Death Valley National Park is the hottest tourist destination in the United States. While it might look like every other desert scape during summer, the area transforms into an absolutely stunning landscape covered with flowers of different colors during spring and autumn.
If you’re getting ready for an epic adventure in Death Valley National Park, you should know that the region contains 3.4 million acres of land, which means there’s much to see and explore. As exciting as it is to hike through the salt flats and mountainous terrain of Death Valley, choosing appropriate hiking gear is crucial, as the park is practically one of the driest and hottest in the state.
We realize how difficult it can be to know what to pack, so we compiled a list of clothing options, including other items you will likely need during your stay at the park.
Suitable Clothing And Footwear Options For Hiking In Death Valley
Having gone over how hot Death Valley can be, it’s only logical to pack light and breathable clothing to avoid discomfort. In as much as the heat can be almost unbearable during the daytime, it tends to get chilly at night, so a light jacket and a pair of pants should be included in your luggage if you intend to stay the night in Death Valley.
Workout clothing, light cotton shirts, and tank tops are also welcome choices for the desert heat of the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes as they are quite comfortable. Walking boots, hiking shoes, and sneakers are great footwear options if you plan to explore while in the area.
Death Valley National Park Packing List
The weather in Death Valley can be quite erratic. To have an idea of what to expect, make sure to check weather updates in the area, as it will help you plan ahead for your trip.
Below is a list of items and clothing choices suitable for a trip to Death Valley.
1. Sturdy Shoes
Wearing appropriate footwear is essential for hiking. As with all other desert regions, hiking shoes are best for exploring if you plan on visiting Death Valley. These shoes provide sufficient traction as they are usually designed with lug soles to grip both rugged and slippery surfaces of the Mesquite Sand Dunes and Panamint Dunes which are the least visited dunes during summer temperatures.
2. Hiking Socks
Hiking through the Mesquite Flat Dunes and desert terrain of Death Valley during summer can make your feet hot and cause you great discomfort with the wrong footwear.
To avoid this, we advise wearing socks and hiking pants that aren’t too thick. Also, consider wearing sturdy, non-slip shoes to avoid getting blisters.
3. Track Clothing
While daytime temps are exceedingly high in Death Valley, it gets very chilly at night, especially at the Golden Canyon and Furnace Creek Campground. Consider packing a wool sweater, a jacket or something equally warm and comfy if you plan to stay overnight.
Find out some of the best places to camp in Death Valley National Park.
It can be difficult to find shade during the daytime when the sun is at its peak, so make sure to bring along a pair of polarised sunglasses. A pair of polarised sunglasses can come in handy when hiking the long trails of Death Valley, as they’ll help shade your eyes from harsh sunlight and reflections.
5. Hat And Sun Protection
Bring a full-brim breathable hat or a regular baseball hat on your hikes. As hot as the days can be in Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, Stovepipe Wells Village, and other dispersed camping areas, nighttime can be quite cold in Death Valley, so you want as well bring a beanie in case you plan on staying overnight.
General Essentials for Death Valley Backpacking List
Below are some essentials that must be added to your inventory when packing for a hiking trip in Death Valley:
1. Water Bottle
Walking, hiking, or engaging in any exerting activity more than doubles the chances of dehydration. Therefore, it’s important to bring a water bottle along when going on a long or short hike, even when going on a short walk.
It’s a good idea to take enough food to last you for the entire hiking trip. Even if you plan on staying for a single day, pack enough food to sustain you till you get home. The climate in Death Valley can be very unpredictable, so there’s a chance your stay might be extended longer than planned, and you certainly do not want to run out of food if this happens.
3. First Aid Kit
We recommend getting a kit before your trip, as you may not be able to find the items you need unless you head to Las Vegas, which is about two hours away.
It’s essential to be prepared for all eventualities when going hiking in Death Valley. Clothing is a critical part of this preparation and must be chosen appropriately. In order words, you need to pack clothes that will keep you warm during winter and cool in the summertime. Needless to say, you must pack essentials for your hiking trip and prescribe medication if you have any allergies.