Exploring Death Valley NP in a Campervan - Native Campervans

Exploring Death Valley NP in a Campervan

Death Valley National Park Campervan Rental

Death Valley National Park is the perfect distance if you’re coming from Las Vegas and have a weekend to spare. Roughly two hours away, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the park without putting the pedal to the metal to get there (and back)! We may be biased, but exploring Death Valley National Park in a campervan rental is the only way to go!

You don’t even have to take the day off of work to get here and enjoy the park. Most visitors find you only need one or two days to appreciate Death Valley. With one full day and one partial day, you’ll have ample time to enjoy the spectacle that is Death Valley National Park!

If you’re looking for a combination of comfort and adventure, pick up a van from our Las Vegas Campervan Office.

Best Time to Travel to Death Valley NP

Death Valley’s peak season is between October and April. While you can go in the summer to beat the crowds, it isn’t for the faint of heart (nor highly recommended). Spring is wildflower season in Death Valley and arguably the best time to be there.

Please note that the use of our campervan rental in Death Valley NP from June 1st – September 30th is prohibited due to the extreme heat.

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Day 1: Native Campervans to Death Valley National Park

Close your laptop and hit the road! Luckily, you won’t have far to go. If you’re hungry along the way, the northern route from Las Vegas to Death Valley takes you through Beatty, Nevada. Make a stop at Happy Burro Chili and Beer; it’s the absolute best option in the area.

If you didn’t bring any groceries with you, you can also stop in one of the local stores in Beatty before heading into the park.

Where to Camp

Tonight is mainly reserved for getting to your campsite and settling in. If you want to wait until morning to enter the park, there’s a dispersed camping option just outside of Beatty. You’ll also find a couple of local RV parks. If camping in the park, the first main option you’ll run into is Stovepipe Wells, but you can also keep driving to Emigrant Campground, which is more centrally located.

Death Valley

Day 2: Death Valley National Park

This may seem a bit backward, but you’ll leave some of the most popular Death Valley spots until day 3. With the biggest spots towards the eastern exit, you’ll be happy you saved them for your drive out tomorrow!

If you opted to camp in Stovepipe Wells last night, this will be a convenient day for you as your first stop of the day is just up the road.

Stop 1: Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Trail

This easy-rated trail is an excellent intro to Death Valley and doable for almost all campers. If you have it in you, do this hike at sunrise. It’s 100% worth the early call time. That being said, this trail is popular, so you’ll likely run into some crowds as the day progresses. After the first mile, some of the groups will subside, though.

Stop 2: Mosaic Canyon Trail

This hike will take a little more work than the last one, so bring plenty of water. Even in the colder months, Death Valley temperatures can still sneak up on you.

You’ll be backtracking just a bit to get to this trail. If you like, you can take this trail first and do Mesquite Flat second (especially if a sunrise hike isn’t on your agenda). There’s some scrambling here, so if you enjoy a challenge, you’ll love this hike.

Stop 3: Zabriskie Point

Now we’re getting into the really good stuff! This is one of the most popular spots in the park. Your best bet is to take this at sunset, though it’s incredible any time of day.

Stop 4: Golden Canyon Trail to Red Cathedral

If you have one more hike in you today, this is the one to do. It’ll take roughly 90 minutes and is rated as moderate. If you want to save Zabriskie Point for sunset, do this hike third. If you’re in wildflower season, look out for bloom views along this trail!

Where to Camp

To get a jump on tomorrow, find a campsite at Furnace Creek Campground or Texas Spring Campground.

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Day 3: Death Valley National Park to Native Campervans HQ

Since the drive is so short, you have plenty of day to work with and see the best of Death Valley! An earlier start will still allow you to maximally enjoy the park.

Stop 1: 20 Mule Team Canyon

This quick stop is optional. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll enjoy knowing sections of this canyon were used in Return of the Jedi!

Stop 2: Artist’s Palette Overlook

This is just a quick stop, but a worthwhile one for sure! If you’ve got an early morning hike in you, this is the place to be for it. If you have time, you can do the entire Artist’s Drive.

Stop 3: Devil’s Golf Course

One of the most unique spots, Devil’s Golf Course is worth a visit. These jagged salt flats are one of the hallmarks of Death Valley and are accessible by all vehicles, though a high-clearance SUV or truck is helpful. Not called Devil’s Golf Course for nothing, the salt flats are pretty sharp and should be approached with care.

Stop 4: Badwater Basin Salt Flats

Here’s what you came for: the lowest part of North America. At an astounding 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is a sight to behold and cannot be missed.

Stop 5: Sidewinder Canyon

If you have time for one more stop, this is the one you want. Sidewinder Canyon is likely the most underrated hike in all of Death Valley. If you’ll be staying here past the heat of the day, this is a great early evening hike!

Time to Head Home

If this trip sounds like it’s for you, remember you’ll need plenty of water and layers if staying overnight. The temperatures can drop as fast as they climb here, so be prepared for anything! We hope you have fun in Death Valley in your campervan rental!

Enjoy your drive back to Las Vegas, and remember to tag us @nativecampervans in your photos!

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