TRIP IDEA

Sunrise and Sunset Spots in Death Valley

Death Valley National Park

Sunrise warm light hits highly eroded badland hills at sunrise.
The famous view of sunrise at Zabriskie Point.

NPS/Hoerner

One of the most beautiful times to see the desert is when the sun is close to the horizon. The soft colors of sunrises and sunsets can show you the many different moods of Death Valley. Some of the most dramatic photographs of Death Valley have been shot during the late evening and early morning.

The time given as the official sunset and sunset times are when it passes behind the curve of the earth. The actual time of the sunrise and sunset will vary according to your location because of the surrounding mountains.
Sunset Spots
  • Death Valley National Park

    Visit Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
    • Duration: 10–180 Minutes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Tawny, shaded dunes extend out to distant desert mountains.

    Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are the largest dune field in the park. This dune field includes three types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star shaped. Polygon-cracked clay of an ancient lakebed forms the floor. Mesquite trees have created large hummocks that provide stable habitats for wildlife.

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  • Death Valley National Park

    Tour Artists Drive

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Scenic Driving
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Artists Drive
    • Duration: 45–60 Minutes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    A vehicle drives along a single lane road through colorful, eroded hills.

    Enjoy a scenic drive through a geologic rainbow! Artists Drive is a one-way, nine mile drive that passes through eroded, colorful desert hills. A stop at Artists Palette along the way, either from the car window or a short walk, will provide the most colorful views. Enjoy geology and scenic vistas along this trip!

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  • Death Valley National Park

    View Rainbow Canyon

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Scenic Driving
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    Looking down a colorful canyon with distant desert mountains.

    A landscape of dark lava flows and volcanic cinders abruptly gives way to the chasm of Rainbow Canyon below Father Crowley Vista Point. Walk the dirt track east of the parking lot for a grand overlook of northern Panamint Valley. Keep your eyes to the sky- the military uses this area for their jet fighter low-flight training throughout the week. Pets are not permitted out of the parking area.

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  • Death Valley National Park

    Visit Badwater Basin

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Off-Trail Permitted Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Badwater Basin
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Fall
    An expansive salt flat with distant desert mountains and a pink sky sunset.

    Badwater Basin is the lowest elevation in North America at - 282 feet (- 86 m) below sea level. A visit to this otherworldly salt flat will provide you with a unique experience and a landscape that appears to stretch on forever. A short 1/4 mile (400 m) hike will you bring you to the polygon salt formations that Death Valley is famous for, or in the summer months, the view can be enjoyed from the parking area.

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  • Death Valley National Park

    Visit Ubehebe Crater

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Scenic Driving
    • Pets: No
    • Duration: 90 Minutes
    A 600 foot multi-hued crater in the desert rock.

    Visit Ubehebe Crater, a 600 ft deep maar volcano in northern Death Valley. The crater can be viewed from the parking area or for the adventurous, from the hike around the rim in the cooler months. The drive to the crater is also a part of the adventure! Look to the west while traveling on the North Highway to see some of the largest bajadas (connected alluvial fans) in the world!

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Sunrise Spots
  • Death Valley National Park

    Visit Zabriskie Point

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Scenic Driving
    • Pets: No
    • Time of Day: Dawn
    Highly eroded badlands at sunrise, with a distinct point in the distance.

    The most famous viewpoint in the park. Overlooking the golden colored badlands of the Furnace Creek formation, visitors can simply enjoy the view or elect to start the hike from the point around Badlands Loop. Connector trails lead to Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, and Red Cathedral. The point is most popular at sunrise and sunset.

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  • Death Valley National Park

    Check Out the View at Dantes View

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Scenic Driving
    • Pets: No
    A vast desert valley is seen from a rocky desert mountain top.

    At 5,475 ft (1,669 m), the most breathtaking viewpoint in the park. Facing west, the view of the Panamint Mountains towering over the lowest point (-282ft / 86m) in North America (Badwater Basin) offers one of the best sunrises in the park. The barely visible mountains on the far western horizon are the Sierra Nevadas, home to the highest point (14,505ft / 4,421m) in the contiguous United States - Mount Whitney, however the peak itself isn't quite visible.

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  • Death Valley National Park

    Visit Harmony Borax Works

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Harmony Borax Works parking area
    • Duration: 15–35 Minutes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    An old wooden wagon train seen at night.

    Harmony Borax Works was the central feature in the opening of Death Valley and the subsequent popularity of the Furnace Creek area. The 1/4 mi (0.4 km) paved walking path leads you back in time as you explore the ruins of the plant and associated townsite, and how they played an important role in Death Valley history.

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  • Death Valley National Park

    Visit Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
    • Duration: 10–180 Minutes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Tawny, shaded dunes extend out to distant desert mountains.

    Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are the largest dune field in the park. This dune field includes three types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star shaped. Polygon-cracked clay of an ancient lakebed forms the floor. Mesquite trees have created large hummocks that provide stable habitats for wildlife.

    View Details

Last updated: April 12, 2019