Getting to Death Valley National Park

First, make sure that you have access to a car. Death Valley is easily accessed from Barstow or from Las Vegas, but there is absolutely no public transportation to and from the park itself. This is something that can make getting into the park rather daunting if you do not have a car. However. If you are someone whose car breaks down or you otherwise become stranded in the park, you can rent one from a nearby town and have it brought to your location.

To get close to the park itself, you have several options. There is an Amtrak Station in Barstow, and you will find that you can fly in to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. At McCarran International Airport, you will be able to rent a car from any number of rental agencies, which allows you to enter the park easily. Within the boundaries of Death Valley itself, you will be able to find two small airstrips for private planes.

When you are inside the park itself, a car is still ideal for getting around. There are many roads that criss-cross the park, though the roads near the Badwater Salt Flats are fairly rough. Vehicles with four-wheel drive and a relatively high clearance are considered ideal for travel in the park, though it is not essential. During the more temperate season, many tourists choose to cycle. Cycling allows you to see the park at your own speed and without the need for a car. However, you must remember that weather in Death Valley changes abruptly; watch the forecast and plan ahead! The temperatures in the park can change seemingly without warning, and it is possible for cyclists to find themselves stranded or otherwise blocked from decent road access.

When driving through Death Valley, do stop to inspect the sites, but be very aware that some spots are comparatively rough. Echo Valley is the only spot on the map that is inaccessible without the use of an all-terrain vehicle, but this does not mean that all of the roads are smooth. Exercise caution when you drive and keep your eyes open.

When entering the park, you may be surprised to see that there are comparatively few manned booths to be seen. While there are a few, most are tended by automatic kiosks, where you can pay your fees. Typically, these kiosks sell several seven-day passes, which are ideal for most campers.