Things to do in Death Valley
In April, my dad and I decided to take a father-daughter photo trip to Death Valley. We both love photography, and Death Valley is definitely a state park, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Since the temperatures get up to 108 degrees we decided when we got there to take photos at sunrise and sunset. There’s nothing like being out in the desert at sunrise, and you can’t hear anything. Not even a pin drop. Here are some spots I suggest you check out.
This was a cool sign I got on the way to Death Valley.
Most photographers take photos here at sunrise. The sun hitting the range can get you some amazing shadows. We decided to go there at sunset since we had seen the beauty it radiates at sunrise on a separate trip. As my dad and I sat watching the sunset, we both enjoyed the people watching and listening to all the different languages. Death Valley brings in lots of tourists from all over the world. I enjoyed watching people taking selfies and doing jump poses for their social media. Click here to read the history of Zabriskie’s Point. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zabriskie_Point
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
The sand dunes are probably one of the most popular locations, and we decided to go there at sunrise. To not have a ton of footsteps not in your shot, we walked pretty far in to get the sand as smooth as possible. We didn’t want to walk too far out because by the time the sun rises, and the heat is scorching hot, you have to walk back to your car. This was one of my favorite spots on the trip, It’s so relaxing, and the sunrise on the dunes is absolutely gorgeous. https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/nature/sand-dunes.htm
Yes…my dad has a coffee cup. lol.
Oasis at Death Valley
After the Dunes, we had a nice breakfast at the beautiful Oasis at Death Valley. This hotel is gorgeous and literally is an oasis in the desert. The breakfast was fantastic, and we enjoyed the window seat. It’s just been newly renovated, and it feels like you stepped into a set of a 1920’s film. If you really want to splurge, then this is the place to stay as there are only three hotels in Death Valley. We stayed at the Ranch which is perfect for our needs. https://www.oasisatdeathvalley.com/
The Artist’s Palate
We got here a little before sunset, and again we enjoyed the tourist watching as we waited for the sun to set. The colors of the minerals are amazing, and right after the sunset, I hauled butt up the hill and had my dad take a photo of me in my Vietnamese wedding gown. I think people thought we were crazy but it was fun!
This was taken right before the sunset so you can’t see the colors as well.
If you want to do some off-roading, I highly suggest you rent a jeep. My Mazda was not going to do well for off-roading, but definitely next time I will rent one and see more sites.
Amargosa Opera House and Hotel
Located in Death Valley Junction, there is a historic building called the Amargosa Opera House and hotel. This opera house has an interesting story and is said to be haunted. There isn’t much in this town but the opera/hotel and one restaurant. Most of the houses are boarded up, and you can’t go close to them. They used to be more open, and you could photograph them easily, but things are no longer what they used to be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amargosa_Opera_House_and_Hotel
To see panoramic views of the southern Death Valley basin go to Dante’s View. From the parking lot you can take several paths. A cool fact is that this location was used for the 1977 Star Wars film.
Harmony Borax Works
This is a quick little stop where you learn about the borax plant. Imagining 40 men producing three tons of borax daily is pretty crazy.
Got this insane Sunset photo.
Night shot. You can get way better shots than this but I was pretty tired and just stuck to staying near where we were staying.
You can go golfing at Furnace Creek.
We got here a little after sunset and get ready for a little bit of a walk. It looks shorter than it really is. (to me that is) Badwater Basin is 282ft below sea level and right by the parking lot there is an itty bitty sign where you can see where the seal level is. The salt makes these beautiful patterns. Again, we went super early because it gets HOT.
Some photos while driving to different locations and on our drive back.
Canon Mark IV
Canon 50 mm lens
Sigma Art 35 mm lens