Furnace Creek Campground is in a central location in Death Valley National Park. It is popular for RV and group camping; tent sites are also available. A visitor center, bike path, hiking trails and an abandoned borax mine are nearby.
Death Valley is one of the lowest areas of land on Earth; Furnace Creek is at an elevation of 196 ft. below sea level. The region is generally sunny, dry and clear throughout the year. Winter (November through March) is the park's peak season; temperatures are mild with occasional winter storms, and visitors should bring warm clothing and light or medium jackets. Summers are known for their extremely hot and dry conditions; temperatures can soar up to 120 degrees. Sun-protective clothing and a broad brimmed hat are recommended. Rainfall averages less than two inches per year.
Furnace Creek is the only campground in the park that takes reservations. Weekends over the winter holidays and spring break book up early; visitors should consider weekday reservations if their desired weekend is full.
Explorers of all ages can enjoy educational programs and exhibits at the visitor center adjacent to the campground. Birders may have luck spotting local and migratory birds around the campground and along Airport Road, especially in the cooler months. Visitors can access a paved bike path within the facility. Trails to a natural bridge, the Golden Canyon badlands and the salt flats of Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, are a short drive away. Some of these attractions are reachable via a dirt road.
Furnace Creek has 136 campsites with drinking water, picnic tables, flush toilets and a dump station. RVs can get drinking water at the dump station, while tent campers can get it in the campground. Each site has either a campfire ring or grill. A campground host lives on the grounds during winter.
Death Valley has sunk below sea level through geologic processes over time. It lies within the Mojave Desert and is the hottest, driest and lowest location in North America. Yet despite its extreme conditions, the park boasts a diversity of ecosystems, including colorful badlands, snow-covered peaks, desolate sand dunes, rugged canyons and flat, dry basins called playas.
Furnace Creek is on the edge of a playa at the bottom of the valley floor. It is fairly open with sparse vegetation, though some sites do have trees that provide shade. The facility offers a wide view of the mountains to the east and west, which glow with hues of orange, red and yellow during sunrise and sunset.
Visitors can bike or walk along a one-mile bike path to an interpretive trail leading to the Harmony Borax Works, an abandoned borax refinery from the late 1800s. The Borax Museum is also nearby inside the Furnace Creek Ranch.
Charges & Cancellations
Reservation Cancellations & Changes
Cancelling a Reservation: Customers may cancel their reservation prior to arrival both on-line and through the call center. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation. Depending on when you cancel in relation to your arrival day, it may be considered a late cancellation (see below).
Changing an Existing Reservation: When changes are made prior to the cut-off window:
If a customer wants to switch dates that are entirely outside of the original reservation dates, there is a $10 change fee.
There is no change fee if a customer extends or shortens a reservation, as long as the change includes dates from the original reservation. If they choose to depart early, they may forfeit the recreation fee for the day of departure.
There is no change fee if the customer wants to switch sites that are the same price with the same reservation dates in the same facility.
If a reservation is made that includes dates beyond the maximum booking window, that reservation cannot be changed until 18 days have passed from the original booking date.
Late Cancellations or Cancellations within the Cut-off Window
Individual Campsites: A customer who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee.
Overnight and Day-Use Facilities: A no-show customer is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date (or for day-use facilities, by check-in time the day of arrival). Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date.
No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night’s recreation fee for a campsite.
If a customer departs prior to the scheduled check-out date, they may be eligible for a partial refund.
Please notify staff at the facility if you depart early to allow others to use the site.
Customers may notify the call center to request a refund of remaining unused nights. If a customer requests a refund for an early departure after the facility check-out time has passed, the customer will not be refunded for that night and is eligible for a refund on any additional nights that will not be used.
ADA Access: N
Can you go wrong in Death Valley in December when it's not above 70 degrees? This was our first camping trip to DVNP. We decided to come here because a massive snow storm hit our original target of Zion. Though the first two campgrounds in Furnace Creek were full, we were relieved to have snagged one of the walk up sites. We got there just in time for sunset and gladly ate in the valley while we explored the resort area. The camp site was great, clean, and the bathroom facility had what we needed for the stay.
There's really no other way to put it- camping in Death Valley kind of sucks.The ground is harder than concrete (almost), it's hotter than Hades (I mean, I guess… I hear Hades is quite warm), and it's generally not a particularly relaxing experience (I suppose it might be better in the winter… so go in the winter).
That being said, the NPS has done a fairly decent job making this campground reasonably comfortable. There are water stations throughout, clean bathrooms, and as much shade as can reasonably be expected - though personally I'd love to see an implementation of the covering they used in the parking lot in the campground. We've stayed in many campgrounds throughout the west with covered areas and I think it would have a huge impact on the campgrounds at Death Valley.
Personally, I would say that if you plan on camping in Death Valley, you should either plan on visiting in the winter, or bringing an RV. The RV sites at Furnace Creek are excellent, with nice pull-throughs and a good amount of space. That, or bring along a homemade swamp cooler or air conditioner of some type, because otherwise you're likely to be quite miserable. (Just being honest! And I do recognize we're pretty crazy for camping there in the first place.)
As Rangers for The Dyrt, we get products to test from time to time, and while in Death Valley we tested out Boost Oxygen. We specifically tried out the peppermint flavor, as it boasted a "cooling" sensation. I'll admit I went into this demo a little skeptical- but I was pleasantly surprised. It may have been my mind playing tricks on me, but I felt much more awake and energized after inhaling the oxygen. This was extremely helpful on the long drive home to Utah when the sun went down and I was TIRED.
We tried the larger bottle and the smaller bottle, and I think the larger bottle is easier to inhale from, but the smaller bottle fits more easily in a backpack or camera bag. I think this is a great addition to a hiking pack, especially for those who live at higher altitudes like we do! You never know when a hike might hit you, and it never hurts to carry a little bonus oxygen, especially when it's INSANELY light.
My friends and I had a great time at the Furnace Creek Campground over this past long weekend in Death Valley. Fortunately my friend chose the perfect site (134), because some of them are very exposed and crowded together. There are some trees scattered around the campground, but some sites are far more shaded than others. Ours was a "walk-in" site, meaning that the parking was some distance from the site (maybe ~100 yards, not significant). Our site was in complete shade, while others were very very exposed, and the trees offered great privacy and even a spot to hang my hammock. The restrooms were a short walk away and the dumpsters were a bit further. For the walk-in sites, each site has one dedicate parking spot, but there is an overflow parking area for additional cars. They did not seem to closely track how many cars each site had, but people seemed to do a good job of self-regulating. As for the campground itself, it was pretty centrally located and we got to the main sites pretty easily from there. It is right next to the visitor center and close to the Furnace Creek Ranch, where you can find a grocery store, saloon, and even a pool with showers that non-guests can use for a $5 fee. We were a short drive away from Golden Canyon, Badwater Basin, and the Devil's Golfcourse. Stovepipe Wells and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes weren't terribly far either. The Racetrack was quite a long drive away, however, about 3 hours (much of that on a rough, unpaved road).
Death Valley is spectacular. This campsite is only a short drive from Badwater Basin (the lowest point in North America!) and Artist's Drive, where volcanic deposits pain the hills with many colors. The campground itself is nice, and there are even trees for shade at most sites. The facilities are nice and well maintained, however you will need to go elsewhere to shower. The resort nearby offers day passes to their pool, a great place to relax and cool off!!
The two sites I've had there have both had decent shade. I will caution though, prepare for severe wind. Gusts and steady wind strong enough to carry anything that isn't heavy or is aerodynamic.
Restrooms are nice, as are sinks outside. The visitor's center next door has frequent lectures and films. If you miss civilization, the resort has stores that are about a mile walk.
Don't camp in the late spring, summer or autumn unless you know what you are doing and are familiar with desert camping and extreme heat.
Probably not the best place to camp in July as it is extremely hot. Found a nice tent spot (site 100) and set up our tent behind some trees. Some of the campground feels like a giant parking lot but the sites near 100 are nice.
This is definitely the most popular of the campgrounds in Death Valley. Especially because you can reserve spots ahead of time. It's right by the visitors center. Has a variety of spots for RV'ers and nice spots for tents with trees.