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A Day Trip FROM Las Vegas to Death Valley

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Day Trip Las Vegas to Death Valley Dante's View

# How it all began..

Death Valley, the hottest and driest place in North America. Summer temperatures often top 120°F (49°C) in the shade.
The world record highest air temperature of 134°F (57°C) was recorded at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913.

In May 2016 we went on a day trip from Las Vegas to Death Valley. Writing a blog wasn’t anything we were thinking about back then, so we didn’t take a lot of notes or pictures.
More detailed hiking and camping information in general will follow in our upcoming blogs. This blog is more about what you can see and do on a 1-day trip from Las Vegas. 


Back at that time I was still working as a flight attendant for Condor Airlines. This was the reason why we were in Las Vegas.

Flight Attendant Condor Airlines Day Trip Las Vegas Death ValleyIf you are working for an airline you might enjoy you some benefits, like traveling.
Although, this isn’t the same for every airline. 
To put it differently, some flight attendants are only flying domestic flights.
In this case, chances are big they’ll be sleeping in their own bed again after their long working days.

Condor Airlines is an intercontinental airline. For that reason, we always had a few days to relax at our destination, after the long flights.
Moreover, were able to choose some of the destinations we preferred fly to every month. And Las Vegas turned out to be my favorite destination.


After arrival in Las Vegas, we went to our hotel. Airline Crews, in general, like to meet after the flight and talk about their plans. 
One of the pilots, Katja, meanwhile one of my best friends, told us she rented a car.
She planned a day trip to Death Valley and asked if anyone wanted to join. 
As sightseeing has always been one of my biggest passions, I decided to do so.

I always loved to go on day trips, road trips, and visit National Parks.
Mostly, however, just to get out of the car, take pictures and drive to the next Scenic View.

This Las Vegas road trip was different though.


The drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley isn’t very long, depending on where you are staying the drive is about 2 hrs. 

Our hotel was near the Strip, so we took I-15, followed by I-160 to Pahrump. From Pahrump we drove to Shoshone, and then straight to Death Valley National Park 

Distance Las Vegas Death Valley

# Photo stops Day Trip Las Vegas – Death Valley

On our way to Death Valley we stopped a few times to take pictures.

We saw a few Alien Signs, as we were getting closer to Area51. We had to take pictures of them of course, being totally tourists.
And a few other points of interest on our day trip were the Death Valley Hillside letters and the “we are in California” sign.

Both of us had to laugh when we saw the “Pilot Follow Me” truck. After all, Katja is a pilot, and she was very honored that they came to pick her up 😉

The coordinates might not be exactly correct. As mentioned before, a blog wasn’t planned, but they should be pretty close.


Upon entering the park, we saw a sign with some safety tips.
Little did we know, but we actually might have saved 2 people’s lives.
Two people who ignored this sign or just thought nothing would and/or could happen to them.

The couple I’m talking about were 2 European tourists.
It was extremely warm that day. Almost too warm to be outside of the car. Therefore we just got out to take pictures and hurried back in.
We noticed some “soft sand” warnings and there were hardly any people on the road. 

At some point signs warned us the road would end because of road works.
Most people would probably have turned around, but we were not ready to turn around yet. 

# Always travel prepared !

All of a sudden an older man, completely red in the face, almost threw himself in front of our car.
Our first reaction was to lock the car, but we noticed very fast that this man was desperate and needed help.

He told us he and his wife were driving off-road and their 4×4 vehicle got stuck in the soft sand.

# Take enough water with you !

The couple was stranded pretty far away from the road. They had no cell service, half a bottle of water and a bag of chips. After walking outside for a long time, in the extreme heat, they found their way back to the road, and us.

They were lucky, but not everyone is!

No matter what, always travel prepared, take enough water and food with you, especially if you go to places like Death Valley!


Click HERE for Death Valley PARK ALERTS
Always check park alerts & conditions for more information before visiting any park!!

# death valley in only 1 day

# Will a day trip be enough?

Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 States.

Almost 1,000 miles of roads provide access to both popular and remote locations in the park.

In other words, if you want to see it all, a day trip from Las Vegas probably won’t do it.

But if you don’t have that much time, like us, our little road trip might help you to create your own.

On the map you can see all locations where we stopped during our Las Vegas Day Trip.
Also, a little bit further below, you’ll find more info about these stops. 


After entering Death Valley National Park via the east entrance we stopped at Dante’s View. Dante’s View is a high overlook (5,476 ft/1,669 m) near the edge of the Black Mountains, overlooking Death Valley. It wasn’t a long walk from the parking area to some very spectacular views.

# Nice to know

Dante’s View is part of the Black Mountains. These mountains were created when the surface of the earth was being stretched, forming a pulling force. The crust ruptured because of this force, and as a result, lava erupted and ended up deposited on top of the preceding sedimentary rock.

Below Dante’s View is  Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America.

The best time to visit Dante’s View is in the cooler morning hours, when the sun is still in the east.

# ZABRiskie point

Zabriskie Point Trail Day Trip Las Vegas Death Valley

From Dante’s View we drove to Zabriskie Point, via Twenty Mule Team Road. To see the spectacular views from Zabriskie Point it was a short walk. 

Zabriskie Point offers an amazing panorama of the badlands. The yellow and brown stripped hills have been shaped by the powerful force of earthquakes, volcanic activity and water. Even during dry times, the path carved by this water is unmistakable. 


The mines in this region, along the northern foothills of the Black Mountains, were established in the early 1900s by prospectors looking for borax and gypsum


At some point we got hungry and had a quick lunch at the Corkscrew Saloon. The food was okay. It’s difficult to write a review, because it was a long time ago. Besides, the restaurant is closed now according to YELP.
According to other travelers Timbisha Tacos is a good alternative.

# Golden Canyon to Red Cathedral Hiking trail

For the most part during our Death Valley day trip, we stayed in the car.  But, in spite of the extreme heat, we did decide to hike a shorter trail. 
In order to see the famous “Red Cathedral”, we kinda had to. 
After hiking through a narrow portion of the Golden Canyon, the canyon widened and revealed the imposing Red Cathedral. The photos we took don’t really do the impressive Red Cathedral justice. 


Good time to hike : in the afternoon so that the sun is setting on Red Cathedral when you arrive. At that time there will be more shade and the color of the Red Rocks is beautiful. (bring flash lights for the way back)


Length: 3 miles (4.8 km) out and back trip
Time: 1.5 to 2 hours round trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 577 ft (176m)

restroomsVault toilet at Golden Canyon parking lot.


Artist's Palette Death Valley

Next photo stop : Artist’s Palette.
Artist’s Palette is one of the most photographed spots in Death Valley National Park. 


The colors are caused by the oxidation of different metals (iron compounds produce red, pink and yellow, decomposition of tuff-derived mica produces green, and manganese produces purple).


Lat : 36.363544 Long : -116.802544

# Devil's Golf Course

Devil's Golf Course Death Valley
Devil's Golf Course

Due to the extreme temperatures and lack of time, we stopped only very short at Devil’s Golf Course.
The Devil’s Golf Course is a large salt pan on the floor of Death Valley. 


Devil’s Golf Course gets its name from a guidebook back in the ’30s that stated: “Only the devil could play golf on such a surface.”

Be careful when you walk here, as the ground is sharp!

# badwater basin

Last but not least, we stopped to take photos at Badwater Basin. Meanwhile it was almost too warm to get out of the car, for this reason we decided to drive back afterwards.


Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.
The salt flats are composed mostly of sodium chloride (table salt), along with calcite, gypsum, and borax. 

Badwater Basin Las Vegas Death Valley Day Trip

Altogether we had an amazing day, and this day started a whole new episode in our lives.
New friendships were made and new passions were born!

We hope you had fun reading our first blog, and you will follow us on our next adventures!
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# Memories

"I hope you had fun reading my first blog. I would love to hear your thoughts: too much or little text; more or less pictures etc. Please let me know if there is anything you would or wouldn't like to see here"
Outdoor Fun in the Southwest Blogger and Photographer

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