A blue tent illuminated from the interior at night with a starry sky in Death Valley National Park, California. Photo: Wilson Ye.

Camping in Death Valley National Park. Photo: Wilson Ye.

Camping in Death Valley National Park is perhaps the best, most immersive way in which to experience the stunning surrounds of the desert landscape. Planned correctly, campers will have a more-than-memorable experience catching sunrises, sunsets, and even wildlife from the comfort of your own tent and fire pit.

The most popular campground within Death Valley National Park is Furnace Creek. Located in you guessed it Furnace Creek, this is Death Valley’s only reservable campground. Open to both RVs and tents, Furnace Creek has bathrooms with flush toilets and sinks, dish washing areas, potable water, fire pits, and picnic tables. A standard site costs $22/night during the park’s busy season, October 15 – April 15, and will run $16/night during the hot season from April 16 – October 14. Hookup RV sites run $36/night year round.

If you want to stay in the Furnace Creek area, but Furnace Creek Campground is booked up, two options remain: Sunset Campground and Texas Springs Campground. Sunset Campground is located just a few miles from Furnace Creek and is primarily used for RVs, although there are no hookups. Tent campers are welcome to stake their claim as well, but fires aren’t allowed and the sites don’t come with picnic tables. The area does, however, have bathrooms and potable water.

Just up the road, Texas Springs Campground has bathrooms with flush toilets, potable water, and dish washing stations. This first come, first serve campsite costs $16/night year round. The lower area of this spot is only for tent campers, while the upper area welcomes both RVs (no hookups) and tents.

A woman wearing a headlamp and cooking at a campsite at dusk. Photo: Yuriy Rzhemovskiy.

Backcounty camping in Death Valley National Park. Photo: Yuiry Rzhemovskiy.

All of the three campsites in Furnace Creek are close to a gas station, general store, (two) restaurants, and a visitors center. As a heads up, firewood is rarely available at any of the stores in the park and even the surrounding towns, so be sure to bring your own if you’re relying on an open flame to cook your food or a good ol’ fashioned bonfire.

Last, Stovepipe Wells is the other main campground within the park boundaries. Like Furnace Creek, it has a gas station and general store close by. Stovepipe Wells Campground is also located next to Mosaic Canyon and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes for easy access to hiking. Both RVs and tents are welcome in this first come, first serve campground, however there are no hookups here with generator hours from 7 am – 7 pm. All sites are $14/night with fire rings, and flush toilets on-site.

Primitive campsites are found throughout Death Valley National Park. These sites are free, and harder to access, with most having pit toilets. If toilets are a must, Emigrant is the only one that has flush toilets, but it doesn’t have fire rings. Wildrose, Thorndike, and Mahogany Flat each have pit toilets and fire pits. Be sure to bring water along if staying at one any these sites, and know how to change a flat tire! Also check the weather forecast as a few of these are located in the higher elevations, where temperatures can get quite chilly.

Finally, when planning a camping trip to Death Valley National Park, be sure have a backup in mind as many of these campgrounds fill up during the busy season. When well-planned, camping in Death Valley is one of the most rewarding and reenergizing camping experiences imaginable.

While you’re visiting, be sure to reference the Escape LA Guide to Death Valley National Park for our favorite hikes, sights, and more.