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Top 12 Things to Do in Death Valley: Death Valley Must See Places

As soon as you hear the name Death Valley, questions about “What is the main attraction in Death Valley?” will likely come to mind. After visiting this United States national park, we’ve become avid lovers. From Sand Dunes to Salt Flats and Devil’s Golf Course to Natural Bridge, there are many fun things to do in Death Valley.

Death Valley is a protected natural park covering 3000 square kilometers in eastern California. It’s considered the hottest and driest valley in the United States. Despite the extreme climate, we highly recommend visiting the top Death Valley tourist attractions.

Furnace Creek has a visitor office where you can get guidance on Death Valley must see attractions and activities. Restaurants and campgrounds are also conveniently located nearby.

What is there to do in Death Valley during a day trip? We’ve been there many times and have created this list of what you must see in Death Valley.

Things to Do in Death Valley,Death Valley must see

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Death Valley ToursClick here to check out the top Death Valley tours
Best Death Valley Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Death Valley
Best Death Valley Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Death Valley

Fun Things to Do in Death Valley: Death Valley Must See Attractions

1. Devil’s Golf Course

Devil’s Golf Course is a rugged area covered by salty flats in the Mojave Desert near Badwater Basin. It’s an excellent place for photography, and many Hollywood movies were shot here. This is undoubtedly one of the best Death Valley tourist attractions.

Devil’s Golf Course is famous for its different soil textures. It is believed that a lake existed there over 2000 years ago and dried up due to the region’s extreme heat. What’s left today are the unevaporated lake minerals.

If you love photography, this place must be on your to-do list. However, try to avoid Devil’s Golf Course during summer. The heat is scorching, so the climate and weather are better in winter.

Devil’s Golf Course in Death Valley | Things to do in Death Valley

2. Sand Dunes

Situated east of Stovepipe Wells, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are incredibly striking. Visit in the morning or before sunset for spectacular views of the dunes’ shadows. Here, you can walk, climb, or sit and admire the natural beauty.

The dunes are a must see in Death Valley for families. The best seasons to visit are winter and spring when you’ll see many tourists taking photos. Summer is too hot to enjoy the dunes, so avoid traveling there between May and August. 

Based on our experience, we suggest visiting Stovepipe Wells Mesquite between January and February. The region is significantly less crowded during this time. 

Sand Dunes | Things to do in Death Valley

3. Artist’s Palette

As the name suggests, this Death Valley tourist spot features views like an artist’s color palette. Every bit of this region will give you colorful, unforgettable memories. This area is covered by pink, red, orange, turquoise, and black rocks.

This area is on Artist’s Drive, a short distance from Badwater from Furnace Creek. Many artists, cinematographers, and photographers visit this place for their landscape ideas. 

What is there to do in Death Valley with dogs? We went to Artist’s Palette with our pup, and I still remember how much he enjoyed it. When we were about to return, getting him back inside the car was difficult! Artist’s Palette is a dog-friendly place in Death Valley where you can spend time with furry friends. Remember, you won’t find any stores near this barren land—bring food and water for you and your dog when visiting.

Artist’s Palette | Things to do in Death Valley

4. Badwater Basin

Visiting Badwater Basin, a shallow lake in Death Valley, is considered one of the most fun things to do in Deattheiralley if you’re into photography. Fun fact: this is the lowest area in the Western Hemisphere. 

While Badwater Basin is a lake, it often runs dry due to the high temperatures. It’s a Death Valley must see in December, when you have the highest likelihood of finding water there. January to February is the ideal time to snap photos of the lake water reflecting the dunes.

Badwater Basin | Things to do in Death Valley

5. Dante Views

Dante Viewpoint is the best place to see the whole of Death Valley from one location. The views from this point are unparalleled—you will be amazed by their surreal beauty. This place is off the main highway and a little hard to reach, but the scenery and views make it a worthy Death Valley must see.

You must drive 16 miles from the main highway to visit Dante Views. The road is twisty and paved, making the journey somewhat challenging. Dante Views stands at 5478 feet above sea level, so it’s much cooler than other areas of Death Valley. 

Dante Views | Things to do in Death Valley

6. Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie is one of the most surreal Death Valley tourist attractions. This area is covered by an extended range of colorful dunes with brown, yellow, red, gold, and orange hues. These dunes become more vivid in the morning and the afternoon when sunbeams hit them diagonally.

These dunes have sharp edges beneath the colorful sand, so when traveling to Zabriskie Point, try to carry your hiking shoes to protect your feet from those sharp edges. As this area is covered with sand, barefoot hiking shoes will give you super comfort and a good grip.

To reach Zabriskie Point, travel toward the east side for four miles through the 190 highway.

Zabriskie Point | Things to do in Death Valley

7. Harmony Borax Works

Aaron Winter and Rossie Winter discovered Harmony Borax in 1881. In 1888, they sold the property to William T. Coleman, who started the Harmony Borax Works. This place isn’t much other than borax mud wheels and bearings.

These remnants are a prime example of the region’s history. This is a Death Valley must see for history buffs.

If you plan to visit Borax, we suggest starting your day early and carrying extra tires. These roads are incredibly rough and full of sharp stones, so take precautions when heading to Harmony Borax. 

Harmony Borax Works | Things to do in Death Valley

8. Twenty Mule Team Canyon:

Twenty Mule-team Canyon is a one-way road leading you to excellent views of colorful hills. 

What is the main attraction in Death Valley? If you’re a Star Wars fan, it may be Twenty Mule Team Canyon! Here, you will see barren flats where some iconic Star Wars movie scenes were shot. This is a fantastic place to film videos. While the 2.7-mile-long road is rough, it offers excellent views. 

Try to visit this area in the afternoon for beautiful desert hues.

Twenty Mule Team Canyon | Things to do in Death Valley

9. Keane Wonder Mine

Keane Wonder Mine used to be famous for gold, so you will see mines and structures in this area. It is not easy to get here, but the effort is worth it if you are searching for some exciting Death Valley must see experiences.

This mine sits atop a hill, from which you can see Death Valley in various colors. However, you must take a dirt road full of stones and twists to get this excellent view.

Keane Wonder Mine | Things to do in Death Valley

10. Father Crowley Point

Father Crowley Point is the best lookout for panoramic views. It is a must see in Death Valley for travelers eager to escape the crowds. Located in western Death Valley, Father Crowley is a must-visit for solitude.

Father Crowley Point | Things to do in Death Valley

11. Grotto Canyon

If you love road trips, embark on this exciting hike in Death Valley. Grotto Canyon is a unique and strenuous hiking trip. Trekking here is not easy, so expect a physical challenge.

Inexperienced hikers should research and heed expert opinions before tackling Grotto Canyon. While the land here is barren, it’s also incredibly picturesque. Pack plenty of water and snacks, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

12. Natural Bridge Canyon

Natural Bridge Canyon is one of the most fun things to do in Death Valley. We were amazed by its beautiful landscape. Thankfully, it’s a relatively easy route compared to Grotto Canyon. There are roughly two miles to explore.

Bring food and water because you won’t find any stores or natural resources along the way. Some say Natural Bridge Canyon is not worth visiting, but we loved it. As beginner hikers, it was a good starting point for us. 

Wondering where to stay? Check out these options!

The Ranch At Death Valley
The Inn at Death Valley
Amargosa Opera House & Hotel

Death Valley Travel Guide Planning

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m traveling?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are Booking.comHotels.com, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Death Valley Must See Attractions: Final Thoughts

What is there to do in Death Valley? Hopefully, this guide to Death Valley tourist attractions has answered that question! We had an unforgettable journey through this barren land of dunes, mountains, and canyons. While visiting, we took many gorgeous landscape photographs. Despite its rugged terrain and extreme weather, these are the top spots you must see in Death Valley.

12. Natural Bridge Canyon | Things to do in Death Valley

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Things to Do in Death Valley,Death Valley must see

Author’s Bio: Trijit Mallick from Budget Travel Buff

I’m a software engineer by profession and a travel blogger by heart. Besides being a travel blogger, I also have a passion for Motorcycle Riding. I am based in Kolkata, the city of joy in India. I spent five years in California and Florida for work and explored several places.

Trijit Mallick | Budget Travel Buff