January was the best month to visit Death Valley (California): no crowds, a cool weather and very nice breeze. If you visit Death Valley National Park, try to go during winter months !
Henri and I were on our way back to the East coast when we visited Death Valley, with a set deadline, so we only had two days to visit the park. It was enough to see a lot of the park, but we were only able to take one long hike in one of the canyons.Death Valley can be seen rather quickly though as its beauty can be appreciated while driving its very long empty roads:
The absolute must-see is, of course, the lunar landscape of Zabriskie Point. If you are a movie geek, you have heard about Antonioni. If you know Antonioni, you know Zabriskie point… There are more tourists in shorts than naked hippies here nowadays, but the vibe is still quite strange and lunar. One can stay for hours admiring this landscape.
Driving a little further, we were able to admire the Badwater salt flats, and if it has rained they will take the shape of a beehive, which makes it more beautiful. Our version was slightly looking that way. Going early guarantees you to have the desert for yourself. Seeing Death Valley was a special moment for me, and we enjoyed it even if we could only spend a night there.
Camping: we camped at the Emigrant campground, 40 minutes from Furnace Creek Visitor Center. It was a great spot, tents only. It gets really cold at night, I think it’s one of the coldest nights we spent in the van with temperatures in the 30 F. Be ready if you are camping.