9 things you must see at Death Valley

I am a girl who loves nature. It gives me great joy to go into the world and marvel at how beautiful it is. This year has been kind of rough. I feel like anytime you’re doing self-work it can be an emotional rollercoaster. One thing I’ve learned is when I need to center myself, I need 3 things alone time, nature, and GOD. So, I hopped on a plane and did just that. 

If you haven’t noticed by now, I love to travel. Most of the time the places I want to go no one else wants to go with me. I’m the girl who wants to go hiking, go to a really cool park, see a volcano, waterfalls, beaches, and whatever is outdoors. I don’t really care for places that are crowded with a bunch of partying, I like to relax and unwind. Recently, I was on Instagram and I see this really cool mountain and I started researching. It was this national park that I never heard of. I decided I was going to go there and I was due for a good vacay, my world had been feeling like it was falling apart. When I decided that I was going to do this trip I knew it would take lots of research because I planned on doing it alone. I have never done a hike alone and most of the black travel influencers I follow don’t ever do hikes. So, I’m sharing my journey with those who look like me and want to do something different. 

At Death Valley at the top of Zabriskie Point!

Let me start by saying I love to hike and be in nature, but I do not like to camp and be outside all night. I love luxury and I’m a sucker for a nice ambiance so I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t find somewhere beautiful to stay. Now let’s get into the Dets…..I know you probably want to know where the hell I was. I recently took a hike through Death Valley National Park. Death Valley is one of the largest national parks it is 3 million acres. There are so many different spots to see in Death Valley and would probably take a really long time to see them all. I stayed 1 night and hiked 2 days. I decided that I would take this trip about 3 weeks before it actually happened. I try to budget out my trips and I do a pretty good job, but I also will pay what I have to pay for an experience. To start off I use Sky Scanner and Skiplagged when I’m looking for flights. They both tell you when you can get the cheapest flight and I’m a Delta girl so I need to find the lowest ticket. I chose my days according to my schedule and what day is the cheapest. It normally end up being a Sunday to Wednesday type of thing. I purchased a roundtrip ticket to Las Vegas for $130.00 on Delta. I also use Sky Scanner and Hotel tonight to book my hotels and look for a nice hotel for a cheaper price. Oh and always search in a private search bar. I stayed at the Aria in Vegas the night before traveling to Death Valley and The Venetian on the night before my flight home. They both ran me $76.00 per night. 

What you need to know about Death Valley…..

First of all, it is hot as hell. I went in mid-April and it was 97 degrees. Now, I’m from Michigan where it’s very humid so that dry heat hit extremely differently. The best time to travel to Death Valley is between October and April you want to be there when it’s extremely hot. A lot close down in the summer because the heat is unbearable. In the summer of 2020 Death Valley broke a world record for the hottest place in the world reaching 136 degrees. So, if you travel after April be prepared for some hot weather. Death Valley is about 2 hours and 8 minutes from Las Vegas. Most people either travel from Las Vegas or Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a longer ride and I do not like long road trips so I opted out for Las Vegas, which is my least favorite city. 

The jeep i rented to tour Death Valley.

I got a Jeep Wrangler from Fox Rental cars because they had the cheapest price lol. It’s important to travel Death Valley in a Jeep if you ask me because a lot of the roads to get to certain parts of Death Valley tend to be very bumpy with lots of rocks. A jeep isn’t too big where it hinders you from going on certain trails and it’s also very durable. It’s best to get your rental the day before so you can leave for Death Valley as early as possible to get 2 full days of hiking. Don’t forget to gas up because the gas in the park is like $5.50 a gallon and it was closed due to COVID. Fill your tank up when you get to the little alien gas station 60 miles before you make it into the park or you won’t have gas coming home. Make sure you grab snacks and drinks before leaving Vegas. I stocked up on snacks and waters at Walmart which was 2 miles from the strip. I purchased a disposable cooler, ice, Gatorades, water, and apple juice for my drinks. I grabbed some fruit, granola bars, chips, and veggies for my snacks. I also grabbed some Tylenol, nasal spray (allergies), a first-aid kit, and this little fan to go around my neck because I did not want to be hot. The fan didn’t do much justice with the heat that the valley had to serve. It’s very important to have snacks. I didn’t know before I came, but there are only about 2 places you can eat and that’s at the resort. The food is very high priced and honestly in my opinion the food is trash. With Covid, it’s packed up in a box and there is no server. You’re welcome to sit on-site and dine but your only option is a carryout. The dining is over at about 8 pm so if you’re staying and you didn’t get back in time to eat, you’re screwed. If I was doing this trip over, I would pack sandwich items or things you can microwave because my room had a small refrigerator and microwave.

This is backyard of my casita at Death Valley Inn

Now, you can absolutely make Death Valley a day trip so many people do it. If that’s what you want to do then just make sure you plan your routes ahead of time so you can see the most sites during your trip. I chose to stay a night which they have a couple options which is staying at one of the oasis resorts which are inside of the actual park. They have camp grounds that are also inside of the park and a few motels that’s outside of the park roughly 45 minutes outside of the park. As I said before I don’t like to camp, glamping sign me up, if not hotel me please. I stayed at the Death Valley Inn in a Casita. It was absolutely gorgeous. Go look at my IG right now at the Death Valley Highlight. Most people thought I was in Costa Rica or Mexico, nope I was in the mountains in the United States. Now that was pricey it was 600 for one night but it was worth it. It was so relaxing and comfy. We had a golf court to travel around the resort, the resort did have WIFI because you don’t get any cell service in the park it’s a dead zone. There is a pool, tennis court, spa, exercise center, and places to dine all in the resort. The sister property actually has a stable and we went Horse back riding during sunset the very first day. Spend some time talking to the people that work there they actually live in Death Valley and they can tell you a lot about it. 

What should you go see? 

  1. Zabriskie Point – this was one of the first things we went to see because I forgot to download maps before I got in the park and I had no cellphone service. There are plenty of signs to tell you what is coming up ahead, but I recommend downloading maps before going. Anyway, Zabriskie is right before you get to Furnace Creek or The Inn. 
  2. Artist Drive (Artist Palette)- Gorgeous, these mountains are colorful and unique an absolute must-see.
  3. Devils Golf Course- I loved this I actually found a small piece of rock filled with salt that makes it look like crystals. This use to be an ocean if I’m not mistaking now it’s filled with all these sea salt rocks.
  4. Badwater Basin- Which also use to be some form of water now it’s filled with salt pure salt. It’s really cool.
  5.  Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes- This is sand heaven prepare for being extremely dirty. Wear some sunglasses and a baseball cap because the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. It felt like a light sand storm to me. I saw the sunset here and it was gorgeous. 
  6. Golden Canyon- This was a good hike and very chill. I wish I had hiking sticks but I didn’t definitely take a hike through.  
  7. Dante’s View- Okay, so Dante’s View is amazing, but I had a panic attack getting to the top. It is a very steep drive up and narrow. I was shaking because it didn’t seem like I was going up a mountain until about 1 mile to the top and it was curvy and steep. Do about 10 mph and be careful because other cars are coming down. When I got to the top I cried and had to calm down driving that jeep up felt heavy and scary. Now the view is simply amazing. I would recommend seeing it at sunset it overlooks the entire park and you’re in the clouds, but remember when you’re going down its no lights in the park. Be safe! 
  8. Visit Death Valley Inn- even if you aren’t staying the night. Walk around and have lunch. It’s so relaxing and totally worth t you would never believe it’s in the mountains. It looks so tropical.
  9. Visit the stables- Take a horseback ride at sunset. You will get to see a little wildlife if you’re lucky. You also will see the sunset behind the mountains creating a pinkish-purple sky. It is so pretty.

I absolutely enjoyed my trip and I definitely think it’s worth checking out. About these pictures…Let me state I’m new to blogging and photography so be patient with me and don’t judge too harshly lol. I didn’t know, but my lens needed to be cleaned and some pictures came about with some spots on them. I’m still posting because the mountains are still so pretty and it’s all I have. Don’t forget to grab a map and plan out your trip. Do what makes sense to maximize your time. I hope you enjoy and feel free to hit me up on IG with any questions you may have. 

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