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

We have concluded field trips for the 2021-2022 school year. We will resume field trip offerings in Fall 2022-Spring 2023. Please contact the education program staff if you have questions.

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.

Elementary, middle, and high school classes are invited to request a field trip. Transportation grants may be available.

 

Programs

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. Students explore how forces shape the sand dunes and investigate animal tracks. Students compare and contrast the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes habitat to the Salt Creek habitat and look for evidence to explain how animals survive in these habitats.

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
Although Death Valley only has an average yearly rainfall of around two inches, water shapes the dramatic landscape. At both Golden Canyon and Badwater Basin salt flats, students look for evidence showing how water influences the landscape in Death Valley. Students explore the role of weather and topography in assessing flood risks and the challenges that rain brings to Death Valley National Park.

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

Wandering Waters and Dry Deserts

Salt Creek Interpretive Trail and Badwater Basin
Through experimentation and observation, students will learn how agents of weathering, erosion and deposition constantly change the landscape at Salt Creek and Badwater Basin. Students will look for evidence to support answers to these questions: Where does the salt come from? What causes weathering, erosion, and deposition processes to occur? How does water shape desert environments? How does the geology of a place impact the ecology?

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

Shifting Sands: Destructive Forces in Death Valley

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and Golden Canyon
Students explore real-life examples of weathering, erosion and deposition in action at the Mesquite Sand Dunes and Golden Canyon. Through guided activities and observation, students will look for evidence to support answers to these questions: Where does the sand come from? How does sediment move in desert environments? How do flash floods shape the landscape? Why does flash flooding pose a risk to humans?

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

 

Request a Field Trip

The field trip season is from early November to late March. Please contact the education program manager to submit a request.
 
Students and teachers getting off a yellow school bus with a brown rocky natural wall in the background.
Students explore Death Valley National Park first hand while visiting on a field trip.

NPS

In your request, please include:

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):

 

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. 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.

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
  • Competition of funds

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

Every Kid Outdoors Program

Did you know that the National Park Service has a special program for fourth graders, granting free access to Park Service sites for students and their families? More information on this national initiative can be found on the Every Kid Outdoors website.

 

Rangers in the Classroom

Unable to bring your class to the park? Park rangers may be available to visit your classroom and introduce students to Death Valley National Park. Classroom visits are typically limited to schools within a two hour driving radius from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

Last updated: April 5, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley , CA 92328

Phone:

760 786-3200

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