Hikes in Death Valley National Park

The trails and attractions below are listed from north to south and west to east. The outings may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help plan a trip to Death Valley. Each trail and attraction links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and everything else needed to explore the park. You can also view hikes around Death Valley National Park on the Hike Finder Map.

Highlights of Death Valley National Park

  • Take a short walk on the salt flats at the lowest place in North America - a required stop for first time visitors to Death Valley National Park.
  • This towering overlook above Badwater Basin offers panoramic views of Death Valley National Park.
  • This 2.5-mile loop offers a great immersion into the terrain beneath Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.
  • An overlook provides a great view of this Death Valley National Park crater, and you can explore further on any of three trails.
  • This 2-mile hike visits a refreshing year-round waterfall on the west side of Death Valley National Park.
  • This 2-mile hike is great for those interested in learning about the geological history of Death Valley National Park.
  • This 2 to 4-mile hike requires a bit of climbing and is a lesser-visited trail in Death Valley National Park.
  • This 1 to 3-mile hike explores the most visible sand dunes in Death Valley National Park.
  • This 4-mile loop visits some of the most stunning terrain in Death Valley National Park.
  • This 9-mile drive in Death Valley National Park crosses a sloping mountainside composed of vibrant soil colored by rich metals.

Hiking Death Valley National Park

Death Valley covers some 3,000 square miles and is the largest national park in the lower 48 states. Badwater Basin, the lowest point North America, is among the park’s many attractions.

The park receives approximately two inches of rain per year and the thermometer-busting temperatures have set world records. Hiking in the extreme summer temperatures can be dangerous. Many campgrounds close during the summer months. Late fall and early spring are the best time to visit most of Death Valley’s attractions.

The park’s highest point, Telescope Peak, towers over Badwater Basin at a height of 11,049 feet. Trails in the higher elevation around Telescope Peak are better suited for summer visits.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Death Valley Ubehebe Crater110Ubehebe Crater
You can get a great view of Ubehebe Crater from an overlook near the parking lot, and there are also three trails to choose from.
0 - 2 miles
0 - 275 feet

37.012327,
-117.455034
Mosaic Canyon Death Valley120Mosaic Canyon
This out and back hike starts up a smooth marble slot canyon and exposes visitors to unique Death Valley geology.
1 - 4 miles
100 - 750 feet
36.570411,
-117.143455
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Death Valley130Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
This hike explores the most visible sand dunes in Death Valley
1 - 3 miles
100 feet
36.618876,
-117.1136
Grotto Canyon Death Valley140Grotto Canyon
This out and back hike requires a bit of climbing and is a lesser-visited trail in Death Valley.
2 - 4 miles
625 feet
36.583024,
-117.104058
Death Valley Salt Creek150Salt Creek
This easy out and back hike crosses a short boardwalk bordering a rare desert stream.
1 mile
25 feet
36.590628,
-116.990106
Death Valley Harmony Borax160Harmony Borax
This short walk around the Harmony Borax plant offers a window into the mining past of Death Valley.
0.25 miles
25 feet
36.479987,
-116.873517
Death Valley Golden Canyon Gower Gulch170Golden Canyon - Gower Gulch Loop
This loop visits some of the most stunning terrain in Death Valley.
4 miles
675 feet
36.420695,
-116.846715
Death Valley Badlands180Badlands Loop
This loop offers a great immersion into the terrain beneath Zabriskie Point.
2.5 miles
300 feet
36.419884,
-116.812431
Death Valley Zabriskie Point190Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point offers a stunning panorama of the badlands near Furnace Creek.
0.25 miles36.419884,
-116.812431
Death Valley Scenic Drive200Twenty Mule Team Canyon
This 2.8-mile one way road lets visitors experience a fine canyon right from the driver’s seat.
0 miles36.406155,
-116.793594
Artists Drive Death Valley210Artist’s Drive
This 9-mile drive crosses a sloping mountainside composed of vibrant soil colored by rich metals.
0 - 0.5 miles36.368588,
-116.802878
Death Valley Darwin Falls220Darwin Falls
This out and back hike visits a refreshing year-round waterfall on the western edge of Death Valley.
2 miles
275 feet
36.327763,
-117.51466
Death Valley Wildrose Peak230Wildrose Peak
This out and back hike summits a 9,064-foot peak in the Panamint Mountain Range on the west side of Death Valley.
8.4 miles
2,200 feet
36.276135,
-117.079504
Death Valley Charcoal Kilns240Charcoal Kilns
These conical constructions converted lumber to charcoal for area miners from 1879 to 1882.
0 - 0.5 miles36.246617,
-117.075984
Death Valley Natural Bridge250Natural Bridge Canyon
This is a great out and back hike for those interested in learning about the geological history of Death Valley.
2 miles
400 feet
36.281005,
-116.769982
Death Valley Badwater Basin260Badwater Basin
This is the lowest place in North America -- a required stop for first time visitors to Death Valley.
0 - 1 miles36.230242,
-116.767634
Death Valley Dantes View270Dante’s View
This towering overlook above Badwater Basin offers panoramic views of Death Valley.
0 - 1 miles
0 - 200 feet
36.221239,
-116.726232
Sidewinder Death Valley280Sidewinder Canyon
This out and back hike visits narrow slot canyons full of pour-overs, carve outs, and dark passages that beg to be explored.
4 - 7 miles
500 - 750 feet
36.065292,
-116.745064
Ashford Mill Death Valley290Ashford Mill
These ruins, where gold was once processed for the Ashford Mine, provide an example of how tough life can be in this harsh desert.
0.1 miles35.918925,
-116.683303
View California Desert trails and campgrounds in a larger map
Or explore hikes around Death Valley National Park on the Hike Finder Map
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High View Nature Trail Joshua Tree National Park Hike Black Rock Canyon Hi-View Trail
While many national park nature trails are short, level, and informative, High View Nature Trail offers a bit more for hikers, 325 feet of elevation gain on a 1 1/3-mile loop. The trail ascends a desert ridge with views over Yucca Valley and toward Southern California's tallest peak, San Gorgonio Mountain, in the mountains to the west. The loop starts near Black Rock... Read more.
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Distance: 1.35 miles – Elevation change: 325 feet
By: hikespeak Last updated: October 1, 2014
Rock Spring Mojave National Park Rock Spring Loop Trail Rock House Hike
Water is something you don't see much of in Mojave National Preserve, certainly not just pooling on the ground as it does at Rock Spring. The constant source at Rock Spring helped inhabitants survive in the Mojave Desert for thousands of years and was even the site of a small U.S. Army post in the 1860s. Today you can reach the spring easily, along with a Rock House... Read more.
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Distance: 1.33 miles – Elevation change: 100 feet
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 22, 2014
Kumeyaay Indian Village Site Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Native American morteros location to visit
Labeled simply as the "Village Site" on park maps, the Kumeyaay Village in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is an easy to visit location where Native Americans lived for thousands of years. Take a short stroll around a pile of boulders along Mine Wash Road and spot grinding holes amongst the rocks. A sign at the Kumeyaay Village reads:Native desert people have been... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 23, 2014
Tamarisk Grove Campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park camping
Tamarisk Grove campground is one of four developed campgrounds in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, with 27 sites, plenty of shade, amenities, and nearby hiking trails. Tamarisk Grove has interesting history too, originally serving as a San Diego County prison camp. Thanks to numerous park improvements, it won't feel like you are doing hard time to spend a little time at... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 24, 2014
Cactus Loop Trail Anza-Borrego Desert State Park self-guided cactus hike Tamarisk Grove Campground cacti nature trail cactus flowers hike
Broadly speaking, the desert is where you go to find cacti. Speaking specifically, Cactus Loop Trail is where you go in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see lots of cacti. True you can spot these prickly plants throughout the park, but this self-guided nature trail explores a rocky ridge that is utterly blanketed with a variety of cacti. A state park provided trail... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 19, 2014