Las Vegas and Death Valley: from excess to arid desert

Our journey in the American West continues, a short video preview!

A brief passage in the state of Nevada to discoveran unusual city before plunging into the depths ofa dry lake!

The folly of grandeur in the middle of the desert

Las Vegas was founded by the Mormons in 1855. Since then, its casinos have made it famous! Restaurants, hotels, casinos... New establishments are created every year to meet the demand of the ever-increasing number of tourists who come to try their luck at the games! A concentrate of excess...

Death Valley is the hottest and driest national park in the country! A salt lake used to stand there: its drying up is the reason for the creation of the valley! You can now walk dry to the lowest point in the country, well below sea level... A unique experience!

How to get there

From Bryce Canyon it's about a 4 hour drive to Las Vegas. Take the opportunity to drive by the Cedar Breaks Monument, lost in the mountains! It will then take you 2 hours to reach Death Valley from Las Vegas!

What we liked

Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps! Casinos are running at full speed at all hours and will do anything to keep you inside... Not really our style, but definitely an experience to be had once! There are hundreds of different games and machines: Blackjack, virtual horse racing, slot machines... Dare to play a few dollars, luck may smile on you!

Death Valley lives up to its name! It's about 50°C at the zenith most of the year... In the heart of the valley, the lunar landscapes made of rocks and salt formations will make you forget the heat! A truly unique experience and one of our favourite parks.

Not to be missed

The Las Vegas Strip: Each hotel has a specific theme: the Ceasar's Palace, the Venitian, the Paris, the Luxor... The list is long! A simple stroll along this boulevard will give you a good idea of the city's frenetic pace! Be careful with your eyes...

In Death Valley

Dante's View: at the entrance to the park, take the winding paths up the mountain to reach this viewpoint at over 1,500 metres (beware: sharp turns!). This is the best view of the valley and its salt pan! The contrast between the dark brown earth and the white band it forms is striking.

Zabriskie Point: a spectacular view of the valley's typical terrain. From the top of this promontory, you can imagine yourself in the heart of a lunar crater, between steep ridges and hills of beige and white streaked rocks.

Badwater Basin: at this very spot, you are 86 metres below sea level. Walk for a few minutes (the heat will probably not allow you to do much more) in the heart of a lake that dried up more than 2,000 years ago... Look around you! Lost in the heart of this arid immensity, you can't help but feel a special emotion. Unique!

Devil's Golf Course: a dirt track will take you to the centre of the valley. We continue our lunar journey, in the middle of a field made up of blocks of salty earth!

Before heading west out of the park towards Lone Pine, take a few minutes to look at the Mesquite Sand Dunes. The colours at sunset are breathtaking!

Then leave the park to cross a second dry lake no less impressive than Badwater! If you don't linger too long on the Dunes before leaving, you can even admire two sunsets in less than an hour, on one side and then on the other of the mountain that overlooks them...

Where to eat, where to sleep?
In Las Vegas

If you decide to spend a night in Las Vegas, stay at one of the hotels on the Strip, you won't be disappointed! We opted for the Mirage, made famous in the movie Ocean's 11! We have to admit, to mark the occasion, we gave in to temptation and booked one of the hotel's penthouses (a suite of almost 100 square meters on one of the top floors)... The little splurge of the moment! But don't worry, the price of the rooms is less crazy than you might think: they prefer to see you spend your precious money at the casino...

For dinner, you won't know where to turn as there are so many possibilities! Don't hesitate to ask the reception of your hotel for advice, which will be able to reserve a table for you in the restaurant of your choice (depending on availability, of course...). For a change of scene, we went to Nobu (a famous Asian restaurant chain), at Caesar's Palace, right next to the Mirage. Atmosphere and flavours guaranteed! Take time for a cocktail at the bar while waiting for your table: they are excellent!

In Death Valley

Death Valley can be traversed in one day. There is a tourist complex on site (at the entrance to the park) where you can eat, but we recommend that you take some snacks along the way to make the most of the park. And don't forget to take plenty of water (and fuel before entering the valley)! You can fill your bottles at the Visitor Center, and we recommend you have several! Honestly, we're not used to dealing with such heat... And sunstroke can happen quickly!

On the way out of Death Valley, stop at Lone Pine! John Wayne liked to stay there between two film shoots!

Some useful information in a wheelchair...

The city of Las Vegas is fully accessible! Lifts will allow you to cross the crowded streets whatever the time of day! Finally, the restaurants and casinos of the hotels are mainly concentrated on the ground floor; and equipped with lifts when they are not!

As you pass through Death Valley, you'll notice that the almost flat terrain will allow you to wander freely around all the iconic sites. The Mesquite Sand Dunes section is the only place where the ride may be limited to the car park if you don't have the right equipment. At Zabriskie Point, the slope to reach the viewpoint is steep, although tarmac: with the heat, a little help is not too much to get to the top!

Find all the accessibility information on our good addresses and visited sites on jaccede.com!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.

Go to main content