park, making it an excellent destination for a family camping trip. The campground offers a range of amenities, including picnic areas, hiking trails, and fishing opportunities. Diaz Lake is also nearby, providing opportunities for water-based activities like swimming and boating. The campground itself is a spacious, country campground, with sites suitable for tents and RVs alike.

The average site price is reasonable, making it an affordable option for those on a budget. While summer camping can be hot, the campground’s proximity to the lake provides some relief from the heat. Overall, Diaz Lake Campground is an excellent choice for those looking for a family-friendly camping experience near Death Valley National Park.

More Questions About Camping in Death Valley National Park

What are the Best Tips for Camping in Death Valley?

  • Plan your camping trip in Death Valley for the late spring or winter season when temperatures are more moderate.
  • Consider camping at first-come, first-served campgrounds like Mesquite Spring or Texas Springs if you didn’t make a reservation in advance.
  • Check out the high-elevation campgrounds like Wildrose or Mahogany Flat if you prefer cooler temperatures and hiking opportunities.
  • If you plan to camp on Saline Valley Road or Cottonwood Canyon Road, make sure to bring extra drinking water as these areas have limited water sources.
  • Pack at least one gallon of water per person per day, and consider bringing extra water just in case.
  • Be aware that some campgrounds operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to secure your preferred campsite.
  • When camping on the desert floor, make sure to choose a campsite type that provides shade and protection from the elements.
  • Take time to acclimate to the warm temperatures, and avoid hiking or other strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day.
  • Be mindful of desert wildlife and store your food and trash properly to avoid attracting animals to your campsite.
  • Consider visiting the nearby town of Lone Pine, located just outside the park, for last-minute supplies or a break from camping.
  • Try tent cabins for a more comfortable camping experience, especially during cooler nighttime temperatures.
  • Check out the scenic drive to Artist’s Palette or take a bumpy ride on Racetrack Road to see the famous moving rocks.
  • Visit the high-elevation Mahogany Flats campground for cooler temperatures and great stargazing opportunities.
  • Explore the unique salt flats and colorful badlands that make Death Valley a land of extremes.
  • Be prepared for unpaved roads and bring a high-clearance vehicle if planning road trips to more remote areas of the park.
  • Check out the park’s national park campgrounds, like Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells, which offer amenities like running water and flush toilets.
  • Remember to pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and stay hydrated in the hot and dry Southern California climate.
  • Plan your trip during the cooler months of the year to avoid the extreme heat of the summer.
  • Book in advance if you want to stay in one of the popular campgrounds, like Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells.
  • Bring a high-clearance vehicle and be prepared for unpaved roads if you plan on taking a road trip to more remote areas of the park.
  • Explore the unique salt flats that give Death Valley its name and take in the otherworldly landscapes that make it a land of extremes.
  • Remember to pack plenty of water and sunscreen to stay hydrated in the hot and dry Southern California climate.

North Death Valley vs South Death Valley

Death Valley is a vast national park that encompasses both North and South regions, each with its unique features. The North is characterized by its beautiful canyons with towering canyon walls, such as Mosaic Canyon. These canyons often have lots of water, allowing visitors to camp amongst trees and lush desert plants. The desert soil is also a unique feature of the North, providing a different perspective of the park’s ecology. Backcountry hiking trails lead to destinations like Panamint Sand Dunes, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. In contrast, the South boasts the Mesquite Dunes, where hikers can explore the dunes’ expansive landscape. This area can be a challenging and difficult hike, but the views are worth the effort.

Best Hikes in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is a great destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a challenging hike, the Panamint Sand Dunes is a must-see. This 6-mile round trip hike takes about 3-5 hours to complete and provides stunning views of the desert landscape. However, be sure to bring lots of water, as the heat can be intense.

For those looking for a more extended adventure, there are many backcountry hiking trails in Death Valley National Park. A popular option is the 7-mile backcountry camping trip, which can take 7-12 hours to complete. This hike offers a unique opportunity to experience the park’s rugged terrain and desert plants up close.

Before heading out on any hike, it’s essential to have intel on hiking in the park, including trail conditions, weather forecasts, and safety tips. Visitors should also familiarize themselves with park regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Overall, Death Valley National Park is a mecca for hikers and outdoor adventurers alike. Whether you’re seeking a quick day hike or a multi-day backcountry adventure, there’s something for everyone in this stunning park. Just remember to pack plenty of water and be prepared for the heat and challenging terrain.

Types of camping in Death Valley National Park

There are several types of camping options available to visitors in Death Valley National Park. RV enthusiasts can take advantage of the RV park with full RV hookups and electrical hookups. Tent campers can choose from several tent sites with communal fire pits and access to park visitors’ facilities.

For those seeking a more primitive camping experience, there are several primitive campgrounds available throughout the park. These campgrounds offer a more remote camping experience and often require a bit of a hike to get to. They also usually do not have amenities such as running water or electrical hookups, so be sure to bring your own supplies.

Whether you’re traveling in an RV or pitching a tent, Death Valley National Park offers a variety of camping options to suit your needs. Just remember to plan ahead, as many campgrounds can fill up quickly, especially during peak season. And no matter where you choose to camp, be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the park’s natural beauty.

prettiest campground in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park offers several campgrounds for visitors to stay and immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty. However, the prettiest campground in Death Valley National Park is without a doubt the Mesquite Spring Campground. The campground is situated in a picturesque desert oasis, surrounded by towering mesquite trees, and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Mesquite Spring Campground offers spacious and well-maintained campsites that provide a sense of privacy, and there are several picnic tables and fire pits available for use.

The campground is also conveniently located near several popular hiking trails, including the Darwin Falls Trail and the Wildrose Peak Trail, making it an ideal base camp for outdoor enthusiasts. The area’s unique plant and animal life, coupled with the tranquil sound of the nearby spring, make Mesquite Spring Campground a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Death Valley National Park.

Does Death Valley Have Community Fire Pits?

Death Valley National Park does not have community fire pits. Open fires are generally prohibited in the park due to the extreme dryness of the environment and the risk of wildfires. However, some developed campgrounds within the park have designated fire pits or grills where visitors can use propane or charcoal for cooking. Visitors must obtain a campfire permit before using these designated areas and follow all regulations to prevent accidental fires. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to bring a portable propane stove for cooking and heating purposes in areas where campfires are prohibited.

Are there RV Hookups when camping in Death Valley?

Yes, Death Valley National Park has RV hookups available at the Furnace Creek Campground. The campground has 136 sites, including 18 full-hookup sites with water, sewer, and electrical connections for RVs. The other sites have access to potable water and a dump station. The campground also offers several amenities, including flush toilets, showers, and a general store.

Reservations are highly recommended, especially during the peak camping season, and can be made online or by phone. Additionally, visitors should note that the Furnace Creek Campground is located in a desert environment and temperatures can be extreme, especially during the summer months. Therefore, visitors should plan accordingly and bring plenty of water and protective gear.

Camping in Death ValleyNational Park is a glorious trip that everyone will love! There are great hikes like Zabriskie point and Golden Canyon. Amazing landmarks like the Charcoal Kilns.

Many of thedeath valleycamping sites, even the more basic ones, have access to a picnic table, fire pits, and more. And overall, this is a great place for solo travelers and families to camp, visit the national forest, or spend a place to go on holiday weekends via Las Vegas. You can visit remote places like Death Valley Junction as some of the best sites in Death Valley National Park like mesquite flat sand dunes.

When camping in Death Valley np, what is the first campsite you will visit?

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