Death Valley National Park is America's largest national park. Yes, this national park is larger than Yellowstone! In my opinion, it is also one of the best. Even though the name Death Valley does not sound that appealing, we were extremely looking forward to scorching temperatures after completing a ski season at Mammoth Mountain.
We had originally planned to stay for only two nights but we enjoyed our time here so much we ended up staying for over a week. Part of this was due to the pleasant stay we had at Stovepipe Wells campground and also because we had no idea that the park was so big and there was so much to explore.
Stovepipe Wells Campground
We chose to camp at Stovepipe Wells due to it's central location in the park and its close proximity to a lot of the park's main attractions. There are also some other added bonuses to staying at this campground that I will mention below.
Stovepipe Wells campground is open from September 15 to May 10 and bookings are taken on a first come, first served basis.
Don't be expecting any nice shady tree's at this campground, it is just bare dirt and dry out here (not fun when it is windy). But the tables are a nice touch and the fire pit comes in handy because it can be quite cool at night.
The BEST Thing About Staying Here...
The best thing about staying at Stovepipe Wells (besides the pretty mountain view) is the General Store at the entrance to the campground and the swimming pool located across the road at the Stovepipe Wells Hotel.
Stovepipe Wells General Store
The General Store definitely comes in handy when you have run out of food supplies. The store is also a gift shop so is a nice way to kill some time in air-conditioning and pick up some national park suoviners. I can't help myself from collecting mugs and keychains from National Parks I visit! But the best thing about the Stovepipe Wells General Store are the rocking chairs out the front. We spent most of our evenings here grabbing beers from inside and unwinding on the rocking chairs.
Stovepipe Wells Hotel
The Stovepipe Wells Hotel located across the road from the campground is quite literally an oasis in the desert. I say this because they have a swimming pool in front of their establishment which campers that are staying at the Stovepipe Wells campground are permitted to use for a small fee. The pool is a lifesaver! Depending on the season of your visit to Death Valley National Park, the middle of the day can most of the time be too hot for hiking or exploring, and spending the day here can be a much better option.
In addition, the hotel has a restaurant and bar with a couple of pool tables to keep you entertained.
Here is a list of some of Death Valley's attractions located close to the Stovepipe Wells campground along with the distance.
This national park is huge and parts of it are very remote, some of the places you may want to visit might require an off road vehicle.
If you are visiting from overseas and require a hire car, we recommend using Avis. You can rent a car from them in Los Angeles and drop it off in Las Vegas without the one way drop off fee (same goes for doing the drive in reverse).
Death Valley National Park is at least a four hour drive from Los Angeles and a two and a half hour drive from Las Vegas. You can see some of the park if you are driving between L.A. and Las Vegas and plan on starting your trip early morning but if you have time, try to spend a few nights here to fully appreciate the vast beauty of this remote national park.
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