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sunrise, sunset

Shelton, Connecticut
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18 posts
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sunrise, sunset

What's the best place to see sunrise and sunset in Death Valley? We will be staying at Furnace Creek, so ideally, not too far from there.

Thanks!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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14,717 posts
49 reviews
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1. Re: sunrise, sunset

Both sunrise and sunset are gorgeous, but because of the geology of Death Valley, the most dramatic vista points typically face west, toward the Panamint range. So sunsets can be more spectacular, although sunrises are also beautiful. Close to Furnace Creek, Zabriskie Point is a good spot. It is not an extremely high elevation, but has a wonderful setting with beautiful and unique rock formations and colors. It’s just off Hwy 190 about 5 miles east of FC.

Farther east, and more spectacular, is Dante's View. This is about 25 miles east of FC. It’s on a good paved side road and will take about 40 minutes from FC. The elevation is 5475 feet above sea level, and you'll see a sweeping view of the Valley floor and Badwater, several roads, the Furnace Creek area, and the surrounding ranges. This is also a fine stargazing spot if you want to hang out awhile.

If you don't want to leave the FC area, go to the lovely terraced gardens at Furnace Creek Inn, sit among the palm trees and little streams and gazebos, sip something refreshing, and watch the sunset from there. This faces west toward the Panamints. (All the water is naturally supplied from nearby springs, it flows out to irrigate the resort landscaping). This would be a runner-up after both Dante's and Zabriskie.

For sunrise, as I said, the really stupendous view spots are fewer because of DV geology. My own suggestion is the Sand Dunes, about 25 miles north of FC. In fact, it’s a magical place for sunset as well. When the sun is low, you can see the shadow patterns on the dunes, and in the a.m. you can find wildlife tracks from nocturnal creatures: coyotes, kit foxes, birds, even beetles and an occasional sidewinder rattlesnakes.

Be sure to check for sunrise and sunset times for the days you will be there. Plan to be at your chosen spot 15-20 minutes earlier, so you don't miss anything. Especially for sunset, be aware that since so much of DV is at low elevations and surrounded by mountain ranges, the sun will be out of view sooner than the official time.

Shelton, Connecticut
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18 posts
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2. Re: sunrise, sunset

Great advice. Thanks! I was at DV once before, and went to Dante's view for sunrise, but my luck - it was overcast. Definitely want to do sunset there. I trust no problem driving back in the dark.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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14,717 posts
49 reviews
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3. Re: sunrise, sunset

No problem. The top 1/4 mile of Dante's View Road is steep and twisty, but the entire road is two lanes, paved, with a painted center line. Hwy 190 is a state highway.

Moscow, Moscow...
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4. Re: sunrise, sunset

Frisco, could you please advise a one-day itinerary from Las Vegas to end with sunset either at Zabriskie or Dante's view ? I really like the excellent plan from "top questions", but it doesn't have timing information.

5. Re: sunrise, sunset

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