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Death Valley Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images

General Trip Planning Information

The best time to visit the park is mid-October thru mid-April when cooler temperatures provide the perfect climate for camping, hiking, and exploring this unique desert environment. Hiking opportunities are limitless though the park has few maintained trails. Backpacking opportunities abound, but due to limited water sources, careful trip planning is of special concern.

Climate and Special Equipment Needs

If visiting in the summer, backpacking should be limited to the higher elevations. At lower elevations, day hikes should start at sunrise and be completed before 10 am. Also carry enough water with you especially in the summer. The standard is one gallon per hour hiking during the summer.

Safety and Current Conditions

Be safe and survive! The number one cause of death and injury in the park is single car rollovers. Always carry current maps and stop by the park visitor center for updated road information. In summer never travel without additional drinking water in case your vehicle breaks down. Avoid hiking in lower elevations during the heat of summer (May thru September). Cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent. GPS units are not a substitute for a good map. In remote areas such as Death Valley, GPS units are not always dependable.

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