how much does it cost to drive through death valley



As a nature enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty and harshness of Death Valley. Located in California, Death Valley is known for its extreme heat and stunning landscapes. One of the best ways to experience the vastness and grandeur of Death Valley is by driving through it. However, many people wonder about the cost of such a trip. In this article, I will provide a detailed breakdown of how much it costs to drive through Death Valley, including all the expenses you may encounter along the way.

Gasoline Costs

One of the major expenses when driving through Death Valley is the cost of gasoline. The area is known for its long stretches of desolate roads, so it’s essential to fill up your tank before embarking on this journey. The price of gasoline can vary depending on where you start your trip, as well as the current gas prices. It’s important to research the cost of gas in the surrounding areas and plan accordingly. Additionally, it’s advisable to fill up your tank at every available opportunity to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of the desert.

Vehicle Maintenance

Before setting off on your Death Valley road trip, it’s crucial to ensure that your vehicle is in optimal condition. This may include getting an oil change, checking the tire pressure, and performing any necessary maintenance to prevent breakdowns in the desert. While these maintenance costs may vary based on your vehicle’s make and model, it’s important to budget for them to avoid any unexpected expenses during your trip.

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Entrance Fees

Death Valley National Park charges an entrance fee for visiting the park. The cost of entrance can vary depending on the type of vehicle and the number of passengers. It’s important to check the current entrance fees on the National Park Service website before planning your trip. These fees go towards maintaining the park and its facilities, such as visitor centers, campgrounds, and trails.

Lodging and Camping

For travelers who plan to spend the night in Death Valley, lodging and camping costs should be factored into the overall budget. Death Valley offers a range of accommodation options, from hotels and motels to campgrounds and RV parks. The prices can vary based on the type of lodging and the time of year, so it’s important to research and book in advance if necessary. Camping fees also apply for those who choose to stay at one of the park’s campsites.

Food and Supplies

Another cost to consider when driving through Death Valley is the price of food and supplies. Given the remote nature of the area, there are limited dining options within the park, so it’s advisable to bring your own food and water. Additionally, it’s essential to pack all the necessary supplies for the journey, such as sunscreen, maps, and emergency provisions. These costs should be factored into the overall budget to ensure a comfortable and safe trip.


Driving through Death Valley can be an unforgettable experience, but it’s important to consider the costs involved in such a journey. From gasoline and vehicle maintenance to entrance fees and lodging, there are several expenses to budget for when planning your trip. By carefully researching and budgeting for these costs, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable road trip through one of the most stunning and unforgiving landscapes in the United States.


1. Is it safe to drive through Death Valley?

While it can be safe to drive through Death Valley, it’s important to be prepared for the extreme heat, limited services, and long stretches of desolate roads. Ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition and carry adequate supplies for the journey.

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2. Are there any free activities in Death Valley?

Yes, there are several free activities in Death Valley, including visiting the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Badwater Basin, and Dante’s View.

3. Can I bring my pet to Death Valley?

Pets are allowed in Death Valley but must be kept on a leash at all times. It’s also important to ensure your pet has access to water and shade, as the desert heat can be dangerous for animals.

4. What are some essential items to pack for a trip to Death Valley?

Some essential items to pack for a trip to Death Valley include plenty of water, sunscreen, a map or GPS device, emergency provisions, and a first-aid kit.

5. How long does it take to drive through Death Valley?

The duration of your drive through Death Valley will depend on your starting point, the routes you take, and the stops you make along the way. It’s advisable to plan for a full day of driving and sightseeing to truly experience the beauty of the area.