Where to Stay in Death Valley

Death Valley is an arid desert expanse in Eastern California. Sitting to the north of Mojave, Death Valley survives without rain and is one of the hottest places on earth. The landscape experiences just five centimeters of rain every year. To put that into context, the average rainfall in the USA’s capital city of Washington DC is 101.6cm annually.

As one of the most difficult environments on earth, traveling in Death Valley calls for preparation. It isn’t called Death Valley without good reason. Sadly, every year there are reports of fatalities of ill-prepared explorers heading out into the wilderness without sufficient supplies.

Death Valley is an exciting and safe place to explore if common sense prevails. One of the most popular ways to explore Death Valley is by 4X4. Many people explore Death Valley on foot. Suffice to say, after a long day in the heat, returning to a cool hotel room for a cold shower and some air conditioning is a welcome relief.

There are just 280 people who live within the Death Valley zip code, but there are plenty of accommodation options out there for avid adventurers to discover.

Let’s take a look at where to stay in Death Valley:

Beatty

Beatty, Nevada

Source: alarico / shutterstock

Beatty

The unincorporated town of Beatty can be found in the state of Nevada. Just a 25-minute drive from the Death Valley National Park Information Centre, Beatty is an ideal place to stay for travelers keen to explore Death Valley from dawn until dusk.

A sleepy desert town, home to just over 1000 people, Beatty is the gateway to Death Valley National Park from the Nevada side. Sleepy it may be, but Beatty is a town steeped in history. Travelers can learn about the town’s gold mining past at The Beatty Museum and Historical Society. Settlers arrived in the town in early 1900 and were won over by the area’s golden potential. In the museum, travelers can observe everything from significant documents to photographs – even the odd artifact too.

For those who don’t frighten easily, a trip to the ghost town of Rhyolite is a must during a stay in Beatty. In no way haunted or creepy, there is an eeriness to Rhyolite that is unsettling for anyone who has watched one too many horror movies.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, Couples, Families, Like a Local Travelers, Landscape Lovers, Road Trippers, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Death Valley National Park, The Beatty Museum and Historical Society, Rhyolite Ghost Town, Goldwell Open Air Museum, Death Valley Nut & Candy Store, Tom Kelly’s Bottle House, Bullfrog Hills, Gold Centre, Grapevine Peak, Chloride City, Las Vegas

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Atomic Inn Beatty Near Death Valley – Atomic Inn is a good hotel in the sleepy town of Beatty. The hotel is ideal for unfussy travelers who are seeking a comfy bed, a shower and a half decent internet connection in the middle of the desert. It could be argued that the Atomic Inn is a little dated but it only adds to the charm.
  • Death Valley Inn & RV Park – Death Valley Inn & RV Park is a very good accommodation option in Beatty. There are both motel rooms available and parking spaces for RVs. The facilities at the motel include a BBQ terrace, a hot tub, and a swimming pool. Pets are allowed at Death Valley Inn & RV Park. There is free WiFi.
  • Exchange Club Motel – Exchange Club Motel is a good hotel in Beatty. The rooms are humble and affordable, ideal for budget travelers simply seeking a place to sleep and shower. All the rooms offer tea and coffee making facilities and feature a fridge. Each room has a 32-inch flat screen TV with cable channels.

Ridgecrest

Near Ridgecrest And Death Valley California

Source: Geir Olav Lyngfjell / shutterstock

Near Ridgecrest And Death Valley California

Ridgecrest can be found on the Californian side of Death Valley National Park. Set along U.S Route 395, Ridgecrest is an established town with a population of around 27,000 people.

Ridgecrest was originally called Crumville, after James and Robert Crum, who established the settlement in 1912. Both were dairymen and played a pivotal role in creating the community itself. The first post office was not opened until 1947 – until that time, Crumville-Ridgecrest kept to itself.

The beauty of staying in Ridgecrest is that it is equidistant from Death Valley National Park and the famous Sequoia National Forest. What’s more, Los Angeles is just a 2.5-hour drive away. Ridgecrest is an ideal base for travelers keen to experience the extreme wilderness of California while ticking off some more overtly touristy destinations too. Las Vegas is also an accessible day trip.

During a visit to Ridgecrest, a trip to the Maturango Museum-Indian Wells is an opportunity too good to miss. The museum features exhibits on the Mojave desert and petroglyphs.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, Couples, Families, Like a Local Travelers, Landscape Lovers, Road Trippers, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Maturango Museum-Indian Wells, Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Forest, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, China Lake Golf Course, Casey’s Steaks & Barbecue, Cocina Caliente Mexican Restaurant, Leroy Jackson Park, Petroglyph Park, Sierra Vista Shopping Center, Grass Valley Wilderness Area

Hotel Recommendations:

  • SpringHill Suites Ridgecrest – SpringHill Suites Ridgecrest is a fabulous hotel on East Syndor Avenue. Situated just a couple of blocks from the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center, the hotel is in a great location. The rooms are bright, spacious, and modern. All feature air conditioning and free WiFi. There is an outdoor swimming pool.
  • Best Western China Lake Inn – Best Western China Lake Inn is a top pick in Ridgecrest. The rooms have a cozy, homely feel and offer everything travelers could ask for. The beds are wonderfully comfortable and have plenty of pillows. There is air conditioning throughout the hotel, free WiFi, and free parking too.
  • Clarion Inn Ridgecrest – Clarion Inn Ridgecrest is a very good hotel on North China Lake Boulevard. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and free WiFi throughout the hotel. There are two restaurants in-house to choose from. There are BBQ facilities for guests to use on a complimentary basis too.

Lone Pine

Lone Pine, California

Source: MattLphotography / shutterstock

Lone Pine

Sandwiched between Death Valley National Park to the east and Sequoia National Park to the west, Lone Pine is the perfect place to stay for adventure travelers in California. Offering affordable accommodation options and easy access to some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes, there is a lot to love about Lone Pine.

Sitting in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and overlooked by Mount Whitney, the wilderness is never too far away in Lone Pine. A tiny town that is usually a thoroughfare for travelers heading north or south along Route 395, Lone Pine is well worth a visit. It is an ideal place to use as a base.

Of the few man-made attractions in Lone Pine, the best to visit is the Lone Pine Film History Museum. There are dozens of films shot in and around the Lone Pine area. The museum houses everything from costumes and scripts to props and posters. It provides some fascinating insights into the world of film and production.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, Couples, Families, Like a Local Travelers, Landscape Lovers, Road Trippers, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Lone Pine Film History Museum, Mobius Arch, Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, Coso Range Wilderness Area, Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center, Inyo National Forest, Kings Canyon National Park, Ridgecrest, Keynote Peak, New York Butte, Owens Lake, Muah Mountain, Mt Whitney Golf Course, Frosty Chalet Hamburger Restaurant, Totem Cafe

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Comfort Inn – Offering gorgeous views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Comfort Inn is a top pick in Lone Pine. Boasting a swimming pool and sunbathing terrace, Comfort Inn offers excellent value for money. Breakfast is included in most room rates. There are hot waffles and great coffee served up each morning.
  • Lone Pine Budget Inn – Lone Pine Budget Inn is a good hotel in Lone Pine. The rooms are simple but comfortable. All rooms feature air conditioning and free WiFi. Each room has a kitchenette for preparing basic meals. There is a flat-screen hotel in each room showing cable channels. Free parking is available on-site.
  • Whitney Portal Hostel and Hotel – Offering both cheap hostel dorm beds and spacious private rooms, Whitney Portal Hostel and Hotel is the perfect place to stay in Lone Pine for budget-conscious travelers. The whole hotel is air-conditioned and there is free parking available on-site. There is a coffee machine in each of the private rooms.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Source: Nido Huebl / shutterstock

Las Vegas

For travelers who are keen to visit Death Valley but are new to the concept of adventure travel, there is the perfect place to stay just around the corner; Las Vegas is not only one of the most exciting cities on earth, but is just a stone’s throw away from Death Valley National Park.

It is possible to take a day trip to Death Valley National Park from Las Vegas or drive over to the park every day of the trip. The drive is just under two hours and is rather scenic.

Las Vegas is known as Sin City. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. There are countless casinos and cabarets to discover in the Entertainment Capital of the World. There are dozens of 5-star hotels in Las Vegas, so travelers who enjoy the finer things in life can have their home comforts and more before they venture out into the wilderness of Death Valley.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventure Travelers, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Foodies, Music Lovers, LGBT Travelers, Sightseers, Shopaholics, Party People, Young Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Death Valley National Park, Las Vegas Strip, Bellagio Hotel & Casino, MGM Grand Casino, Luxor Hotel & Casino. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Charleston Peak, Mojave National Preserve

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Embassy Suites Las Vegas – Embassy Suites Las Vegas is a fabulous hotel on Swenson Street. The rooms are spacious and bright. All feature modern furnishings and an ensuite bathroom. Embassy Suites is set in a quiet area of Las Vegas, near the university. The Las Vegas Strip is just a 5-minute drive away.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas – Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas is a popular choice for travelers to Las Vegas. Offering some rooms with mountain views, others with city views, there is a lot to love about Four Seasons. The facilities are fantastic – there is an outdoor swimming pool. The in-house restaurant serves a thoughtful menu with matching cocktails.
  • Hyatt Palace Las Vegas – Hyatt Palace Las Vegas is a top pick in Las Vegas. Featuring a high-tech fitness center and an outdoor swimming pool, Hyatt Palace has everything travelers could ask for. There is air conditioning throughout the hotel, free WiFi too. The Gallery Cafe is open 24-hours.

Pahrump

Pahrump

Source: MarieKaz / shutterstock

Pahrump

The tiny town of Pahrump is an off the beaten track spot to stay in Death Valley. Sitting 60 miles to the west of Las Vegas, Pahrump offers adventure after adventure. From coffee roasters and wineries to track days and golfing afternoons, there is never a dull moment in Pahrump.

To look at Pahrump on the map, many travelers would simply pass it off as another sleepy, deserted Nevadan town. Nothing could be further from the truth. The annual Grape Stomp is great fun for all the family and happens every October. October is a good month to visit Death Valley National Park as temperatures start to drop a little.

For lovers of off-road adventures, Pahrump is an excellent place to stay in Death Valley. Travelers can book in for a high-speed racing experience day, or head out on an off-road adventure.

Naturally, being in Nevada, Pahrump has its fair share of casinos. Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Gambling Hall is a popular hangout for locals.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, Couples, Families, Like a Local Travelers, Landscape Lovers, Road Trippers, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Gambling Hall, Annual Grape Stomp, Pahrump Valley Speedway, Lake Spring Mountain, Sanders Family Winery, Pahrump Valley Winery, Pahrump Valley Museum, Lovell Canyon, Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley National Park, Goodwill Open Air Museum, Badwater Basin, Ash Meadows, China Ranch Date Farm & Bakery

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pahrump – Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pahrump is a superb hotel in Pahrump. Popular with couples, families and solo travelers, this Holiday Inn Express ticks all the right boxes. There is a fitness center and swimming pool for guests to use as they please. Breakfast is included in most room rates and parking is free.
  • Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino – Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino is the most famous hotel in town. A popular hangout for local gamblers and adventurous travelers, Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino is a top pick in Pahrump. Each room has an ensuite bathroom and complimentary toiletries. There is a full-sized bowling alley within the complex too.
  • Best Western Pahrump Oasis – Best Western Pahrump Oasis is a very good hotel in Pahrump. Each room offers tea and coffee making facilities and a mini-fridge. Ideal for families, there is an in-house diner and a games room. There is an outdoor swimming pool and sun deck. Pets are allowed and there is free parking.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Death Valley, California (CA)
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Death Valley:

Beatty, Nevada

  • Beatty: alarico / shutterstock
  • Near Ridgecrest And Death Valley California: Geir Olav Lyngfjell / shutterstock
  • Lone Pine: MattLphotography / shutterstock
  • Las Vegas: Nido Huebl / shutterstock
  • Pahrump: MarieKaz / shutterstock