Being nearly 8000 miles away from my family, there was no other way to celebrate the long Thanksgiving weekend than going camping! Death Valley was an obvious choice. It’s nearly 5 hours away from my place in west LA, so this 4 days break is perfect. Although I’ve been to Death Valley National Park once before back in February, Dante’s View and Zabriskie Point were the two main landmarks that I skipped out.
Zabriskie Point is a popular viewpoint in the park due to its easy access from the parking lot, unique rock features even by the standard of Death Valley, and close proximity from Furnace Creek (the central area of Death Valley).
Where: Death Valley National Park, Central California
How To Get There: Viewpoint located on HWY 190 about 5 miles east of Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Ranch.
Amenities: Toilets, parking area, paved walkway to the viewpoint
Trail: well maintained short trail around the viewpoint
My friend had a great idea that we should rise early for a sunrise view. I naturally agreed and Zabriskie Point was merely minutes of driving away from our base at Texas Spring Campground.
We got up at 5am and headed out to the point. We weren’t surprised that there were already 5 cars in the parking lot- many dedicated photographers here. When we got there, the sun was still far below the horizon and the moon was still shining bright in the sky. We knew it was almost time as the stars were disappearing fast.
We picked a spot facing where the sun will come up and I got a few good shot of the moon with my new DSLR camera (still learning how to use it), which is a huge step up from my lovely Galaxy S3 camera.
When the lay of light started to touch the top of Telescope Peak, I moved to face the actual Zabriskie Point and was completely stunned by the illuminated pink lights behind the orange glowing peaks with still a few sparkling stars in the sky. It was all worth the early rise.
Dozens of tourists joined us to appreciate this amazing sight. It was a busy weekend, and I made me want me to come back after New Year when the crowd calms down so I’ll have the 3.4 million acre park more to myself.
We spent a total of 2 hours at the viewpoint, and it was the best way to end an epic weekend of camping before heading home. Death Valley, see you again soon.
daytime images of Zabriskie Point
more on Death Valley National Park
- Road Trip Death Valley in One Day
- Hike Ubehebe Crater
- Explore Mesquite Sand Dune
- See The Colorful Side of Desert at Artist’s Palette