Special Events in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley 49er's Annual Encampment
Death Valley National Park hosts the Death Valley 49er's Annual Encampment celebrating the area's wild and colorful history. Many different venues provide entertainment for the whole family. The many events include wheelbarrow races, panning for gold, and the Grassy Green Pickin' and Fiddlin' Contest. The Invitational Western Art Show includes a competition with winners announced at the Breakfast with the Artists. The Tall Tales Contest and Pampered Pet Parade are additional attractions visitors will enjoy.

Ranger Programs
Ranger Programs at Death Valley National Park provide tours and talks to help guests get the most out of their visit. Hear stories about how people have survived when lost in the desert and information about lizards or Death Valley trains. Take a trip to the wilderness with a park ranger as your guide, and see fantastic rock formations and the fossilized tracks of prehistoric animals. Many lucky visitors enjoy the sight of a bighorn sheep or two.

Death Valley Star Party
Twice a year Death Valley National Park and the Las Vegas Astronomical Society host the Death Valley Star Party at Furnace Creek Resort. The event includes sky tours at night and solar viewing during the day. Many types and sizes of telescopes are available, already aimed at celestial bodies such as stars, planets, and galaxies. Learn about the stars in Death Valley, which has one of the darkest night skies in the United States.

Scotty's Castle
Take a trip into history with a visit to Scotty's Castle. Visitors will enjoy a walk around the grounds and a guided tour through the lavishly furnished rooms and ornate architecture of this Provincial Spanish villa. The park rangers conduct the tour attired in 1930's style clothes, and music from the 1,121-pipe Welte theater organ, originally built to provide music for silent films, helps set the ambience.

Mars and the Mojave Festival
Hosted by NASA and the National Park Service, Mars and the Mojave Festival – exploring extremes on Earth and beyond! is destined to be an annual event. Learn about similarities between the Mojave Desert landscape and Mars, the Red Planet. Visitors of all ages can participate in demonstrations showing how life can be found in the most unexpected places, such as the salt fields of Badwater in the Mojave Desert and on the surface of Mars. Children can get hands-on experience piloting a robot mini-rover and use microscopes to observe mini-organisms. Also available are guided trips to Badwater Basin, Mars Hill and Ubehebe Crater.