Where is Death Valley? It's located on the eastern edge of California, along the Nevada border, in the Mojave Desert. It's a national park that covers more than 3,000 square miles.
The Answer to "Where Is Death Valley?" Can Be Wrong
Trying to answer the question "where is Death Valley?" using a website, a smartphone app or a GPS can be a risky business.
When we tried entering "Death Valley, CA" at popular map websites in early 2011, results varied. Two located it near Furnace Creek in the middle of the park, but another highly popular one put it off the road in the mountains. You should also know that Death Valley Junction isn't really in Death Valley National Park. It's actually slightly southeast of the park.
Over-reliance on modern vehicle gadgetry to ask where is Death Valley can be frustrating and sometimes fatal. Some GPS systems may try to put you on roads that are closed or impassable.
If you're determined to use the latest technology, use the GPS Coordinates for Death Valley National Park published on their website which may be more reliable than entering a place name.
Your best bet is common sense. If you're trying to get to a popular spot and the roads start getting narrower and less maintained, you're probably on the wrong route. This is one place where good, old-fashioned map may be best - and study your route in advance.
How Far Is It to Death Valley?
Of course, the answer to this question depends on where you are. Furnace Creek - in the middle of Death Valley - is 140 miles from Las Vegas. From LA, it's 290 miles, 350 from San Diego and more than 500 miles from the San Francisco Bay area.
How Do You Get to Death Valley?
Most people get to Death Valley by driving. There's a small, public airport at Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells if you have you own airplane. Unfortunately, there are no public transportation options.
You can drive into Death Valley on several paved roads, but no matter which one you choose, you'll climb to several thousand feet before dropping into the park. These are your options:
- From the west via US Hwy 395 and CA Hwy 190 over Towne Pass (4,956 feet). There's a 9% grade for several miles on either side of the pass, making it a difficult route for underpowered vehicles, long ones and those towing trailers.
- From the east and US Hwy 95 through Scotty's Junction and NV Hwy 267, through Beatty Nevada on NV Hwy 374 over Daylight Pass (4,316 feet) or through Lathrop Wells, taking NV Hwy 373 to Death Valley Junction.
- From the south through Death Valley Junction on CA Hwy 190. The highest point is 3,040 feet and this road is the straightest, making it the best way to get in if you're driving a long RV or towing a trailer. It also offers the least interesting scenery.
- From the south through Shoshone, California on CA Hwy 178 and Badwater Road over Salsberry Pass (3,315 Feet). This is the most scenic way to enter Death Valley and by far the best use of time if you're short on it.
- A lot of people like take a day trip to Death Valley from Las Vegas. Use this guide to getting from Las Vegas to Death Valley to see your options for doing that.