My Death Valley Elopement Guide
Listen up, desert lovers! This huge National Park in South Eastern California will have you wondering.. where to elope in Death Valley? And there are SO MANY great spots! My impression before visiting the park was that this park was flat, boring desert, and I could not have been more wrong. The park straddles the Panamint and Amargosa mountain ranges and the valleys between them. Elevation ranges from over 12,000 feet at Jubilee Pass to -282 feet below sea level here at Badwater Basin salt flats.
Colorful Mountains, Canyons & Craters
This park is full of a crazy amount of diverse landscapes. I had no idea that there were huge sand dunes within Death Valley. I didn’t know that the layers of rock have every color imaginable. Deep reds, pinks, blacks and browns contrast with yellow, white, and pale blue bands. There are even a few young volcanic craters that you can walk down into and explore. If you love geology, rocks, deserts and unique landscapes – this is the elopement location for you.
When to Elope in this Desert
When I visited at the height of summer, the high was 121 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t be me!! I actually sent a text to my Mom: “I’m driving through Death Valley today in an old beat up van. If you don’t hear from me, that’s where I’ve died!” Luckily, we and the old beater made it out alive. But the heat here is NO JOKE. In summer, it is dangerous to exert yourself at all and ALL hiking is discouraged. Just making it up to the lookout at Zabriskie point made us nauseous and dizzy. So when planning a season to elope, there is only one answer: Winter, winter winter. And early mornings, sunset, twilight and starlight magic. There are just a few trees in the park, so don’t expect to find any shade. The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was here on July 10th, 1913.
Traveling & Staying In The Park
There are nine campgrounds within the park, a few RV parks and hundreds of miles of dirt roads. The only other accommodation is the Furnace Creek Oasis, which is surrounded by palm trees and greenery. If you need a place with showers and modern luxuries like walls, that’s your go to! The northern half of the park is the least visited and is extremely remote. To access unique craters and the sliding stones valley, a 4wd high clearance jeep is required. Death Valley is north of Joshua Tree, South of Mammoth Lakes, and East of Sequoia National Park.
Where to Elope in Death Valley National Park
Provided you get approval on your permit, you could elope anywhere in this park. The application fee is $300 and all the info and application is here. Include your insurance and vehicle testing applications at the same time for the best results. You can drive up to many of the great views, or hike into the colorful layered canyons. Artist’s Palette is a favorite place of mine, as are the sand dunes for playing in. In the spring, some of the valleys in the south become blanketed in wildflowers. And how cool would it be to exchange vows at the lowest place on the entire continent?
There are even some incredible locations outside the park where you can plan to elope. To see all these locations, download my free guide on where to elope in Death Valley National Park. I can’t wait to share this amazing place with you!