Death Valley Hiking & Camping

Trip Length 6 Days
Group Size 4-10
Activity level
Starting from
$2,099 for REI Members
$2,299 for non-members
Departures Mar 2021-Mar 2021

Spend six days hiking and camping amid the splendor of Death Valley National Park.

By far the largest national park in the contiguous United States, over 90% of Death Valley's 3.3 million acres are protected as designated Wilderness Area. The area?s seldom-traveled backcountry offers a variety of unique hiking opportunities for the active traveler: narrow, labyrinthine slot canyons cut through polished marble and limestone, hidden oases frequented by desert bighorn sheep, and challenging mining trails that climb to remote desert summits.

Our departures take place in spring, an ideal time to visit due to more temperate weather and brilliantly blooming flowers and cacti. Our camping and hiking trip is focused in a secluded wilderness basecamp at the foot of the Funeral Mountains. From here, we spend less time getting to trailheads and more time on the trail. Explore hidden narrows, climb a remote peak for an incredible 360-degree view of the surrounding desert, and hike the Titus Canyon narrows. Adventurers invariably return home from this trip amazed by the scenery and blown away by the memories and friendships made.

We also offer a hotel-based version of this itinerary in the spring, fall and winter.

Voted as one of Outside Magazine's "25 Trips of a Lifetime" - March 2002.

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Trip Highlights

  • Hike in Death Valley National Park amid a remarkable desert landscape
  • Camp at the foot of the Funeral Mountains at a secluded site
  • Visit Dante's View, Badwater, Devil's Golf Course, and more


This trip is rated as Moderate [3]. Trip participants should be capable of hiking up to 10 miles (up to 6 hours), while carrying a 10-15 pound daypack, on terrain that can be rugged and may require some rock scrambling to negotiate. Participants should be accustomed to backcountry camping without access to toilets or running water.

  • Hiking

What's Included

Group camping gear including tents and sleeping pads; meals from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on Day 6; round trip transportation between the group hotel in Las Vegas and Death Valley National Park; van support; expert guide leadership; park entrance fees.


Camping, 5 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Enjoy dinner and an orientation with your guides and fellow hikers.

?Arrive into Las Vegas, Nevada by 8:30am today. From the McCarran Airport, transfer on your own to rendezvous with your fellow travelers and guides at a nearby hotel. The group will meet at 10am and then transfer three hours to our secluded campsite by Funeral Mountain in Death Valley National Park. We'll enjoy dinner and talk about the upcoming week's itinerary. Dinner included.

Driving: 3 hours.

Day 2

Hike through the Funeral Mountains to colorful badlands.

After breakfast, we hike across the foothills of the Funeral Mountains to the multi-colored badlands of Twenty Mule Team Canyon and Golden Canyon. We begin at 1,800' and descend to below sea level through a maze of canyons to a viewpoint overlooking the Death Valley saltpan. Our guides take the time to point out the landscape's fascinating geological features and enlighten us on the natural history of this unique ecosystem. All meals included.

Hiking: 10 miles. Terrain: cross-country through open desert and narrow canyons. Some rock scrambling. 1,900' elevation loss.

Day 3

Explore colorful marble narrows; hike on a canyon rim trail.

This morning our destination is a deep, narrow canyon carved into polished marble and colorful mosaics of dolomite. We hike through several sections of narrows before scrambling out of the canyon to a rim trail that takes us around an unclimbable 25' dry waterfall. The rim trail is the gateway to a deep, twisted gorge and another tall, dry fall and grotto. We follow the rim trail high above the canyon back to the trailhead, stopping to take in the expansive view across Mesquite Flat and Death Valley. Showers will be available this afternoon at Stovepipe Wells Village before we head back to our wilderness camp for the evening. All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles. Terrain: primitive hiking trail and gravel wash bottom; some rock scrambling. Elev. gain/loss: 1,500'.

Day 4

Hike at Dante's View gazing down at Badwater and up at Telescope Peak.

We'll drive to Dante's View at 5,500' and strike off cross-country along the spine of the Black Mountains, with amazing views on both sides. To the west, we'll look down a vertical mile to Badwater and the Death Valley saltpan, with the snow-covered summit of Telescope Peak (11,049') directly across the valley. To the east, we'll look out over range after range of mountains spilling across the California-Nevada border. (Note: if the weather is too chilly, an excellent alternate hike from the Devil's Cornfield to Salt Creek across the floor of Death Valley will be substituted.) All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles. Terrain: cross-country, primitive hiking trail.1,000' elevation gain/loss.

Day 5

Travel through Titus Canyon to Death Valley; sunset picnic on sand dunes.

A drive of 50 miles over a mostly paved road transports us to Red Pass, where we descend (by van) over 5,000' through the Grapevine Mountains to Death Valley proper. Along the way we stop to climb Thimble Peak (6,381'), scrambling up a rocky ridge for an incredible 360� view of the surrounding desert, then hike the Titus Canyon narrows ? an impressive, deeply entrenched slot canyon. (Note: If the weather is too chilly for an ascent of Thimble Peak, an alternate lower elevation hike through the Fall Canyon narrows will be substituted.) We end the day with a barefoot hike out onto the golden Mesquite Flat sand dunes for a sunset picnic dinner. Showers will once again be available at Stovepipe Wells Village en route back to our camp this evening. All meals included.

?Hiking to peak: 5 miles. Terrain: moderately steep, primitive hiking trail plus cross-country; rock scrambling required for optional summit climb. Elev. gain/loss: 1,800'. Hiking Titus Canyon: 2 miles. Terrain: dirt and gravel primitive road. Elev. loss: 500'.

Day 6

Visit Badwater and the Devil's Golf Course before departing.

We finish our exploration of Death Valley appropriately with visits to Badwater and the Devil's Golf Course. Badwater, at 280' below sea level, is just a few miles from the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and quite possibly the hottest spot on earth during the summer months. Nearby, the short, jagged salt pinnacles clustered together to form the Devil's Golf Course shape a bizarre landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see. In the afternoon, we say our goodbyes to this awe-inspiring national park and return to Las Vegas. For those flying home today, flights out of Las Vegas can be scheduled after 7pm. Breakfast and lunch included.

Driving: 4 hours.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary?this will help you and the field staff. Although the name Death Valley conjures images of extreme heat in many people's minds, springtime in the desert can bring a variety of weather conditions including some rainfall and, at higher elevations, even snow! These extremes should prompt you to pack some warmer clothing in addition to the lightweight clothing already on your list. A fleece jacket and long pants are generally indispensable during early morning hours and at dinnertime when temperatures often drop below 50� F.

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Photo Identification

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.