What is the Best Season to Visit?
Death Valley National Park is usually considered a winter park, but it is possible to visit here all year. When is the best time to visit? It all depends on what you're looking for.
AUTUMN arrives in late October, with warm but pleasant temperatures and generally clear skies. The camping season begins in fall and so do the Ranger Programs, which continue through spring. Although it is relatively uncrowded at this time of year, the weeks leading up to Death Valley '49ers Encampment (second week in November) and the Thanksgiving holiday are busy.
WINTER has cool days, chilly nights and rarely, rainstorms. With snow capping the high peaks and low angled winter light, this season is especially beautiful for exploring the valley. The period after Thanksgiving and before Christmas is the least crowded time of the entire year. Peak winter visitation periods include Christmas to New Year's, Martin Luther King Day weekend in January, and Presidents' Day weekend in February. Reservations will be helpful.
SPRINGTIME is the most popular time to visit Death Valley. Besides warm and sunny days, the possibility of spring wildflowers is a big attraction. If the previous winter brought rain, the desert can put on an impressive floral display, usually peaking in late March to early April. Check our website for wildflower updates. Spring break for schools throughout the west brings families and students to the park from the last week of March through the week after Easter. Campgrounds and lodging are usually packed at that time, so reservations are recommended.
SUMMER starts early in Death Valley. By May the valley is too hot for most visitors, yet throughout the hottest months, visitors from around the world still flock to the park. Lodging and camping are available, but only the most hardy will want to camp in the low elevations in the summer. Most summer visitors tour by car to the main points of interest along the paved roads but do little else due to the extreme heat. Those wanting to hike will find the trails to Telescope and Wildrose Peaks are at their best in summer, but it is best to wait.
Did You Know?
In 1917, Death Valley recorded 52 days with temperatures over 120 degrees and 43 consecutive days over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The original long hot summer. More...