Welcome to a wonderland that stretches as far as the eye can see—where you can soak up spectacular sunsets and star-filled nights and the only sound you hear is the whir of the wind and the call of the raven. Immerse yourself in nature–tour historic museums–relax in a hot bath, a luxurious Inn or on a golf course.
Pack your hiking boots–your palette and paints–your camera–your birding books and binoculars–your journal–your star maps–your bike–your tent–your 4WD vehicle. And your cell phone won’t work, so don’t bother! We guarantee you’ll leave your troubles behind after entering our world—America’s Outback!
Bicycling is an extremely popular activity in the Death Valley region, allowing active travelers to explore the region in a silent, engaging, low-impact manner on their own or while participating in one of Death Valleys’ annual cycling retreats, century rides, or ultra-distance bicycle races.
Wonderful wildlife can be observed in America’s Outback by the respectful traveler. Jackrabbits, cotton tails, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats and other mice and many lizard species are very common. Coyotes and bobcats are also plentiful but less easy to spot. In higher elevations, mountain lion, Dahl sheep, ringtail cats and other species and more are there if you know how to look. Some species, such as the desert pupfish and tortoise are endangered and only found in this area. Please be very respectful of all wildlife, and never offer human food, destroy habitats, or try to touch wildlife. For example, picking up a desert tortoise is guaranteed to result in its death.
Watching the desert fill with carpets of brilliant wildflowers is an experience unlike any other. Flower seasons are dependent on rains for the previous five months, as well as temperature and wind. Watch the calendar for announcements January through April, with flowers in the higher elevations throughout the summer.
If you love to play tennis, the Furnace Creek Inn has two tennis courts available for guests, and the Furnace Creek Ranch has four. Basketball and vollyball facilities area also available. In Shoshone, courts are available on the High School Grounds, right behind the Shoshone Inn and Shoshone Trailer Park and Camp Ground.
America’s Outback is the driest region in the western Hemisphere. However, that won’t stop you from swimming! Opportunities range from heated pools (some are natural with geothermal waters) to an open reservoir.
Pristine desert skies, out of range of most light pollution from urban areas, make possible night sky vistas that most people do not experience in a life time. The New Moon phase is the darkest, so bring your telescope or use one of ours. Monthly Star Parties are held at the Tecopa Hot Springs Resort, and Night Sky events are offered in Furnace Creek as well.
Gift Shops in America’s Outback offer a wide range of enticing merchandise, from polished stones, clothing and jewelry, to Native American and other fine art, fascinating books on local lore, toys and gifts. Healthy products include locally produces clays, soaps and honey, jams and other preserved foods. And don’t forget to take home a selection of locally grown dates or date baked goods from China Ranch.
It is illegal to remove anything at all from Death Valley National Park or from privately owned lands, so be very aware of where you are. However, on some public BLM lands, you are welcome to search for rocks, whether just a personal favorite or a particular mineral or geological sample you’ve been pining for. Guide books are available in all Visitor’s Centers.
Photographers who visit America’s Outback will find themselves overwhelmed by a sense of rapture at the striking variety of subjects to be photographed in this amazing area. From sunrises to sunsets, vast desert to thriving wetlands, wildflowers, wildlife and vignettes of history, there is something for everyone here. In addition to great artists like Ansel Adams, this area has long been used by commercial photographers to capture unique backgrounds for movies and advertisements. Unless you leave the lens cap on, it is hard to take a bad picture here in America’s Outback.
Enthusiasts of sail planes and paragliders have enjoyed some spectacular flights in America’s Outback. However, flying here is a serious proposition — it is not for beginners. There is no support available — you are on your own! Winds are gusty and highly unpredictable. Spring and Fall offer the best flying conditions, but the winter months can offer calmer conditions better suited to training for the less experienced.