Death Valley National Park

Just across the Nevada border in California is Death Valley National Park. Death Valley is hot, dry, and low altitude.

Sand Dunes in Death Valley. Photo by Britt Lindsay

If you’re after extremes, look no further than Death Valley National Park. Here, you can bag all 11,049 feet of the highest peak in the Panamint Mountains, or plummet back down to a lowly 3000 feet and visit the singing Eureka Dunes. The dry desert sprawls more than three million acres, over which the landscape varies wildy, as do the temperatures: in one day, the air temperature can start at record-holding sizzling heat, and nose dive to near-zero as the sun goes down.

Whether you choose high-elevation hikes or exploring once-prosperous mining towns like the Keane Wonder Mine, you’re sure to encounter more than a few birds on your way. Death Valley has one of the most diverse bird populations of the National Parks. Catch western kingbirds, Phoebes, and meadowlarks--among other hundreds of species--on their way through for spring migration.

Spring is not only for prime bird-watching in Death Valley, though. Along with having the mildest temperatures, late-March brings the blossoming of over 800 kinds of well-adapted plants that live here. If there’s been enough rainfall, wildflower-covered slopes bloom into seas of Sand Verbena and Desert Gold that make for great photo-ops. Or, put your car into four-wheel drive and take in the sights over the 350 miles of unpaved roads that weave through the rest of the park.

--Kenzi Wilbur


Sunrise over Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

National Parks Bordering Utah

There many national parks nearby in addition to Utah's five. Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon are very close and worth the extra drive.

Great Basin National Park

Silver State Stopover at Great Basin National Park

In the Great Basin National Heritage Area, you’ll find Nevada’s only national park and surprising history.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

7 State Parks in Southern Utah

Utah has 43 state parks and recreation areas that includes everything from historic Puebloan ruins to wetlands to wildlife viewing areas.

Emerald Pools Waterfall

Waterfalls in Zion National Park

Somehow, one doesn't expect desert terrain to be home of some of the world's most spectacular water features. But, Zion is full of waterfalls from snow melt.

The Virgin River canyon called The Narrows in Zion National Park

Some Canyoneering Favorites in Zion National Park

Try the sport that includes hiking and technical rock climbing inside Zion National Park including the Narrows, the Subway, and North Creek.

Petroglyph in Zion along a branch of Clear Creek near Mt Carmel Road

Petroglyphs in Zion National Park

Zion has many petroglyph panels inside the park, to the north near Cedar City, and to the south.


Fishing in Zion National Park and Southern Utah

Fishing is allowed in Zion, but is not as common as other pastimes. However, the areas north of Zion are premier fly fishing destinations.


Amphibians in Zion National Park

Frogs, toads and even a salamander are to be found in Zion National Park, thanks to the Virgin River, streams in slot canyons and even monsoon rains.

Video of night sky in Arches National Park on YouTube

Night Skies in Arches National Park

Time-lapse video of the Milky Way over the natural red rock arches in Arches National Park in Utah.