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Free entrance to Death Valley National Park on Juneteenth

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Free entrance to Death Valley National Park on Juneteenth

death valley juneteenth
Dantes View is a 5,500-feet-high viewpoint overlooking Death Valley National Park. NPS photo

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Entrance to Death Valley National Park will be free on Wednesday, June 19 in honor of Juneteenth National Independence Day. In addition to protecting beautiful places, the National Park Service protects our nation’s emancipation sites and stories.

Park rangers have safety advice for a summer trip to Death Valley:

  • Know your limits and acclimatize to heat over multiple days.
  • Avoid the heat.  After 10 am, stay within a short walk of an air-conditioned car, or hike in the park’s mountains, which are cooler.
  • Avoid the sun. Seek shade during the hottest time of the day. Wear a hat and consider carrying an umbrella.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat salty snacks.
  • Travel only on paved roads. The park has limited cell phone service.  If your vehicle breaks down, stay with your vehicle so you have shelter and can be found more easily.

Badwater Basin, Artists Drive, Devils Golf Course, Zabriskie Point, Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, and Dantes View are highlights that can be visited during the summer by brief walks from a car. Furnace Creek Visitor Center has exhibits, park film, and a bookstore.

Longer hikes are possible at higher, cooler elevations.

  • Dantes View to Mount Perry hiking route is 9 miles round-trip along ridges above 5,000 feet. This unmaintained trail starts from a paved road and has spectacular views of Death Valley along the entire route, making even a shortened version of the hike well worthwhile.
  • Wildrose Peak Trail is 8.4 miles round-trip from 7,000 to 9,000 feet in elevation. The trail starts at historic beehive-shaped Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, ascends past pinyon pines, ending at a summit with views of Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada. The road to the trailhead is paved, except for the last two miles, which are suitable for passenger cars driven carefully.
  • Telescope Peak Trail is 14 miles round-trip from 8,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation. Only high clearance 4×4 vehicles should drive to the trailhead at Mahogany Flat Campground. Hikers with passenger cars will have a longer hike, starting at Wildrose Charcoal Kilns. The second half of the hike passes through a grove of ancient bristlecone pine trees before reaching the park’s highest summit for spectacular views in all directions.

All units of the National Park Service will be waiving entrance fees on June 19. Camping fees will still be charged. Death Valley National Park’s standard entrance fee is $30/vehicle or $25/motorcycle. An annual pass to all national parks is $80. Seniors 62 or older pay $10 for an annual pass to all parks. Veterans, active military, permanently disabled people, and families with fourth-grade students qualify for free passes.

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at
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