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  • Basecamp Outdoor Gear Team

Where to camp near Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is one of the largest national parks in the United States. Although it is known for being the lowest and hottest place in North America, much of the park is actually in higher elevation. This makes Death Valley a wonderful year-round destination!


Below is a summary of places to camp in or near Death Valley. Skip to section according to the season you'll be visiting and/or your vehicle type:


Dispersed Camping in Death Valley

Best campgrounds in winter (any vehicle)

Best campgrounds in spring and fall (any vehicle)

Best campgrounds in summer

Backcountry Campgrounds (4WD only)

RV Parks in and around Death Valley

tent in the desert
Mesquite spring Campground - Death Valley National Park

Dispersed Camping in Death Valley

Death Valley National Park allows for roadside camping along most of the park's dirt roads. We recommend you drive a high-clearance 4WD vehicle with all-terrain tires on all Death Valley dirt roads. Check your spare tire and bring your own water and emergency food. Most of the park will not have cell phone reception, so download backcountry maps prior to heading out.


Always check weather and road conditions before setting out on the dirt roads of Death Valley. Summer rains often produce muddy conditions and flash floods destroy whole sections of roads. Many of the dirt roads in the park quickly gain elevation and become impassable in winter due to snow.


Note that off-road driving is prohibited and campfires are not allowed in the backcountry. Refer to the park's backcountry page for more information about dispersed camping regulations and obtaining a voluntary overnight permit.

At Basecamp, we rent 7-gallon water jugs, various sizes of coolers for your emergency food supply, and even shovels in case you need to dig yourself out of a sandpit.


Established Campgrounds in Death Valley - Any Vehicle (WINTER ONLY)


Texas Springs Campground

Texas Springs Campground is hands-down my absolutely favorite-est campground in winter in Death Valley! Located in the hills of Furnace Creek, this campground has great views -- and even some trees. Best of all - for tent campers - no generators allowed. PLUS, each site has a fire grate and picnic table. Cell phone reception and data is spotty. Flush toilets and potable water available in a central location. Campground closed annually April-October due to extreme summer heat.

Our thoughts about this campground: LOVE IT! Beautiful views, quiet, perfect temperatures (most of the time), and a great location close to many Death Valley attractions.

Reservations: First-come, first-serve. Check nightly rate here


Furnace Creek Campground

This campground is within walking distance of Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Furnace Creek Ranch. Although it is in the center of everything, individual campsites offer a great deal of privacy. They are divided by desert and oasis-like vegetation. Each site is unique. Some sites are small, some are large and spacious, and most but not all sites, have a fire grate and picnic table.

Flush toilets and potable water available year-round. Cell phone reception and data is spotty. Some sites have full hook-ups for RVs and some sites are tent-only. A couple of sites even have trees that are big enough to hold hammocks!

Our thoughts about this campground: This is the most popular campground in the park, and for good reason. Each site is unique. Once you decide if you're staying in a trailer, RV, or tent, reserve your site accordingly and you won't be disappointed. Note that this campground is open year-round BUT don't stay there between April-October. In summer, nightly LOW temperatures are ABOVE 90 degrees F!!!

Reservations: YES, book here 6 months in advance. Coveted spots go quick!


Stovepipe Wells Campground

This location has little vegetation and offers views of the desert and of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. It's basically a big gravel parking lot. No hook-ups. Only 28 sites have picnic tables and fire rings/grates. Flush toilets and potable water available. Cell phone reception and data is pretty good for most networks. Campers can purchase a pool pass at the hotel across the street which also allows access to showers. Campground closed annually April-November due to extreme summer heat

Our thoughts about this campground: It's kind of bare, vegetation offers little privacy, and the location is far from most Death Valley attractions. Stay here if you are traveling in a fuel-efficient vehicle or if you just need a place to stop for one night.

Reservations: First-come, first-serve. Check nightly rate here

Established Campgrounds in Death Valley - Any Vehicle (BEST IN SPRING AND FALL)

The following campgrounds are open year-round. However, spring and fall are the best seasons to stay at these campgrounds. Winter nights could get a bit chilly, yet manageable. Summer nights will be uncomfortably hot.


Mesquite Spring Campground

A small campground in the northern part of the park, closest to Scotty's Castle, Mesquite Spring is surrounded by desert mountains and geological features. Each site has a fire grate and picnic table. No hook-ups. Flush toilets and potable water available year-round. No cell reception.

Our thoughts about this campground: LOVE IT! Beautiful views, perfect temperatures (most of the year), super isolated yet offers comfortable amenities. The only downside is that Mesquite Spring is far from the popular Death Valley attractions. If you stay here multiple nights, make sure to have a fuel efficient vehicle. Or stay here if you have a 4WD and explore the surrounding dirt roads.

Reservations: First-come, first-serve. Check nightly rate here


Panamint Springs Campground

Although this is part of the rundown Panamint Springs Resort, this campground is surprisingly comfortable for tent camping. All sites have fire pits and most sites have picnic tables. There are only 6 full hook-up RV sites, and the electricity is produced by diesel generators. It's not very pretty. There are also a handful of tent cabins with cots, but you have to provide your own bedding (aka sleeping bags).

Showers, flush toilets, and potable water available year-round. No cell phone reception. No Wi-Fi.

Our thoughts about this campground: Feels a bit run down. The check-in area, general store, and gas station all seem like something is going to break at any moment. I suppose that's part of the appeal? The location is far from most Death Valley attractions, but it's a little higher in elevation so the camping weather is nice most of the year. Stay here if you are traveling in a fuel-efficient vehicle or if you just need a place to stop for one night.

Reservations: YES. Book here


Emigrant Campground

A small FEE-FREE campground on the side of Hwy 190, about 10 miles southwest of Stovepipe Wells. There are only 10 sites here but they don't fill up until late at night. Picnic tables available. No hook-ups. No campfires. Flush toilets and potable water available year-round. No cell reception.

Our thoughts about this campground: Great backup campground for a night if you're in a bind. It's on the side of the highway so quite loud with each passing vehicle and offers no privacy.

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.

Established Campgrounds in Death Valley (SUMMER ONLY)

There are only three established campgrounds in the entire park that are in high enough elevation to be comfortable in summer.


Wildrose Campground

Wildrose is the only campground in the entire park that you can easily drive to in a small sedan in summer. It is a small FEE-FREE campground in the Panamint Mountains, about 9 miles down the road from the Telescope Peak trailhead. There are only 23 sites here but there's usually space for everyone. All sites have picnic tables and fire grates. No hook-ups. Could get windy.

Vault toilets and potable water available year-round (though water spigots may be frozen in winter). No cell reception.

Our thoughts about this campground: LOVE IT! It's a beautiful tranquil setting near the Charcoal Kilns and the trailhead to Wildrose Peak. With high clearance you can continue up the road to the next campgrounds and the Telescope Peak trailhead. With a 4WD you can also explore the surrounding dirt roads with ease.

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.


Thorndike Campground

A small FEE-FREE campground located in the mountains, about a mile down the road from the Telescope Peak trailhead. Thorndike campground is accessible only by high-clearance vehicle. There are only 6 sites here but there's usually space for everyone. All sites have picnic tables and fire grates. Vault toilets available. No water. No cell reception. Closed in winter due to snow.

Our thoughts about this campground: Love it for its isolation and fresh air, but you must have a high-clearance vehicle to get here!

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.


Mahogany Flats Campground

Mahogany Flats is a small FEE-FREE campground at the Telescope Peak trailhead, accessible only by high-clearance vehicle. There are only 9 sites here but there's usually space for everyone. All sites have picnic tables and fire grates. Vault toilets available. No water. No cell reception. Closed in winter due to snow.

Our thoughts about this campground: Love it for its isolation, fresh air, and great views, but you must have a high-clearance vehicle to get here!

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.

Backcountry Campgrounds (4WD ONLY)

When we say 4WD, we mean high-clearance and all-terrain tires in addition to the 4-wheel-drive transmission! Make sure you have good tires for any backcountry drive in Death Valley. Check the tire pressure, check your spare, and add a second spare tire for good measure.


Homestake Dry Camp

Homestake is the backcountry campground at the Racetrack. It is a primitive campground with one rickety old outhouse for a toilet. There are no other amenities and no cell phone reception. The camping temperature is nearly ideal here year-round, though winter nights will get very cold and summer nights will get very hot.

Our thoughts about this campground: So great to have a campground at the Racetrack! After countless hours of driving to see the Racetrack, the last thing you want to do is to drive back out. It's really nice to spend one night here, even though this is a primitive bare desert campground. The road to the Racetrack is full of sharp rocks!

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.


Warm Springs Campground

Warm Springs at Saline Valley is a clothing-optional built-up hot spring area in the middle of the desert. As the name implies, the soaking pools are not very hot. Sometimes they may even feel cold, especially if it is windy out. Warm Springs is best visited in early spring or late fall. The road to get there may occasionally close in winter due to snow, but the campground itself is located in a lower elevation, which means it gets too hot in summer. Although this small area has a bunch of random man-made structures, you cannot count on the availability of amenities such as toilets, potable water, or picnic tables.

Our thoughts about this campground: This area is out of this world, for better or worse. I recommend that you approach it with an open mind. Sometimes it is clean, sometimes it is filthy, but you can be sure to meet some strange characters soaking in the hot springs at any moment. Because it is so remote, no one maintains this area on a regular basis. Please do your part and clean up after yourself!

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.


Eureka Dunes Campground

A small campground at the base of the Eureka Sand Dunes. All sites have picnic tables and fire grates and share one vault toilet. No water. No cell reception. The camping temperature is nearly ideal here year-round, though winter nights will get very cold and summer nights will get very hot.

Our thoughts about this campground: Love it for its isolation and its magical sunsets and sunrises.

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.

RV Parks in and around Death Valley


Fiddler's Campground

This is a private campground operated by the same company that runs the restaurants and convenience store at Furnace Creek. It is, therefore, within walking distance of all of these amenities, including the lowest golf course in the world. Individual sites do not have their own picnic tables. Campfires are only allowed in a couple of designated public areas within the campground. RV sites do not have water, sewer or electrical hookups and are back-in only.

Flush toilets, potable water, showers, spring-fed swimming pool, morning coffee, and Wi-Fi are all included in the nightly rate. Cell phone reception and data is spotty.

Our thoughts about this campground: This is a commercial campground, and it feels like it. The amenities are great! Stay here if you are traveling with kids in an RV. If you're in a tent, stay somewhere else. Only stay here in winter. This campground is open year-round but don't stay there between April-October. In summer, nightly LOW temperatures are ABOVE 90 degrees F!!!

Reservations: YES. Book here


Stovepipe Wells RV Park

This is a private RV Park made up of only 14 full hook-up sites. It is operated by the same company that runs the adjacent hotel and restaurant at Stovepipe Wells.

Flush toilets, potable water, showers, swimming pool, and Wi-Fi at the hotel lobby are all included in the nightly rate. Cell phone reception and data is spotty.

Our thoughts about this campground: This is a commercial campground, and it feels like it. The amenities are great, but it's kind of far from Death Valley attractions. Stay here if you are traveling with kids in an RV that's pulling a sedan/AWD. That way you can leave the RV and drive around the park to explore. Only stay here in winter. This campground is open year-round but don't stay there between April-October. In summer, nightly LOW temperatures are ABOVE 90 degrees F!!!

Reservations: YES. Book here


Sunset Campground

This location has little to no vegetation and is comprised of desert gravel. In other words, it's a parking lot across the road from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. No hook-ups. Individual sites do not have their own picnic tables. Campfires are only allowed in a couple of designated public areas within the campground. Closed annually April-October due to extreme summer heat.

Flush toilets and potable water available. Cell phone reception and data is pretty good for most networks.

Our thoughts about this campground: Great for RVs that do not need hook-ups or shade.

Reservations: First-come, first-serve.


Tecopa Campgrounds

The town of Tecopa is located just outside of Death Valley. It is known for its hot springs and quirky characters.

Our thoughts about these campgrounds: Great for anyone who enjoys the hot springs scene. There are a few different built-up locations to try around town. Though each is unique in its own way, they are all comparable in quality and price. Also try the free natural pool at the edge of town. You can pitch a tent here for free, but the ground is uneven.


Summary of all Campgrounds in and around Death Valley National Park

Here's a map of all the campgrounds mentioned above. You can filter the points on the map by category by clicking at the upper left corner of the screen on the menu icon.

If you need more information regarding any of the campgrounds mentioned above please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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