Best Sunset Spot in Death Valley National Park

Note to my fellow wanderers: This guide was written from my first-hand experiences. I try my best not to over-glamorize any location I travel to because I want HappyWander’s content to be as authentic as possible. My goal is to provide you real information so that you can have the best possible adventures wandering the world. Enjoy!

So you’ve navigated to this page because you’re looking for the best sunset in Death Valley National Park. There are quite a few spots to choose from, and it’s hard to choose a bad spot because Death Valley is full of magic. Keep reading to learn 3 top sunset spots and the sunset spot I ended up choosing.

About Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is a must-visit destination for its breathtaking and diverse landscape, featuring stunning salt flats, towering sand dunes, rugged mountains, and colorful geological formations like Artist’s Palette. It offers unparalleled opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, stargazing, and exploring unique natural features like Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, and Telescope Peak, the park’s highest point. I personally believe Death Valley is vastly underrated online. I rarely hear people talking about visiting Death Valley, and it doesn’t get the same reputation as some nearby places like Zion National Park or Yosemite National Park. I loved my day visiting Death Valley, and I think you will too.

Read about my Death Valley National Park hike

Popular Sunset Options

I am going to highlight 3 of the most popular sunset options in Death Valley that I researched, one of which I chose as my spot.

Badwater Basin

Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park is renowned for being the lowest point in North America, offering a unique salt flat landscape that stretches for miles. Its vast open expanse and the surrounding mountains create a stunning backdrop for sunsets, making it a great spot to watch sunset below the horizon.

Here is where you can park:

Dantes View

Dante’s View in Death Valley National Park provides a breathtaking panoramic vista of the valley floor and surrounding mountains, making it one of the best locations to enjoy a stunning sunset. The elevated viewpoint offers unobstructed views and a dramatic setting, allowing visitors to witness the sky’s colorful transformation as the sun sets behind the rugged desert landscape.

Here is where you can park:

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point in Death Valley provides a beautiful colorful view of the badlands and rugged terrain, creating a stunning backdrop for sunset photography. The unique geological formations and vibrant hues of the rocks illuminated by the setting sun make Zabriskie Point an ideal spot to witness the beauty of nature’s evening spectacle. I personally chose Zabriskie Point, and it did not disappoint. Here is me standing at my sunset viewing spot preparing for the sun to go down:

Preparing for Sunset at Death Valley National Park

Here is where you can park:

Planning Your Sunset Adventure FAQs

In this section I will answer some common FAQs you may have about planning your next sunset adventure at Death Valley National Park.

What Time of the Year Should I Go to See the Sunset?

There is really no right answer here, however, you may strongly want to consider going in the winter months due to the heat. I visited in Early March and it was a perfect 70 degrees during the day, but started getting chilly once the sun started going down. Having never been to Death Valley in the summer, you may, however be okay for a sunset given that the average temperature at night in August is 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Time Do I Need To Get to the Sunset Location?

I’d recommend getting to your sunset location of choice at least 30 minutes before the scheduled sunset. In early March, the sunset was at around 5:50 PM, so I was in position by 5:15 PM. There were several professional photographers with their camera stands set up well before I arrived trying to get the perfect spot, so you should take that into consideration.

Can I Use My Phone to Take Photos?

Yes, you can use your phone! I used my Samsung Galaxy 24 Ultra to capture these shots. Professional cameras will further enhance the quality of your photos, but taking photos and videos with a nice phone will certainly do the job.

What’s the Best Sunset Spot in Death Valley?

Great question! I chose Zabriskie Point due to the beautiful canyons, a very windy day that picked up the sand, and out of convenience to my hike starting at Zabriskie Point. There is really no right answer here as to what is the best sunset spot in Death Valley, but I’ll highlight a few popular ones I was considering.

Also, a big note if you’re hiking in Death Valley: There is no wireless reception in the park or within 30+ miles, so make sure you have your sunset destination in your GPS before you enter the area. This is probably the main reason I stayed where I was hiking (I could not navigate to any other option).

My Sunset Spot Choice at Death Valley National Park

As mentioned, I chose to watch the sunset at Zabriskie Point. I have absolutely no regrets, it was a very unbelievable setting with a hundred or so others with the same idea. It’s also quite easy to get to, only a short 5 minute walk from the parking lot. Even from the parking lot, the sunset spot is quite beautiful:

Preparing for Sunset at Death Valley National Park Zabriskie Point

I’ll highlight a couple photos I took to give you an idea of what you might see.

At Sunset

Once the sun started going down, it changed the colors of the canyons. It was quite a mystical experience. Here’s a photo I snapped:

Sunset at Death Valley National Park

After Sunset

Once the sun came up, it beautifully illuminated the canyon and nearby snow.

Best Sunset at Death Valley National Park

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Sunset Spot at Death Valley National Park

If you’ve made the decision to see the sunset at Death Valley, you’re in for a wonderful treat. No matter which location you choose, you can’t go wrong. On this particular day, it was very windy, which helped pick up some sand and dust that really illuminated the sky and nearby mountains. This was certainly one of the most unique sunsets I’ve ever seen, and I’d highly recommend you make a day out of visiting Death Valley and staying for the sunset.

Happy wandering to you!

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Hello! Welcome to HappyWanders! My name is Anthony, I'm on a mission to live a life full of adventure and to help you to do the same. As an ex-corporate worker and current entrepreneur, I've been working to design a life with more time for adventure and less time for the 9-5 grind. If you're ready for an adventure, you're my type of person!

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