Where to Stay in Death Valley: From Fancy to Budget

Death Valley National Park has 5,200 square miles of epic landscape. The park is chockablock with sand dunes, slot canyons, colored rock formations, ghost towns and old mining lore. That’s a lot of ground to cover on your trip, so you’ll want to think carefully about where to stay in Death Valley.

Many (but not all) of the most popular sites in Death Valley are located near Furnace Creek, so we will definitely cover lodging in that area. But you also have several options for staying outside of the park, which may work better for your budget. So, we’ll cover those as well.

Where to stay in Death Valley: The Ranch at Death Valley. Grounds and palm trees

If you are thinking of camping in the park, check out our guide which covers all 12 Death Valley campgrounds. But what follows are accommodations in/near Death Valley that are full service, like lodges, cabins and motels.

(This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase, I’ll make a small commission.)

Death Valley Trip Planning Resources

Start with our Death Valley visitor guide. It’s has everything you need to know about trip planning logistics– like when to go, how to get there, park passes, where to get gas, top hikes, top things to do and where to eat.

If Death Valley is part of a larger road trip for you, then check out our guide for getting between Death Valley and San Francisco. It has two different scenic routes with key stops (both within and outside of Death Valley). If you are coming up from further south, then use our Joshua Tree to Death Valley road trip guide. It also has some cool scenic stops between the two parks that are worth seeing. And if you are coming from Las Vegas, we have a guide for that too.

If you are flying into California, there isn’t an airport in Death Valley, but this resource will tell you which airports are the closest to the park.

We recommend spending at least two days in Death Valley. Three+ is even better, because it will give you time to do a few longer day hikes like the Golden Canyon/Gower Gulch loop or Sidewinder Canyon.

And finally, educate yourself before you go by checking out some fun facts about Death Valley. It covers how the park got its deadly name, how a one-eyed mule saved the day and whether Scotty’s Castle actually belonged to Scotty.

The Inn at Death Valley National Park. Exterior and palm trees

Where To Stay in Death Valley (For Killer Locations)

If you can plan ahead and can swing the room rates, the best place to stay in Death Valley in within the confines of the park. There are only three lodges in Death Valley. One is in Stovepipe Wells (which is near the lovely Mesquite Dunes) and the other two are in Furnace Creek (near the Visitor Center). All three book up during the busy season, so don’t dither when it comes to making your reservations.

Frankly, none of these three Death Valley hotels are a screamin’ deal. Staying in within the park will save you a lot of drive time, but you will definitely pay for the privilege. For convenience, I’m listing rough room rates here so that you can see how the hotels compare to one another. But, of course, room rates are highly variable.

The Inn at Death Valley

This lovely Mission-style historic hotel was built in 1927 to accommodate fancy (and intrepid) travelers and Hollywood types like Marlon Brando and Clark Gable. It’s the best place to stay in Death Valley for sheer 4-star luxury. They have groomed grounds, a deluxe pool, tennis courts, a date palm garden and one of the nicest sunsets in the park. They have renovated fairly recently and now also have 22 casitas.

The hotel also has a pool restaurant and a fine dining restaurant. Rooms start at ~$430.

Check reviews and book it here.

The Ranch at Death Valley

The Ranch at Death Valley is located at the center of Furnace Creek and is walkable to the National Park Visitor Center. This lodging in Death Valley is great for families. They have a very kid-friendly pool, a play structure, lots of grounds for running around, an interesting mining equipment exhibit and an 18 hole golf course.

The Ranch has primarily standard hotel rooms, but they are adding more capacity with some cottages. The hotel has quite a few eating options. The Ranch restaurant which offers breakfast and dinner. They also have the Last Kind Words Saloon which has a lovely wood bar and serves drinks, steaks, salads and burgers. The Coffee & Cream is open from 1-7p and has casual food, pizza, sandwiches and ice cream. The 19th Hole has burgers and a full bar (but it closes at 6pm).

They also have a small grocery store which has some basics ,and souvenirs. Rooms start at ~$279

Check reviews and book it here.

Death Valley where to stay Stovepipe Wells village
The General Stove at the Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel.

Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel

The Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel is a perfectly serviceable motel. They don’t have amenities like a pool, but they do have a small store onsite. They also have one of the few gas stations in the park. For dining, they have the Badwater Saloon and the Toll Road Restaurant.

Check reviews on Trip Advisor.

Best Western Pahrump Nevada. exterior grounds and grass
The Best Western in Pahrump.

Where to Stay Near Death Valley (For Budget Options)

If the above Death Valley hotels are full…or you have a tight budget, then you’ll need to stay outside of the park. The most convenient place to do that is in Pahrump. The following accommodations are near Death Valley and are just an hour and 15 minutes south and east of Furnace Creek.

The road to and from Pahrump also takes you right past Zabriskie Point and it’s just a slight detour to visit Dante’s Peak.

Best Western Pahrump Oasis

This family friendly Best Western is well rated for its friendly staff and free breakfast. They also have a pool and the hotel is easily walkable to some of the downtown Pahrump restaurants. Rooms start at ~$100.

Check reviews and book here.

K7 Bed & Breakfast

Patty is the proprietor of this motel/B&B and she offers a very friendly budget option (with breakfast). It’s further out of town and offers a more rural experience with porch chairs and desert views. Rooms start at $75.

Check reviews and book here.

CA Ghost town of Ballarat- abandoned wood shed
How about this for lodging in Death Valley? Actually it’s the old jail at the Ballarat ghost town.

Other Options: Ridgecrest and Panamint Springs

If you are coming in from Joshua Tree or LA and just need a place to crash for the night, then you should look at Ridgecrest. It’s not a good location as a base of operations, because it’s 2 hours from Ridgecrest to Furnace Creek. But, you can do one night there and then stop at Ballarat ghost town and Mesquite Dunes on the way into the park proper.

Ridgecrest has the usual assortment of motels. The Quality Inn is the most well rated. It has a pool, good sized rooms and free breakfast.

Check reviews and book here.

Another option is an overnighter in Panamint Springs. There are limited options in Panamint Springs but it can be a good choice if you are coming down from Highway 395. It’s an hour southeast of Lone Pine and another hour from Panamint Springs into Furnace Creek.

Panamint Springs is a small rustic resort with an RV park, cottages and tent cabins. They have a modest restaurant/bar, service station and a small grocery.

Book it here.

The Ranch at Death Valley reception. Adobe building and palm trees
Reception for The Ranch.

Preparing for Your Death Valley Road Trip

The popular sites in Death Valley are spread out all over creation. And while the hotels in Death Valley all have restaurants and small stores, it’s not always convenient to head back to Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells just to grab lunch. In addition, there is not a larger grocery store within an hour+ of the park.

My friends make fun of me for always traveling with a small cooler and sandwich fixin’s. But believe me, you’ll want that in Death Valley. I recommend that you stock up on food and snacks at a grocery store before you enter the park.

Take a good sized cooler that will keep cold in the heat and will hold a decent amount of lunch and snack items. The Yeti coolers are expensive, but they keep food cold for far longer than cheaper coolers. Plus, they come in fun colors. Alternatively, you can get a plug-in cooler, which uses your car’s 12 volt plug to keep things cold.

Remember, this is the Mohave Desert after all, and the trailheads and vista points don’t have water. Bring a water bottle for on the go and stock the car with larger refillable bottles like this wide mouth gallon jug.

Mobile service is rotten throughout Death Valley, so don’t count on your phone to do your mapping for you. This is one of those times when an old school map will serve you well. We love the Benchmark California Road Atlas. It has a lot of detail, showing state parks and campsites as well as both paved and dirt roads.

The California Road & Recreation Atlas

Explore More California National Parks

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