3 Reasons You Should Visit Death Valley National Park

There are many really interesting and unique national parks out there, but for those who really love to mark their checklist of the most different options, then going to visit Death Valley National Park should be high on that list of upcoming park destinations.Death Valley National Park  photo

Amazing Name for Amazing Park

Who doesn’t get intrigued by a name like Death Valley? While images of desert terrain and incredible heat aren’t wrong, they’re also a long way from the complete picture. Home to the hottest air location ever recorded, this desert area has interesting spots to visit. Look at the trails of the “moving” rocks across the desert, take a picture with the famed Tea Kettle Junction sign (and bring one to add, maybe?), visit the lowest point in the U.S. (Badwater Basin), or marvel and the rolling hills and mountains in the desert at Zabriskie Point.Death Valley National Park  photo

Plenty of Space

Here’s a weird fact for you: Death Valley National Park is the largest national park area-wise in the Lower 48. Yup – over 3 million acres of places to explore including trails for hiking, biking, and even driving. You will often feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and if you love those classic “single road going on for miles in the middle of a beautiful nowhere” photographs there are plenty of different opportunities to find those there.Death Valley National Park  photo

Ideal Winter Visit

Make no mistake about it, when you visit Death Valley National Park during the winter the nights can get downright chilly, as they tend to in deserts, however the temperatures in December aren’t going to be as extreme as in a northern park. This can lead to some very pleasant days exploring this incredibly vast area, and while it is increasing in popularity it doesn’t have nearly the traffic headaches or issues many other National Parks do.

When you look at these reasons, it makes a lot of sense why you’ll want to include Death Valley on your next National Park bucket list!

The Death Valley Bucket List

Death Valley received its unfortunate name many years ago when a party of pioneers made a decision to go through the Valley on their way to California. As they traveled through this dangerous region, one of their party members died. All of the other members of the group made it through safely but the legend says that there was a particular member of the group who coined the expression, “Goodbye, Death Valley” as they left.Death Valley photo

If you believe in this legend then you will appreciate that even though this area is extremely dangerous, it is also considered one of the most beautiful National Parks in the United States. Today, however, a trip into this unique Valley will not be dangerous at all as long as you are prepared. In fact, there are some awesome unique experiences in Death Valley that you will not find anywhere else.

To complete your Death Valley bucket list experience will require a 4 hour trip by car from Los Angeles, California. If you leave from Las Vegas, your Death Valley bucket list experience will only be a two-hour trip. The best way to get there from California is by using Highway 190. Some of the wonders that you will encounter while visiting Death Valley include a soak in a natural Hot Spring, a visit to a real ghost town, lively desert wildlife, delightful desert blooms, epic landscapes, and towering sand dunes.Death Valley photo

For example, at Badwater Basin, you are 86 m below sea level. This makes it definitely the lowest point in North America. Right beside the basin, you will see Telescope Peak which rises over 3000 m above sea level. If you want to do a photo shoot, then this is the perfect spot.

Of course, any trip to Death Valley would be incomplete without visiting the towering sand dunes. There are 5 different sand dunes that you can experience. You may even be able to take a moonlit night tour offered by the Park Rangers. If you are fortunate, you might even encounter some of the wildlife that scurries around during the nighttime.Death Valley photo

Most people do not realize that there are more than 1000 plant species throughout Death Valley. The plant life in Death Valley is truly unique. If you have an opportunity to visit between mid-February and early June, you will be in for a spectacular blossom experience that is not found anywhere else. Other interesting side trips should include a visit to a real ghost town and a relaxing soak in a Natural Hot Spring.

Your Banff National Park Bucket List

Banff National Park is one of the natural gems of Canada, and as more pictures and videos have flooded online travel sites, outdoor blogs, and social media the once relatively unknown spot has become an absolute bucket list must for the hiker, camper, and outdoor traveler! Located in the province of Alberta, this is a park with stunning beauty, an amazing array of potential adventures, and some would say unparalleled photogenic scenes. Doing everything here is impossible in one trip, as 994 miles of hiking trails alone can attest to, but having a solid Banff National Park bucket list to help make sure you hit all the major “can’t miss” stops is a great way to still get the most out of it!Banff National Park photo

Kootenay National Park Scenic Drive

There are multiple ways into Banff, and the Kootenay National Park Scenic Drive is a truly impressive stretch of highway built with wonder at the natural world around it in mind. The speeds are relatively slow, but there’s so much to see and gawk at that you’re not going to mind. Hot Springs are directly accessible from this road and it’s a great way to see a lot of Banff whether staying in the car or heading through before starting into another section of the park. You won’t want to miss arguably the most scenic drive in Canada.Banff National Park photo

Climb Cory Pass on the Mt. Edith Circuit Hikes

As a forward warning, this is only for those travelers who are in good shape already. This is a challenging bit of hiking and Cory Pass in particular takes some solid endurance and serious leg strength. That being said, if you’re up for the challenge you are rewarded with some of the most beautiful natural views in Canada and arguably the world. Chances are you’ve seen many pictures online that took your breath away and they were from an angle off of Cory Pass. This may very well not only provide the most beautiful pictures you ever take but the sight will thoroughly embed itself onto your memory as a truly unforgettable sight.Banff National Park photo

Hit the Banff Film Festival

Are you into mountain climbing or at least intense movies about the sport? In the fall there’s the annual independent Banff Film Festival that features many movies around this theme, the recorded adventures of many internationally renowned climbers, all in a beautiful and natural setting. While this won’t be for everyone it’s a great fall checklist item.Banff National Park photo

Explore Lake Moraine

There are easily a dozen major lakes in Banff that are beyond beautiful with crystal clear blue waters and undisturbed wilderness surrounding it. However, even among all those really incredible lakes there is one that truly stands out: Lake Moraine. Lake Moraine is widely considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and even your first glance at it will tell you why. No bucket list for Banff National Park is complete without Lake Moraine on there.Banff National Park photo

In Conclusion

There are Banff National Park bucket lists that are 100 items long, and it’s easy to see. However if you start with the options on this list you won’t be disappointed!