This is one of the most frequently asked questions of those who plan a trip to California: where to stay in Death Valley? We have received many requests for advice on the subject, so much so that, in the end, we decided to write an article about it, hoping to create a space for some tips on the subject, as well as voicing concerns, reviews of experiences and opinions (let us know in the comments area at the bottom of the article).
As for any other American national park, also in Death Valley we are faced with 2 choices: stay overnight inside the park or look for accommodations in the surrounding area. Let’s evaluate the various possibilities and the pros and cons.
Lodging in Death Valley
The option of sleeping inside the park is always the most attractive and, even in this case, no exceptions are made. It is the way to live a more “authentic” experience, admire the stars and contemplate nature (even if the heat in summer can be really stifling!).
At the same time, especially in the peak seasons, you’ll need to book in advance and be prepared to spend a little more money than you would for accommodations just outside of Death Valley. Here are the 4 Death Valley hotels to choose from:
- Furnace Creek Inn: Beautiful 1920’s adobe structure with all services and amenities, with gardens full of palm trees, natural springs and picturesque stone courtyards. Very close to Zabriskie Point!
- Furnace Creek Ranch: More casual (and also cheaper) than the Furnace Creek Inn. The Old West theme of the structure do not mean it lacks modern facilities such as tennis court and swimming pool.
- Stovepipe Wells Village: This is a western-style hotel with 83 rooms, some with views of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and the surrounding mountain ranges. There is also an outdoor swimming pool with indoor seating area.
- Panamint Springs Resort: Another western-style hotel but, unlike all the others, it does not have a swimming pool.
Overnight Stay Around Death Valley
An overnight stay outside the park can be less “poetic”, however the selection is much wider and consequently also the price ranges. Those who intend to visit Death Valley usually make an itinerary with multiple stops and Death Valley is ideal for those who cross from California to Nevada (to visit Las Vegas), Arizona (for example in the direction of the intermediate stops of Flagstaff or Kingman) and obviously for those who make the reverse route.
Basically, one arrives (or departs) from three directions to the Valley of Death:
- South, Southwest: Those coming from Los Angeles, San Diego, or Palm Springs
- Northwest: Visitors coming from Yosemite National Park
- East: Those coming from Las Vegas
Coming from Los Angeles and San Diego
If you’re coming from San Diego or Los Angeles and want to stop just before arriving to Death Valley, the best stop is Death Valley Junction (about 40 minutes from the center of the park), a community of less than 20 people where there is a hotel made famous by Marta Becket, the Amargosa Opera House & Hotel.
Other destinations on the road but a little further away are Shoshone (just over an hour), Tecopa (1 hour 20 minutes), Baker and Ridgecrest (2 hours, if you’re there you’ll pass by Trona Pinnacles or Red Rock Canyon) and Olancha (1 hour 37 minutes). Of course, Death Valley Junction can also be a great stop for those coming from the east (e.g. Las Vegas) and, heading west, who want to stay overnight after the visit.
Where to Stay between Death Valley and Las Vegas
East of Death Valley, in Nevada, the most popular city to stay in near Death Valley is of course Las Vegas, just a 2-hour drive away. If you want to choose this eccentric city as your base for exploring the park then I suggest you take a look at our tips on where to stay in Las Vegas.
In some road trip itineraries, a 2-hour drive can be a bit tiresome, especially if you spent the whole day driving around Death Valley and just want a comfortable bed and a hot meal (in this case maybe it’s better fresh…).
In that case, then are other possible places to stay overnight east of Death Valley. One of the closest is Beatty, an ideal half-way stop between Death Valley and Las Vegas, but also keep in mind Amargosa Valley (the nearest) and Pahrump.
Where to Stay between Death Valley and Yosemite
For those who plan to visit Yosemite National Park, they will find on the route between the two parks the following stops (in order from the nearest to the furthest from Death Valley):
For a more detailed overview and advice on locations further away from Yosemite, read our in-depth article of where to stay between Yosemite and Death Valley.
Where to Stay between Death Valley and Sequoia
This route is also quite popular (especially when the Tioga Road is closed), and planning the itinerary can be complicated, given the length of the route. In order to explain which roads to take, stops, attractions and the places to sleep, we published an article on where to stop between Death Valley and Sequoia.
Map of Accommodations in Death Valley
To get an idea of the distances to reach stops and lodgings in Death Valley, you can have a look at the map below.
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