Best Photo Spots in Death Valley National Park
If you plan to visit Death Valley National Park and look for the best photo spots for your landscape photography portfolio, this post should give some ideas about where you may consider going. Also, you may check out our location map and photos for more details and precise coordinates of every photo spot mentioned in this post.
The Death Valley National Park, located at the California–Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada, is known for its incredible salt flats, wondrous rock formations, and sand dunes. It is the largest national park in the contiguous United States, providing countless places you can go to explore and photograph. However, if your time is limited, there are a few places beautiful and easily accessible.
1. Zabriskie Point
The first landscape photography location on our list is Zabriskie Point. About a 15-minute drive east on Highway 190 from Furnace Creek Visitor Center will bring you there. With its iconic and eerie landscape consisting of rocks and hills that appear to be stripped yellow and brown, shaped by forces of water, it is trendy for landscape photography. This is where Furnace Creek Lake used to be, drying up more than 5 million years ago, resulting in the scenes of today. The Zabriskie Point is the perfect place for sunrises or sunset, with colors changing all the time. The Manly Beacon seen in the photograph and named after one of the gold rush pioneers is the most prominent feature at this location. It reaches an elevation of 823 feet and is most attractive when photographed during sunrise or sunset.
2. The Badwater Basin
Another photo spot worth the visit and photograph is Badwater Basin. It takes about a 30-minute drive south of Furnace Creek to reach this location. This is the lowest point in North America (282 ft below sea level), covered by 200 square miles of salt flats, leftover from evaporated water from a large ancient lake, and composed of multiple minerals such as sodium chloride, borax, calcite, and gypsum. A short walk over the boardwalk provides easy access to the salt flats. The area is filled with geometric salt polygons glittered over the salt changing its patterns and colors.
3. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
And last photo location on our list is the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. This is where you can see the rippled, glistening curves and canyons of the desert. The area is fascinating, graceful, serene, and soulful. The dunes and landscape seem to stretch forever ahead of you. You’ll see three kinds of dunes, including star, crescent, and linear. The dunes are easily accessible from the parking lot and have no marked trail, so you are free to walk up and down the dunes to find the perfect vantage point. Any lens can be used, but the long one is beneficial to isolate the subject. Time your visit for sunrise or sunset when the dunes cast shadows, creating a strong contrast between a sunlit side of the dune and shadow side.