Category: Death Valley National Park

The Complete Guide to Camping in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the contiguous United States. Covering an area of over 3.3 million acres, Death Valley preserves one of the most unique…

Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the contiguous United States. Covering an area of over 3.3 million acres, Death Valley preserves one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. Home to some of the hottest temperatures on earth, Death Valley National Park has an incredible diversity of natural features. From the famous ‘moving rocks’ of Death Valley’s Racetrack, to the stunning drive through Twenty Mile Mule Team Canyon you’re sure to have an incredible visit.

Given all that Death Valley National Park has to offer, we think the best way to explore this national park is by spending a few nights under the stars in your tent or RV. You’ll get to experience this magical landscape firsthand and gain an appreciation that is only possible while camping!

Death Valley National Park and the surrounding areas have tons of options for camping. From the twelve developed campgrounds located within the park boundaries, to simple backcountry road campsites, to adventurous backpacking campsites, you’re sure to find your perfect campsite in Death Valley.

In addition, you’ll find great options for camping just outside the national park. Needless to say you’ll be spoiled for options.

Keep reading to get all the details to help plan your perfect camping trip in Death Valley National Park.

Death Valley

Camping in Death Valley National Park is an experience not to be missed.

 

In this Post

 

Death Valley National Park Campgrounds

There are twelve developed campgrounds located in Death Valley National Park. Of these, nine are operated by the National Park Service, while the remaining three (Stovepipe Wells RV Park, Fiddler’s Campground, and Panamint Springs Resort) are all owned and operated by private companies. Developed campgrounds provide basic amenities such as restrooms, tables, and fire rings. Most, but not all, have potable water available.

In addition, those looking for a more primitive experience will have the option of camping along one of Death Valley’s many dirt roads at undeveloped backcountry roadside campsites. These are not formal campgrounds, but rather simple sites that offer some solitude from the main park campgrounds.

Finally, those with a sense of adventure will have the option of setting out on a backpacking trip in Death Valley. While the park maintains few formal trails, there are good possibilities for backcountry camping for those with the proper experience and equipment. There are no formal backcountry campsites, just a simple set of regulations to guide where you are allowed to camp in the Death Valley backcountry.

The map below gives you a general sense of where each of the developed campgrounds are located in Death Valley National Park as well as their relation to the surrounding area. 

Map of campgrounds in Death Valley National Park

Campgrounds in Death Valley National Park. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

Furnace Creek, Mesquite Spring, Emigrant, Wildrose, Fiddler’s, Panamint Springs, and Stovepipe Wells RV Park are generally open year round while the other campgrounds in the park are open seasonally.

Peak season for camping in Death Valley depends on the section of the park you plan on visiting. In the low lying desert areas, peak season is generally form late-Fall through early-Spring. In the higher elevations where snow is common, peak season early-summer through the fall.

Keep reading to learn more about reserving your campground in Death Valley National Park.

Reservations & Permits

Of the nine developed campgrounds operated by the National Park Service in Death Valley, only Furnace Creek Campground accepts reservations. Campers can make a reservation here during peak season, from October 15th – April 15th via Recreation.gov. The other eight NPS campgrounds are all available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to the NPS run campgrounds, there are also three privately run developed campgrounds within Death Valley National Park: Stovepipe Wells RV Park, Fiddler’s Campground, and Panamint Springs Resort. All three of these campgrounds accept reservations, which can be made by contacting the campgrounds directly.

Mountains in Death Valley

 

For those interested in exploring the backcountry of Death Valley, either by camping at one of the backcountry road campsites or by hiking to a backcountry campsite, we highly recommend you obtain an optional Wilderness/Backcountry Use Permit. These permits are not mandatory, but they are free and will give the NPS important information about your trip and planned campsites.

Learn more about backcountry camping in Death Valley in this section.

Developed Campgrounds

There are twelve developed campgrounds located in Death Valley National Park. These campgrounds vary in size and services and give plenty of options for those looking to explore all that Death Valley has to offer. Details for all twelve campgrounds are below.

Furnace Creek Campground

Number of Sites: 136 sites (including 18 with hookups)
Fee: Tent site: $22/night | Full hookup site: $36/night | Group sites: $35 – $60/night
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Available between October 15h – April 15th. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round.
More Information

Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley National Park

Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley National Park. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Furnace Creek Campground sits on the eastern edge of Death Valley National Park and is located at Furnace Creek, the main entry point for most visitors to Death Valley. The campground is perfect for those looking to explore Desolation Canyon, drive Twenty Mule Team Canyon, or visit the Harmony Borax Works.

The campground features 136 campsites, 18 of which are full-hookup RV sites, and is situated just behind the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Campsites are located along several small roads with larger sites that can accommodate RVs the closest to the visitor center. Furnace Creek Campground is the only NPS operated campground in Death Valley that can be reserved ahead of time, with reservations made through Recreation.gov.

The campsites are reservable from October 15th – April 15th. Outside of this timeframe all campsites are first-come, first-served.

Click here to make a reservation at Furnace Creek Campground

Campsites at the Furnace Creek Campground feature picnic tables and fire pits while campers will have access to flush toilets, potable water and an RV dump station.  Generator use is generally allowed between 7am – 7pm.

Nearby you’ll find plenty of amenities including a post office, gas station, restaurants, and more. In addition, laundry and shower facilities are available at the adjacent Oasis at Death Valley for a fee.

Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley

The Furnace Creek Campground is the perfect place to spend the night before exploring the Harmony Borax Works. Photo credit NPS/Kurt Moses.

 

Sunset Campground (at Furnace Creek)

Number of Sites: 270 sites
Fee: $14/night
RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Late fall through spring
More Information

Map of the Furnace Creek area in Death Valley National Park

The Sunset Campground is located just across Highway 190 from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Map courtesy of NPS.

 

The Sunset Campground sits just east of Highway 190 in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley National Park. Sunset makes a great option for those looking to be centrally located within the park, and you’ll also be close to a variety of attractions in the Furnace Creek area.

The Sunset Campground is large, containing 270 campsites that can accommodate both tents and RVs. There are no hookups available for RVs at the Sunset Campground, although there is a dump station. All sites at the Sunset Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis and given the large size, the campground is rarely at capacity.

Campsites at the Sunset Campground are quite basic and do not include picnic tables or fire pits. Restrooms and potable water are available at the campground and you’ll be adjacent to the many services on offer at Furnace Creek.

There is little to no shade at the Sunset Campground, so be sure to bring your portable shade structure or tent!

Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Twenty Mule Team Canyon is just a short drive from the Sunset Campground in Death Valley. Photo credit NPS.

 

Texas Springs Campground (at Furnace Creek)

Number of Sites: 92 sites (26 tent only)
Fee: $16/night
RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Late fall through spring
More Information

Historic restrooms at the Texas Springs Campground

Historic restrooms at the Texas Springs Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Texas Springs Campground is the third campground located in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley National park that is operated by the park service. The campground sits just up the road from the Sunset Campground and is close to many of Death Valley’s main attractions, including the campground’s nakesake Texas Springs Trail.

Texas Springs features 92 campsites, 26 of which are designated as tent-only sites. The campground is located at a higher elevation than the other campgrounds at Furnace Creek (most of which are below sea-level!), and feels a bit more secluded. Here, campsites are well equipped with picnic tables and fire rings as well as access to potable water and flush toilets.

RVs are allowed at the Texas Springs Campground, but the use of generators is prohibited. As with the other campgrounds in this section of Death Valley, you’ll have easy access to the many services available at Furnace Creek.

Mountains in Death Valley National Park

 

 

Fiddler’s Campground – The Oasis at Death Valley (at Furnace Creek)

Number of Sites: 35 sites
Fee: $24/night
RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round
More Information

The fourth and final campground located in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley National Park is the privately-run Fiddler’s Campground. Located at the Oasis at Death Valley, the Fiddler’s Campgrounds features 35 full-hookup RV campsites.

A great option for those looking for a bit more luxury than a typical NPS campground, Fiddler’s Campground gives guests access to a pool, hot showers, outdoor games (tennis, basketball, bocce ball, etc.), and more. The campground is also located near restaurants and the well regarded Furnace Creek Golf Course.

The campsites are spaced relatively close together, but the large shade trees make this a beautiful place to spend the night. There are not individual picnic tables or fire pits at the campsites, although there is a community fire pit and picnic area that campers can use.

Highway 190 winds through Death Valley

 

Stovepipe Wells Campground

Number of Sites: 190 sites (28 tent only)
Fee: $14/night
RVs: Yes, no hookups available. 30′ max length.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: October 15h – April 15th
More Information

Stovepipe Wells Campground, Death Valley National Park

Stovepipe Wells Campground, Death Valley National Park. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Stovepipe Wells Campground is located approximately 30 minutes west of the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley National Park. Stovepipe Wells is a perfect place to spend the night before exploring the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, which are only a short drive away.

Here you’ll find 190 total campsites, with 28 of those set aside as tent-only sites. The campground is really just a large, open gravel parking area. While there are specific places to park your RV or place your tent don’t expect much privacy or seclusion. The campsites at Stovepipe Wells Campground are all available on a first-come, first-served basis and the campground is open from October 15h – April 15th each year.

There are a few picnic tables and fire rings available, but not every campsite here has one. There is potable water available as well as a nearby dump station.

Nearby you’ll find the Stovepipe Wells general store, a gas station, and the Stovepipe Wells Village hotel. If you’re looking for RV camping with full hookup you can take advantage of the Stovepipe Wells RV Park just across the highway.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park

You’ll be well located to explore the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes if you camp at Stovepipe Wells.

 

Stovepipe Wells RV Park

Number of Sites: 14 sites
Fee: $40/night
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round
More Information

Located just across the highway from the NPS run Stovepipe Wells Campground, the Stovepipe Wells RV Park is a small, privately run RV campground in the heart of Death Valley. You’ll be a short drive from many of the park’s best attractions including the Furnace Creek area and Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes.

Stovepipe Wells RV Park is small, with only 14 full-hookup RV sites available.  The campground sits adjacent to the Stovepipe Wells Village and is run by the same company that operates the general store, hotel, and restaurant. Reservations are recommended, but not required for the campground.

Those staying at the Stovepipe Wells RV Park will get access to a swimming pool and free WiFi, welcome amenities for your visit to Death Valley National Park!

Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells

 

Mesquite Spring Campground

Number of Sites: 40 sites
Fee: $14/night
RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open year round
More Information

Mesquite Spring Campground, Death Valley National Park

Mesquite Spring Campground, Death Valley National Park. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Mesquite Spring Campground is located in the northern section of Death Valley National Park, near the Scotty’s Castle Visitor Center. Unfortunately, a 2015 flood caused severe damage to Scotty’s Castle, although the campground remains open. Staying here will leave you well positioned for a visit to the Ubehebe Crater, one of the must see sights in Death Valley.

Mesquite Spring features 40 campsites that can accommodate both tents and RVs. The campground is located adjacent to high desert mountains and generally lacks any form of shade. However, given that the campground sits at an elevation of 1,800′ above sea-level temperatures are much cooler here compared to other areas of the park. All campsites at the Mesquite Spring Campground are first-come, first-served.

Each campsite includes a picnic table and fire grate. There is also a RV dump station nearby.

The ubehebe crater in Death Valley.

The Mesquite Springs Campground is well positioned for a visit to the Ubehebe Crater. Photo credit NPS.

 

Emigrant Campground

Number of Sites: 10 sites (tents only)
Fee: Free
RVs: No.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open year round
More Information

Emigrant Campground, Death Valley National Park

Emigrant Campground, Death Valley National Park. Photo credit NPS/C. Rohe.

 

The Emigrant Campground is a free, tent-only campground located a few miles west of the Stovepipe Wells area of Death Valley. Emigrant is centrally located in the park and situated just off Highway 190, making this a good location for exploring a variety of areas of Death Valley National Park.

At the campground you’ll just 10 tent-only campsites, which are really nothing more than a gravel parking lot just off the highway. While there are no fire pits here you will find that all of the campsites are equipped with a picnic table and have access to flush toilets and potable water.  Campsites at the Emigrant Campground are all available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The closest amenities are in the Stovepipe Wells area where you’ll find the Stovepipe Wells general store, a gas station, and the Stovepipe Wells Village hotel. Emigrant is only a 10 minute drive along Highway 190 from these services.

Highway 190 passes a campground in Death Valley

The Emigrant Campground is located just off Highway 190, providing easy access to all that Death Valley has to offer.

 

Panamint Springs RV Park

Number of Sites: 54 sites
Fee: $10 – $40/night depending on site
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Call (775)482-7680 or email reservations@panamintsprings.com
Season: Open year round
More Information

The Panamint Springs RV Park is a privately run campground located on the far western edge of Death Valley National Park. Panamint Springs location on the west side of Death Valley is ideal for a visit to Father Crowley Vista Point and also will be a great place to spend the night for those completing the long drive to the park from the western portion of California.

The campground is part of the larger Panamint Springs Resort which includes a hotel, general store, gas station, restaurant and bar. The campground features a total of 54 campsites with 22 tent sites, 6 full-hookup RV sites, and 22 RV sites with no hookups. A majority, but not all, of the campsites include a picnic table and fire ring.

Reservations are recommended for any of the campsites at Panamint Springs, although 19 of the no-hookup RV sites are held on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Panamint Springs Valley in Death Valley National Park.

Explore the Panamint Springs Valley in Death Valley.

 

Wildrose Campground

Number of Sites: 23 sites
Fee: Free
RVs: Yes, no hookups. Vehicles longer than 25′ cannot access.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open year round
More Information

Wildrose Campground, Death Valley National Park

Wildrose Campground, Death Valley National Park. Photo credit NPS/C. Rohe.

 

The Wildrose Campgrounds is located high in the Panamint Mountains of Death Valley National Park. Situated at an elevation of 4,100′ above sea level this is a great place to spend the night with a plan to explore the quieter sections of Death Valley. Nearby you’ll find excellent hiking, such as the trail to the top of Wildrose Peak.

Wildrose Campgrounds features 23 free campsites which can accommodate both tents and RVs shorter than 25′. Campsites are dispersed throughout the hillside and feature picnic tables and fire rings. There is also potable water available at the campground. Reservations are not accepted here, and all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There isn’t much nearby in terms of amenities as the Wildrose Campground is located in a relatively isolated section of Death Valley.

Wildrose Peak in Death Valley National Park

A hike to the top of Wildrose Peak is a great outing in Death Valley. Photo credit NPS/Dan Kish.

 

Thorndike Campground

Number of Sites: 6 sites
Fee: Free
RVs: Yes, no hookups. Vehicles longer than 25′ cannot access.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Late spring through fall
More Information

Thorndike Campground, Death Valley National Park

Thorndike Campground, Death Valley National Park. Photo credit NPS/C. Rohe.

 

The Thorndike Campground is a rugged and remote campground located high in Death Valley’s Panamint Mountains. The 6 campsites at Thorndike are free of charge, but you’ll need a high-clearance vehicle with 4WD to reach them. In exchange for this effort you’ll be rewarded with relative solitude and cooler summer temperatures when compared to the scorching valley’s below. Nearby, the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns are a popular attraction.

The campsites can accommodate tents and RVs less than 25′ long, although we wouldn’t recommend trying to reach Thorndike without 4WD as the road is quite rough. While the campsites feature small fire rings and picnic tables there is no potable water at the campground. Be sure to bring all that you’ll need!

Reservations are not accepted at the Thorndike Campground, and all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wildrose Charcoal Kilns in Death Valley

A visit to the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns is recommended for those camping at the Thorndike Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

Mahogany Flat Campground

Number of Sites: 10 sites
Fee: Free
RVs: Yes, no hookups. Vehicles longer than 25′ cannot access.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Late spring through fall
More Information

The Mahogany Flat Campground is one of the most remote places to spend the night in Death Valley National Park. Located at the end of a rough dirt road, this campground can only be reached by high-clearance vehicles with 4WD. The trail to the top of Telescope Peak leaves from the campground and is a highly recommended hike!

There are 10 free campsites at Mahogany Flat, all of which feature picnic tables and fire rings. Similar to the nearby Thorndike Campground, there is not potable water source at Mahogany Flat. The campsites are nicely shaded and provide a stark contrast to the desert valley campgrounds in the park.

Views from Telescope Peak in Death Valley

You’ll enjoy spectacular views from the top of Telescope Peak. Photo credit NPS/Dan Kish.

 

Backcountry Road Campsites

In addition to the twelve developed campgrounds outlined in the section above, Death Valley National Park allows for the unique experience of camping along one of the parks many backcountry dirt roads. This is the perfect opportunity for those with a sense of adventure and who are interested in exploring the vast wilderness of Death Valley.

Given the remote nature of these campsites as well as the harsh conditions of Death Valley it is important to come prepared and follow all NPS regulations. Campers are strongly encouraged to obtain a voluntary Wilderness/Backcountry Use Permit.

These permits are not mandatory, but they are free and will give the NPS important information about your trip and planned campsites.

Death Valley National Park’s dirt roads offer endless opportunities for exploration.

 

Where to Camp

Camping along Death Valley’s dirt roads is generally permitted throughout the national park. However, there are a few exceptions to this intended to help minimize the impact on some of the high visitor areas of the park.

Camping is prohibited in the following areas:

  • In day-use only areas
  • The valley floor from Ashford Mill to 2 miles north of Stovepipe Wells
  • Eureka Dunes
  • Greenwater Canyon
  • Historic mining areas, including:
    • Keane Wonder Mine
    • Lost Burro Mine
    • Ubehebe Lead Mine
    • Skidoo Mill
  • Within 1 mile of any standing mining structure
  • Within 100 yards of a water source

In addition, your campsite must be at least 1 mile from the nearest paved road or ‘day-use only’ area. The NPS also requires that you camp in an area that has already been used as a campsite or immediately adjacent to the roadway. This helps minimize the impact camping has on the fragile desert environment.

View the full list of regulations for backcountry road camping in Death Valley here. 

To get an idea of the best areas to camp in the Death Valley backcountry be sure to read the National Park Service’s excellent Backcountry & Wilderness Access Map here.

Check out the Backcountry & Wilderness Access Map here. 

Some of the best options for backcountry roadside camping in Death Valley National Park include:

Echo Canyon Road

Echo Canyon Road is one of the most centrally located roadside camping areas in Death Valley. Located just a few miles south of the Furnace Creek area. High-clearance vehicles are a must and 4WD is recommended. The road beyond Echo Canyon is only for the most experienced and well-equipped off-road drivers.

Map of Echo Canyon Road in Death Valley

Echo Canyon Road – Death Valley National Park. Map courtesy of NPS.

 

Hole in the Wall Road

Located just south of Echo Canyon Road, Hole in the Wall Road is another great option for primitive roadside camping in Death Valley. It is four miles to Hole in the Wall, a 400′ deep gap in the stunning ridgeline.

Map of Hole in the Wall Road in Death Valley

Hole in the Wall Road – Death Valley National Park. Map courtesy of NPS.

 

Cottonwood Canyon Road

Cottonwood Canyon road is a rough and rugged 4WD road located just north of Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley. The road is famous for the small stream lined with Cottonwoods located at the end of the road. High clearance vehicles with 4WD are a must.

Map of Cottonwood Canyon Road in Death Valley

Cottonwood Canyon Road – Death Valley National Park. Map courtesy of NPS.

 

Racetrack Road

For those who want to visit the famous and mystifying ‘moving rocks’ of Death Valley’s Racetrack, a camping trip on Racetrack Road is the perfect opportunity. This road is notorious for causing flat tires, so be sure you’re prepared! Also, no sedans or RVs permitted and be sure to not drive on the lake bed itself.

Map of Racetrack Road in Death Valley

Racetrack Road – Death Valley National Park. Map courtesy of NPS.

 

Warm Springs Canyon Road

Warm Springs Canyon Road is located in the southern section of Death Valley National Park and only requires a high-clearance 2WD vehicle for the first 10 miles or so. This is a great option for backcountry camping for those who are not equipped with a serious 4WD vehicle.

Map of Warm Springs Canyon Road - Death Valley

Warm Springs Canyon Road – Death Valley National Park. Map courtesy of NPS.

 

Be sure to check out a full list of roads and road conditions in Death Valley National Park here prior to setting out!

The Racetrack in Death Valley National Park

Backcountry camping gives you an opportunity explore some of Death Valley’s most incredible landscapes.

 

Backpacking in Death Valley National Park

Backpacking in Death Valley National Park is not for the faint of heart. While the expanse of wilderness in the park provides for nearly endless options, you’ll need to be prepared for the harsh conditions you’re likely to encounter.

However, for those who invest the time and resources in planning a backpacking trip in Death Valley you’ll be rewarded with solitude, stunning night skies, and the experience of a lifetime. Keep reading to learn how to plan your own backpacking trip in Death Valley National Park.

A backcountry camper in Death Valley National Park.

Exploring the nearly endless wilderness on a backcountry camping trip in Death Valley.

 

For those planning a backpacking trip in Death Valley we highly recommend that you secure a free backcountry use permit ahead of time and have a well planned itinerary. There are only a few designed hiking trails in Death Valley, so the NPS has created the following guidelines to help you plan a successful trip:

  • Utilize old dirt roads, canyon bottoms, and desert washes to get around.
  • Limit group size to no more than 12 people.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.
  • Campfires are prohibited.
  • Pets are not allowed in the backcountry.
  • Carry at least 1 gallon of water per person per day.
  • Always have a topo map and compass AND know how to use them.

We highly recommend that you stop by the Furnace Creek Visitor Center prior to setting out to discuss your plans with a park ranger. They’ll be able to update you on current conditions in the park and give advice on how to have a successful trip.

For those looking for recommendations for possible backpacking trips in Death Valley, the NPS recommends the following destinations:

  • Big Horn Gorge
  • Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop
  • Fall Canyon
  • Hanaupah Canyon
  • Hungry Bill’s Ranch
  • Indian Pass
  • Owlshead Mountains
  • Panamint Dunes
  • Surprise Canyon
  • Telescope Peak
  • Titanothere Canyon

Learn more about desert backpacking in Death Valley on the National Park Services’ website here.

A hiker in Death Valley

Explore Death Valley’s vast desert landscape on a backcountry camping trip.

 

Death Valley National Park Camping Must Know

The following sections contain all the basic information you need to ensure you have a great time camping in Death Valley National Park. Before we dive in, there are a few important regulations to note:

  • No more than eight people and two vehicles per campsite.
  • The maximum stay at the Furnace Creek campground is 14 days per calendar year.
  • All other campgrounds have a maximum stay of 30 days per calendar year.
  • Generators are generally allowed from 7am – 7pm, but be sure to check the regulations for your specific campground.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.

Detailed information on fires, pets, wildlife, and more can be found in the sections below.

Camper with headlamp in Death Valley

 

When to camp in Death Valley

Depending on the area of the park you’d like to explore it is possible to camp in Death Valley throughout the year. There are campgrounds located in both the valleys and mountains which provides for camping opportunities in both the summer and winter.

Read on to learn more about your camping options in Death Valley depending on the season.

Winter camping in Death Valley

During the winter and spring months, generally October – April, you’ll be able to comfortably camp at many of the campgrounds located on the valley floors throughout Death Valley. These are often inhospitable during the summer months when day time temperatures regularly surpass 110 degrees fahrenheit.

However, during the winter and spring months you’ll be able to enjoy much milder temperatures here. We recommend the following campgrounds for winter and spring camping in Death Valley:

Summer camping in Death Valley

Death Valley summers are known for the extreme heat that takes over much of the park. Daily temperatures often exceed 110 degrees, and night time lows often are in the low 100s or 90s. Not a great time to be sleeping in your tent! However, many of the higher altitude campgrounds in Death Valley are prime for a summer camping trip. The snow has melted and temperatures are much cooler at the higher elevations.

We recommend the following campgrounds for a summer camping trip in Death Valley:

Fires

Fires are generally permitted at the twelve developed campgrounds within Death Valley National Park. Fires must be completely contained within the provided fire pit/grate and should not be left unattended. The gathering of any vegetation in Death Valley is strictly prohibited, so be sure to bring your own firewood. It is also available for purchase at the Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells General Stores.

Fires are not permitted at the Wildrose, Thorndike, or Mahogany Flat campgrounds during the summer months, as fire danger increases significantly during this time.

Campfires are prohibited in the backcountry of Death Valley National Park, so if you’re planning a backpacking trip be sure to bring a camp stove.

Campfire

Pets

Pets are allowed in Death Valley National Park, but only in the developed sections of the park. The NPS generally defines this as anywhere a car can go.

They are permitted in the developed campgrounds, adjacent to park infrastructure, and on the main park roads.

We generally recommend against bringing you pet to Death Valley, but if you do please follow these regulations:

  • Pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are allowed within campgrounds, on park roads, and in picnic areas.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings, on trails, or in the backcountry.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle. Temperatures can get extremely hot in Death Valley.
  • Always properly dispose of pet waste.

For a complete list of regulations related to pets check out the Death Valley National Park website here.

 

Where to get supplies

Stocking up on camping supplies before your trip to Death Valley is an important part of trip planning. Death Valley National Park is in a very remote area with few amenities or services nearby, so you’ll want to invest some time making sure you are prepared. It is especially important to be sure you’re well equipped with plenty of water given the lack of water sources in the national park.

Luckily, there are a few town convenient to the various entrances to Death Valley as well as two general stores within the national park itself. Check out your options below:

Coming from the east/Las Vegas: Pahrump, NV

The town of Pahrump, NV will be your best bet for securing supplies if you’re coming to Death Valley from the Nevada/Las Vegas area. From here, it is an approximately 1 hour drive to the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley. Pahrump has everything you need to prepare for your camping trip including grocery stores, gas station, and an outdoor shop.

Coming from the southwest/Los Angeles: Ridgecrest, CA

Ridgecrest, CA is the most convenient place to stop on your way to Death Valley from the Los Angeles/Southern California area. Ridgecrest is about 1.25 hours from the edge of Death Valley National Park, near Panamint Springs. You’ll find everything you need here including several excellent camping and outdoor stores.

Coming from the south: Baker, CA

For those coming from the south and heading into Death Valley on State Highway 127, your last and best chance for decent supplies comes in Baker, CA. Baker is a small town but does have a nice local grocer, gas station, and even the world’s tallest thermometer!

In the Park

Finally, there are three general stores located within Death Valley National Park that carry some basic camping supplies, groceries, and souvenirs. These are located at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Panamint Springs, all along State Highway 190.

Camping near Death Valley National Park

Camping in Death Valley National Park is an incredible experience. However, you may find yourself in a situation where utilizing one of the park campgrounds doesn’t make sense.  The campgrounds may be full, you may want to stop and spend the night after a long drive before reaching the park, or you might be looking for something with a few more amenities. Regardless of your reason, there are several great campgrounds just outside of Death Valley National Park. We’ve highlighted a few good options below.

Car pulling a trailer

 

Death Valley RV Park (North of the National Park)

Number of sites: 39 sites
Fee: Varies
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Call (775) 553-9702
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Death Valley RV Park is located northeast of Death Valley National Park in Beatty, NV. The park features 39 RV campsites with 50 amp hookups. You’ll have access to free WiFi, laundry facilities, a hot tub, and pool.

From here you’re only a 40 minutes to Stovepipe Wells in the national park.

 

Shoshone RV Park (South of the National Park)

Number of sites: 25 full-hookup sites + room for tents
Fee: $30/night for tents, $45/night for RVs
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Located just south of Death Valley National Park is the well reviewed Shoshone RV Park. This campground features 25 full-hookup RV spots as well as plenty of tent-only campsites. From here, its less than 1 mile to the park boundary.

Amenities include a mineral springs swimming pool, laundry facilities, showers, community room, and fire pit.

 

Preferred RV Resort (East of the National Park)

Number of sites: 270 sites
Fee: $40/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Located in Pahrump, NV Preferred RV Resort is only a short drive from Furnace Creek and the heart of Death Valley. This large campground features full hookup sites with beautiful pine trees separating most campsites.  Amenities here include a pool, free WiFi, exercise room, and indoor spa.

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope you’ve found all of the information on camping in Death Valley National Park in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or had a great time out camping!

Road sign with mountains in the background

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