Apr 30, 2024

Tips for Camping in Death Valley

This post is sponsored by adidas.

We recently returned from a camping trip to Death Valley National Park. It’s one of our favorite places to camp and now that we’ve been a few times I wanted to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way. Today I’ve teamed up with adidas to share our top 10 tips for camping in Death Valley National Park. If you’re headed to Death Valley even for a day trip, these are sure to come in handy.

  1. Above all, be prepared. Gas stations, and potable water are few and far between. Be safe and bring your own supplies even if you are just going for the day. At minimum you should bring half your body weight in ounces of water, more if you plan on being active. For example, if you weigh 120lbs that is 60oz. Bring extra gas in a proper gas can if you can.
  2. Cell phone signal and GPS are notoriously unreliable. Download offline maps for multiple navigation sources. We’ve had problems even using Google maps to navigate the park.
  3. On the same note, it is a wild desert. The weather can change swiftly. On our most recent four night trip in April we experienced wind, sandstorms, below freezing temperatures, snow, and hail.
  4. Plan your dates accordingly. The park is known for being windy in the spring, boiling hot in the summer, nice in the fall, and cooler but sometimes wet in the winter. The best times to visit are mid-October to mid-April.
  5. The weather will also depend on your elevation. The elevation in Death Valley ranges between 282 feet below sea level at Badwater Basin to 11,049 feet tall at the top of Telescope Peak.
  6. I hope this is obvious given the last few tips, but pack for a wide range of temperatures and weather. I packed both a heavy down jacket and a pair of shorts for the same trip.
  7. Shoes matter! I know it’s the desert but hear me out, waterproof hiking shoes are a must! My husband has a pair of adidas Terrex Swift R3 and loves them. They’ll help keep your feet dry if you need to cross any streams while hiking or if a sudden rainstorm appears. I also pack shoes that slip on easily like a pair of slides or sandals.
  8. The road conditions are posted but can sometimes be unpredictable, especially if there has been rain recently. Most of the main roads are paved and easily accessible by a regular car. Some 4WD roads are well maintained and do not require 4WD but some are not, especially if they are marked high clearance.
  9. You can book ahead at official campgrounds around the park, or you can use the first-come first-serve spots at the primitive camps offered. We have only camped at primitive and backcountry places. On most of the roads if you are more than one mile off you are allowed to backcountry camp alongside the road. These roads often do require 4WD with high clearance.
  10. Go with the flow! Our last trip was wildly different than what we had planned because of the weather and we had no choice but to move with it and make the best of our situation.

All that said, enjoy! Do you have any tips to add for camping in Death Valley?

This post is sponsored by adidas, all images and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for helping to support the sponsors that make life here at Hej Doll a little easier.

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