Ranger Guided Field Trips

Students sit in front of a ranger on the sand dunes.
Sand dunes are one of many locations that students can explore with a ranger.

Kurt Moses

Notorious by its name, Death Valley offers an outdoor classroom for exploration and connection to the land of extremes. Join rangers for curriculum-based field trips that uncover the wonders of Death Valley National Park. Field trips promote inquiry and critical thinking with experiences that will enhance classroom learning.

The field trip season is between early November to late March. Ranger-led day field trips at Death Valley National Park are approximately 4-5 hours in length. Programs can be adapted to accommodate a shorter or longer amount of time. The education program can accommodate groups of up to 50 students per day/trip. Minimum group size is 15 students. Elementary, middle, and high school classes are invited to request a field trip. Transportation grants may be available.



Most of the field trip programs were developed to meet life science and earth science standards for upper elementary and middle school classes. These programs may be adapted to meet the needs of other grade levels. When requesting a field trip, please make a note and the Education Program Coordinator will discuss options with you.

Extreme Living at Death Valley

Mesquite Flats Dunes and Salt Creek Interpretive Trail
Geology and biology come together in this inquiry-based ecology experience. How did the sand dunes form? Why are there pupfish in Salt Creek? What adaptations help plants and animals survive in these extreme environments? Students will hike through dramatic environments and collect data determine the answer to these questions and more during this program.

Target Audience: This program is designed to meet life science and earth science standards for upper elementary students. It can also be adapted for middle school classes.

Dynamic Death Valley

Golden Canyon and Badwater Basin
Explore ancient environments and find clues of the powerful forces that continue to shape Death Valley. Students will hike through Golden Canyon, which reveals the dramatic changes in landscape and climate in this area. What changes will the future hold? At Badwater Basin, powerful forces take the stage. How do these forces continue to shape what we see today?

Target Audience: This program is designed and adapted to meet earth science standards for upper elementary students and middle school students.

Shifting Sands: Destructive Forces in Death Valley

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and Golden Canyon
Learn about the forces of weathering, erosion, and deposition and how they shape the landscape of Death Valley. Students will explore towering sand dunes and a deep canyon that carves its way into the mountains. Through guided activities and direct observation, students will be able to answer: Where does all the sand come from? How do flash floods shape the landscape? How does sediment move in desert environments?

Target Audience: This program is designed to meet earth science standards for middle school students. It can also be adapted for upper elementary classes.

Every Kid in a Park Programs

Did you know the National Park Service has launched a special program for fourth graders? Fourth grade teachers interested in Every Kid in a Park programs for their classes should contact the education program coordinator. Subject to availability, rangers may be able to facilitate an activity in fourth grade classrooms as part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative. More information on this national initiative can be found at the Every Kid in a Park website.

Pre-Field Trip Classroom Programs

We encourage classes to schedule a ranger visit to the classroom prior to the field trip. A classroom visit helps the rangers introduce themselves and the park, get to know the students, and prepare students for their field trips.

Special Program Requests

Subject to ranger staffing and availability, Death Valley National Park may be able to accommodate a special program request, such as a hike, ranger talk, or classroom program.


Request a Field Trip

The field trip season is from early November to late March. To request a field trip, please use the link below. The education program coordinator will reply to your request via email.

For quicker scheduling, please include the following information. (Tip: Copy and paste the following into the "Your Message" section of the contact form.)

Your name:
Email address and phone number:
Number of students:
Grade level(s):
School name and location:
Field Trip Program:

First Choice Date(s):
Second Choice Date(s):
Third Choice Date(s):

The 2018-2019 field trip season is over! Please check back in September 2019 for information on reserving field trips for the 2019-2020 season.


Transportation Grants

For schools with restricted travel budgets, there are transportation grants available thanks to grant support and donations to the Death Valley Natural History Association and Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association. The grants are available to schools who are participating in a Death Valley ranger guided field trip.

Award amounts will be based on proximity to the park, if the school receives Title I funding, number of students who will be visiting Death Valley for the first time, and competition of funds. Elementary and middle school classes will receive priority for this funding. There is growing interest in Death Valley field trips, which may result in classes receiving a partial grant.

The Education Coordinator will provide the group will the application once a ranger guided field trip is confirmed.

Last updated: March 29, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328


(760) 786-3200

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