Opportunities for solitude in Death Valley National Park, even with 1,100,000 visitors

Mesquite Sand Dunes NPS 33
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are one of the park’s most popular destinations. In spite of this, people can find solitude with just a short stroll into the dunes. NPS photo

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Over 1,100,000 people visited Death Valley National Park last year. People can find solitude by choosing when to visit, and where to hike.

January, February, and March were extremely busy compared to past years. Visitation in August, September, and October was about half of normal levels; many park roads were closed due to flash flood damage. Visitation picked up in November, and the park had its fourth-busiest December ever.

The largest park in the lower 48 states, Death Valley National Park has 3,400,000 acres for people to explore. This means that even during the busiest times, people can find avoid crowds by choosing less-popular hikes.

The park is busiest during spring breaks and winter holidays (Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King Junior Day, and Presidents Day. The park has very low visitation between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in early January.

During busy periods, lodging at Stovepipe Wells Resort, Panamint Springs Resort, and The Oasis at Death Valley are often fully booked in advance. Many of the park’s campgrounds fill, but space is usually available in Sunset Campground, near Furnace Creek.


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 www.nps.gov/deva.

(From Death Valley National Park)

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