Death Valley hotels are limited in number. In fact, only four hotels can be found within the park boundaries. Three of these hotels are rather rustic in nature, with the remaining hotel offering relatively upscale accommodations. Because of the low number of Death Valley hotels, it can be hard to find a room at the last minute, especially if you are visiting during the peak spring and fall seasons. Generally, it is best to book a room well in advance if you are hoping to go the hotel route. If you are looking to go camping instead, there are Death Valley National Park campgrounds to select from. There are also sites for recreational vehicles, some with full hookups.
Death Valley National Park visitors can also choose to stay at a hotel outside of the park boundaries. Two "gateway towns" in California have accommodations. They are Lone Pine to the west, and Baker to the south. On the Nevada side, the town of Beatty can be a good place to start. An advantage to staying at a hotel in Lone Pine is the proximity of the town to such other regional attractions as Mount Whitney, Kings Canyon National Park, and Sequoia National Park. The town of Baker, it is worth noting, lies on the edge of the Mojave National Preserve.
Death Valley Motels
Since three of the four Death Valley hotels lean towards the rustic side, you could arguably categorize them as motels. The Panamint Springs Resort, which is covered below in a separate paragraph, even classifies its own accommodations as motel rooms. The Furnace Creek Ranch, which is highlighted below as well, is also relatively simple and straightforward. Historically, the third of the park’s more rustic hotels – the Stovepipe Wells Hotel in the village of Stovepipe Wells – was also closer to being a motel than a hotel. Since new ownership took over, however, the property has moved more into the hotel ranks. Standard amenities in the reconditioned rooms at the Stovepipe Wells Hotel include air conditioning, digital clock radios with iPod input jacks, coffee makers, workstation desks, irons, ironing boards, and hair dryers. Deluxe Rooms offer a little more in the way of comfort, with additional amenities including a small refrigerator and a television.
Anyone who is interested in Death Valley motels is encouraged to consider the motels that are found outside of the park boundaries. For starters, these regional motels offer cheaper rooms than the in-park lodging establishments. The aforementioned town of Beatty, Nevada is known for its inexpensive lodging, so it can be a budget-oriented base. Examples of motels in Beatty, Nevada include the Exchange Club Motel and the Motel 6 Beatty/Death Valley.
Furnace Creek Hotels
Furnace Creek Hotels
The Furnace Creek Resort (pictured) is arguably the premier lodging establishment in Death Valley National Park. Operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, it offers two different hotels with swimming pools. The general facilities also include an 18-hole golf course, four restaurants, a saloon, a cocktail lounge, a Borax Museum, and more. In addition to swimming and playing golf, examples of available activities include shuffleboard, basketball, bocce ball, volleyball, tennis, jogging, horseback riding, and hiking. To expand on the Furnace Creek hotels, one is the historic, four-diamond Inn at Furnace Creek. Its 66 rooms are the most comfortable that you will find in Death Valley National Park, and the prices reflect this. The other hotel at the Furnace Creek Resort is the more rustic Ranch at Furnace Creek. It offers 224 guest units, each of which is equipped with a good array of amenities. Generally, the Ranch at Furnace Creek is more family-oriented than the more luxurious Inn at Furnace Creek. The Furnace Creek Resort is found 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Panamint Springs Resort
Panamint Springs Resort Image: °Florian (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
This small and rustic resort in the Panamint Valley can be a good fit for travelers who are looking for an alternative to the larger and often busier Death Valley hotels. Its accommodations include 14 motel rooms and a two-bedroom cottage. As is true of the other lodging establishments in Death Valley National Park, there are campsites and RV sites on or near the property as well. Facilities at the Panamint Springs Resort include a full restaurant, a bar, a general store, and a gas station.