Death Valley wasn’t at the top of my national parks bucket list, but the more I looked into it the more I became interested! I started to see beauty where previously it had been overlooked. Since I was going to California to shoot my friends wedding in Yosemite, I was planning to visit Death Valley while I was there, but it was pretty far away from Yosemite and the Big Sur area where I was going to meet up with my mom after. After further looking at the map and seeing how close Death Valley was to Las Vegas, I decided to just fly into Las Vegas at a different time to visit. While hanging out with one of my friends Laura, she was telling me about her upcoming clinicals she had in Vegas and I mentioned how I wanted to visit Vegas to go to Death Valley and she immediately said she was in.
So I flew into Las Vegas and we woke up in the middle of the night to drive to make it to the park for sunrise. We knew we only had one full day in the park and with it being shorter days this time of year theres not much light during the day so we wanted to make the most of it. We start off at Dantes View which is the highest point in the park and that was gorgeous! After that we drove and saw Zabriskie point which had amazing views of the badlands and followed that with a hike through Golden Gulch. Once the hike was over we drove to the lowest point in North America, Badwater basin. Badwater basin consisted of salt flats and you felt like you were on another planet. After Badwater basin we did the artist drive which takes you through an area of the park known as artist’s palette which has beautiful pastel colored rocks including pinks, purples, greens, and yellow. To finish our day we went to the Mesquite salt flat dunes for sunset and walked deep into the dunes to get away from the foot prints and get on top of one of the dunes.
We stayed in the park at one of the few hotels inside the park and had an absolutely magnificent time running around the park and getting ice cream. We even got to spend some time at the pool the next day before leaving for the airport! Death Valley is highly underrated and has pockets of hidden beauty everywhere and is a must for the bucket list!