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Top 5 Family Adventures at Death Valley National Park

It's like Stairway to Heaven for people who love travel, art, nature, music, and getting outside for sweet adventures. Not much is better than an epic roadtrip and we've got just the ticket to get you ready.

Top 5 Hits for Family Adventures

  1. Walk and slide down Mesquite Sand Dunes.
  2. Hike around Badwater Basin (go to the end for the best view).
  3. Walk the boardwalk at Saltwater Creek. It's the only water visible to visitors in Death Valley.
  4. Drive through Painted Canyon.
  5. Hike the rim of Ubehebe Crater, or take the trail to the crater bottom.

Pro Tips

  • Season: Fall, winter, and spring when temperatures drop--spring may have wildflower blooms
  • Difficulty: Easy hiking, but be prepared for lots of driving as it’s a large National Park
  • Time: One to two days, depending on how many things you want to see
  • No dogs are allowed on trails in the park, only at campgrounds and walking along backcountry roads.
  • Stop at the visitor center and get a map of the park; cell service cuts in and out.
  • Bring one extra gallon of water per person.
  • Bathrooms are located at Badwater Basin, Painted Canyon lookout area, Salt Water Creek and Mesquite Sand Dunes.
  • Bring sleds or boogie boards to slide down Mesquite Dunes.
  • The drive to Ubehebe Crater is about 50 minutes from Mesquite Sand Dunes. Plan on the crater trip taking most of your day. You can still visit the dunes afterwards on the way back to campgrounds.

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More about Death Valley

Legend tells of a group of travelers that took a shortcut through Death Valley trying to reach the California gold fields. They suffered, faced many obstacles, and saw death on their journey. As they left the valley, they looked back and exclaimed, “Goodbye, Death Valley!” The area has been known as Death Valley ever since. The summer heat can reach up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which can evaporate your sweat and instantly leave you covered in your own salt. Visiting in the summer can be dangerous, but winter temperatures drop to the 60s and 70s, making it a great time to visit.

Death Valley became a National Monument in 1933, then expanded to become a National Park in 1994. In the early 1900s, it was home to silver miners who built several mining towns. Over time these mining towns have been washed away by flash floods, becoming ghost towns. The remains of some of these ghost towns are still around today.

Death Valley is the largest National Park in the United States. It’s home to salt flats, sand dunes, spectacular canyons, a volcanic crater, and much more! Death Valley is a desert, and it looks really dry when you look around, but it may surprise you. Water can be found at Saltwater Creek in the valley. Water is a powerful force of nature and has shaped the canyons, the many alluvial fans, and salt flats that are a highlight in Death Valley. With a little planning and preparation, Death Valley is a fun and unique adventure for the whole family.