Death Valley in One Day
If you begin the day in Furnace Creek, you can see several sights without doing much driving. Bring plenty of water with you, and some food, too. Get up early and drive the 20 miles on Badwater Road to Badwater, which looks out on the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is a dramatic place to watch the sunrise. Returning north, stop at Natural Bridge, a medium-size conglomerate rock formation that has been hollowed at its base to form a span across the canyon, and then at the Devil's Golf Course, so named because of the large pinnacles of salt present here. Detour to the right onto Artist's Drive, a 9-mile one-way, northbound route that passes Artist's Palette. The reds, yellows, oranges, and greens come from minerals in the rocks and the earth. Four miles north of Artist's Drive you will come to the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail, a 2-mile round trip that winds through a canyon with colorful rock walls. Just before Furnace Creek, take Highway 190 3 miles east to Zabriskie Point, overlooking dramatic, furrowed red-brown hills and the Twenty Mule Team Canyon. Return to Furnace Creek, where you can grab a meal and visit the museum at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Heading north from Furnace Creek, pull off the highway and take a look at the Harmony Borax Works.