5 of the Best Death Valley Tours from Las Vegas

Death Valley might be one of the world’s hottest, least hospitable places, but it sure is a remarkable, otherworldly place for a day trip.

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As one of North America’s finest National Parks, boasting some of the highest temperatures in the world (best avoided in the warmest months), and the lowest elevation on the North American continent, Death Valley is a fascinating place. Visiting this seemingly barren, yet thriving, landscape has never been easier (despite the fact that it was almost impossible and quite deadly to try less than a century ago). Now it is possible to visit from Las Vegas, which lies 131 miles (211km) away on a day trip, so you don’t even have to worry about driving in the challenging climate.

Death Valley Day Tour from Las Vegas

The fascinating discoveries begin before you even reach Death Valley from Las Vegas on this 12-hour trip. Stop at ghost towns such as Rhyolite, which existed due to the gold rush and was soon abandoned when the land offered little else. In the National Park, you’ll also be able to visit Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Badwater Basin, Artist’s Palette, and Zabriskie Point. This hugely popular tour doesn’t always follow the same route. Depending on how many people are on the tour, you can sometimes request customizations to the itinerary. From $199 per person.

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death valley tour vegas

Death Valley Full-day Small Group Tour from Las Vegas

The contrast between Las Vegas and Death Valley couldn’t be greater, from the inescapable din of capitalism to the wide-open wildernesses that stretch beyond the horizon. This day-long tour hits a number of the main sights to the east and south of Furnace Creek Visitor Center, particularly those along Badwater Road, including the impressive mineral colors of Artist’s Pallete, the mirage-inducing Badwater Basin, with its cracked valley floor, and the famous Zabriskie Point. Snacks and a light lunch are provided, as well as water to ensure you stay hydrated in the driest spot in America. From $279 per person.

Full-day Death Valley Tour from Las Vegas

Comprehensive tours of Death Valley are tricky to achieve in a single day trip from Las Vegas. After all, there are miles and miles of roads winding through the desert, connecting disparate points of natural and historical interest. However, this tour gives its best shot at covering as many as possible in its ten-hour itinerary. The classics are included, but so too are the sand dunes, the Devil’s Golf Course, the Salt Lake and some time for browsing the informative exhibits at Furnace Creek Visitor Center. A continental breakfast and lunch are also provided to guests. From $269 per person.

death valley tour vegas

Death Valley Trekker Tour from Las Vegas

The Trekker Tour has guests cruising along in a custom-built, distinctive pink, all-terrain vehicle. With tinted windows and reclining leather seats, this tour scores highly on comfort. The itinerary combines the most celebrated Death Valley viewpoints with a trip to the remarkable Rhyolite ghost town. There’s also a chance to visit the Area 51 Alien Center, given that the heavily guarded base is located nearby. Lunch and all entrance fees are included. Like most Death Valley tours, this one doesn’t usually run in July and August, when temperatures rise higher than anywhere else on the planet. From $284 per person.

4-Day Tour of Death Valley, Yosemite and San Francisco from Vegas

If a day-long tour doesn’t sound like long enough (and it really isn’t), it is possible to take a four-day tour from Las Vegas that incorporates a visit to Death Valley into a longer itinerary. You will visit the western side of Death Valley on this tour, thanks to not having to turn around and head back to Las Vegas. Also included are a number of hikes and a city highlights tour of the remarkable San Francisco. This tour departs three times a month, usually on Sundays. Please note that the tour ends in San Francisco. From $895 per person.

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Death Valley Tours

With a wide range of geological formations to explore, including salt flats, sand dunes, mountains, and more, Death Valley is anything but dead. Explore the largest National Park in the lower 48 states as you travel to Ubehebe Crater, Badwater Basin, and a nearby Rhyolite ghost town—all from the comfort of an air-conditioned luxury van.

Why Visit Death Valley?

From the tallest peak of Zabriskie Point to Badwater Basin—the lowest and hottest spot in the western hemisphere, made up of almost pure table salt!— Death Valley is home to a number of stunning viewpoints, including the Devil's Golf Course, Ubehebe Crater, and the vibrant hills of the Artist's Palette. The National Park is also full of life, including several species that are unique to Death Valley.

Death Valley may sound menacing, but as the hottest and driest spot in North America, it's one of the most interesting spots in the Southwest. If you're looking for an off-the-Strip adventure, head to Death Valley to experience its extreme range, unique geology, and untamed wilderness for yourself. Guided tours depart daily from the Las Vegas Strip.

Death Valley is 130 miles, or two about hours away, from the Vegas Strip. It's proximity to Vegas makes Death Valley an easy day trip for families with children or those looking to escape the action of the Strip.

What You'll See at Death Valley

Furnace creek.

Learn about the history of Death Valley at the Visitor Center and the Furnace Creek Ranch Museum.

Badwater Basin

Made of almost pure table salt, it's the lowest spot in the Western hemisphere at 282ft below sea level.

Ubehebe Crater

Created by a violent volcanic explosion, this giant crater measures half a mile wide and 400 ft deep.

Devil's Golf Course

Eroded rock salt spires so jagged it's said that "only the devil could play golf on such rough links".

Dante's View

A 5,475 foot high peak offering views of the Valley floor, Badwater Basin, and the Panamint Mountains.

Rhyolite Ghost Town

An abandoned mining town marked by an art installation of ghostly figures at the edge of town.

Death Valley Travel Guides

9 reasons to visit death valley next time you’re in las vegas.

Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the lower 48 states, and it’s also the lowest, driest, and hottest area in North America.

Continue reading

Southwest Spotlight: 14 Breathtaking Death Valley Viewpoints

Explore 14 popular viewpoints in Death Valley National Park, from Badwater Basin 282 feet below sea level to the peak of Zabriskie Point.

3 Things You’ll Find in Death Valley That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else in the USA

Its unusual geologic profile, unique vegetation, and extreme climate make Death Valley one of the most intriguing places to visit in the country.

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Best Death Valley Tours from Las Vegas – Full Guide with Map

best Death Valley tours from Las Vegas

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It’s hot, it’s dry, and it’s home to the lowest elevation point in the country – still, the best Death Valley tours from Las Vegas manage to prove that this sinisterly named slice of Nevada and California isn’t just a desolate wasteland.

In reality, the hottest place on Earth is an awe-inspiring landscape of ancient rock formations, sparkling salt flats and colorful canyons, peppered with ghost towns and abandoned mines from the gold rush era.

Since most outdoor adventure-seeking Las Vegas visitors venture east (toward Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon), it leaves Death Valley to fly under the radar. And with activities like stargazing, dune bashing, hiking, and lookouts of places like the Kaleidoscopic Cliffs, it’s safe to say this sprawling national park deserves a spot on your itinerary of things to do in Las Vegas .

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How to get to Death Valley from Las Vegas?

How to get to Death Valley from Las Vegas

Stretching for some 3.4 million acres across the Mojave Desert, and straddling the border of California and Nevada, Death Valley National Park might be massive — in fact, it’s the largest U.S. National Park outside Alaska — but it remains rather remote and isolated.

Being such a stark contrast from Las Vegas’s ritzy casinos, Death Valley is basically baron, with minimal infrastructure with the exception of a few campgrounds and visitor centers. Therefore, planning ahead is crucial when it comes to your 120-mile trip in between Sin City and the park.

So how do you get there? There are a few options available, each with their own pros and cons:

The most popular way to get from Las Vegas to Death Valley is by car. The drive takes around 2 – 3 hours depending on which part of the park you want to reach, and which route you take. To get there is relatively easy, with three roughly equidistant options to choose from.

For the first option, simply take US-95 northwest from Vegas and follow it until you reach Nevada Highway 373. From there, it’s a straight shot to Death Valley National Park, and you’ll pass by the old Rhyolite ghost town and the Death Valley National Park Sign.

The second option heads out of Sin City on Highway 160 and takes you through the town of Pahrump en route to Death Valley Junction, Zabriskie Point and the Harmony Borax Works.

Finally, the third route enters Death Valley from the south, connecting with Badwater and the salt flats via a longer, winding road. To get here, take Highway 160 to Pahrump but then turn left onto Highway 178 which will connect with Badwater Road.

While driving is generally convenient and gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, it’s imperative to bring extra water and supplies, and try to avoid driving through Death Valley during the hottest months of July and August.

By organized tour

Since Death Valley has its risks – heat, size, remoteness – the best way to visit for many (especially for first-timers) is through an organized tour. Not only do these tours take care of all the logistics for you (the driving, the activities, the planning), but they also provide experienced guides who have extensive knowledge of Death Valley’s history, landscapes, and animals – so you’re bound to learn a thing or two by day’s end as well.

Take your pick from short and sweet day trips that focus on sightseeing, adventure-tailored tours that incorporate activities like dune bashing and off-roading, or even overnight camping trips that allow you to experience Death Valley’s breathtaking night sky in all its glory.

If you’ve got time up your sleeve, some of the best Death Valley tours from Las Vegas span 3 or 4 days, combining wine tastings with ghost town visits, and the chance to check out Yosemite National Park and San Francisco.

And of course, if you’re looking for luxury, VIP-style private tours are on the menu too. With a variety of tour companies to choose from, it’s easy to find one that suits your budget and interests.

Is camping allowed in Death Valley National Park?

Is camping allowed in Death Valley National Park

Generally speaking, yes, camping is allowed in Death Valley National Park. However, there are certain restrictions depending on the location and the time of year.

In total, there are 12 different campgrounds spread throughout all corners of the park, with a range of facilities on site to make your stay a little more comfortable.

Some campgrounds are open year-round, while others are only open during certain seasons due to extreme temperatures — the Furnace Creek Campground, for instance, which sits close to the Harmony Borax Works, is the only campground open in summer.

The majority of the public campsites are free and first-come, first-served, but there are a few other options (some privately owned) that require a small fee, such as the Fiddlers’ Campground, the Sunset Campground, and the Texas Spring Campground (to name a few).

Since each campsite has slightly different rules and amenities (i.e. hookups for RVs), it’s best to double-check out the park’s official website before you make the trek.

If you prefer to go full adventure mode and ditch the campsites altogether, there are also some backcountry camping options available. However, permits are required for these and they can only be obtained in person at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or the Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station.

A handful of the best Death Valley Tours from Las Vegas do include overnight stays. If you go down this route you won’t have to worry about planning your own trip, transport or camping equipment since the tour company will sort all of that out for you.

How much does the entrance ticket to Death Valley cost?

Death Valley ticket cost

You have a few different options on the menu when buying tickets for Death Valley National Park.

If you’re planning on visiting the park multiple times in a year, then purchasing an annual pass would be your best bet. This will cost US$55 and grants access for one vehicle plus all passengers to Death Valley.

Alternatively, if you want to see more of the American National Parks, then purchasing an Interagency ‘America the Beautiful Pass’ for US$80 will get you into the likes of the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Arches, and dozens more revered national parks over the course of a year. This option is only US$20 for seniors and is free for active and past military and 4th graders as well.

If you prefer to keep things simple, a standard Death Valley entrance ticket is also available. These are valid for 7 days and are priced at US$30 per vehicle, US$25 per motorbike, or US$15 per person if traveling by foot or push bike.

The pricing structure is different for commercial vehicles, costing up to US$75 for commercial cars and vans and up to US$200 for 26+ seat buses. If you’re taking a guided tour, the entrance fee is always included in the package.

Pinching pennies? On 5 days throughout the year, Death Valley National Park invites anyone to visit free of charge. These usually include Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16), the First Day of National Park Week (April 22), the day of The Great American Outdoors Act (August 4), National Public Lands Day (September 23) and Veteran’s Day (November 11).

How to choose the best Death Valley tour from Las Vegas?

choose the best Death Valley tour from Las Vegas

When it comes to picking the perfect Death Valley adventure, you have a bounty of choices.

But what defines the so-called best Death Valley tours from Las Vegas really depends on your individual tastes and priorities. If you’re someone who spares no expense and wants to see everything the park has to offer in VIP style, then splurging on a private tour with all the bells and whistles may be your best bet.

On the flip side, if you’re more budget-conscious and prefer to meet more fellow travelers,  affordable group tours are a dime a dozen as well.

Then, of course, you’ve got the combo options — tours that not only check off the quintessential Death Valley sites, but also explore surrounding areas like Yosemite, San Francisco and the Rhyolite ghost town. With these takes, you’re getting a few bucket-list-worthy experiences all wrapped into one.

Throw in a few extra options that include winery excursions, Jeep safaris and photography exhibitions, and you can see that there’s certainly no shortage of options.

With that in mind, let’s dive into each of the different Death Valley tours in a little more detail to help you pick the perfect adventure.

What is the classic Death Valley tour itinerary?

The majority of the best Death Valley tours from Las Vegas follow a similar schedule – the “classic” tour, so to speak. And while each tour company will put its own little spin on the day, the itinerary and main attractions you’ll visit are pretty consistent.

Lasting between 10 and 11 hours, the exciting day all starts with convenient hotel pickup. Whether you’re staying on the Strip or in downtown Las Vegas, the tour bus will typically come by bright and early (before 7 am – even as early as 4.30 am between May and September to beat the heat*) and you’ll be on your way out of Sin City before most people have even had their first cup of coffee.

After a couple of hours of driving through the Mojave Desert, you’ll arrive at your first stop — usually the old Rhyolite ghost town. From there, you’ll get to snap a quick pick in front of the Welcome to Death Valley sign before continuing on to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

A stop at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center usually comes next, after which you’ll make your way down (literally) to the Badwater Basin Salt Flats – famous for being the lowest point in North America at a remarkable 282 feet below sea level.

Depending on your particular tour, you’ll usually either head along Artist’s Drive – a scenic 9-mile route through colorful canyons  – to Artist’s Palette or check out Zabriskie Point where stunning views of the Mars-like landscapes await – a quintessential Death Valley photo op if there ever was one.

As the journey carries on into the afternoon, you’ll likely head to Dante’s View, another top-notch vista that looks out over the badlands and the southern half of the park.

If you stick around after dark then stargazing might also be on the agenda. If not, you’ll leave Death Valley in the early evening, getting back to Las Vegas after a possible stop in Pahrump on the way home to stretch your legs.

*If you book a day trip that includes stargazing, it’s possible you might start much later – anywhere between 8 am and 2 pm depending on the day.

Death Valley day trips from Las Vegas

Death Valley day trips from Las Vegas

Since Death Valley is only a two-hour drive from town, it’s easy to squeeze into a day trip, leaving more time in your back pocket to check out all the other best national parks near Las Vegas.

The majority of the Death Valley single-day tours follow the “Classic” itinerary — you’ll start at the Rhyolite ghost town, then onto Furnace Creek and the salt flats. You’ll have time to bash around at the Mesquite Flat sand dunes, witness sights like Artist’s Palette, Zabriskie Point and Death Valley Junction (infamous for its stargazing) before heading back to Sin City after dark.

That said, if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, there are a few more options to consider. For early birds, the Death Valley Sunrise & Stargazing Day Tour (well, technically a night tour) shows off the park’s otherworldly landscapes in the cool, quiet hours of the morning. Under the moonlight, you’ll spend a couple of hours stargazing before witnessing the colors change as the sun rises. And the best part? You won’t be battling against the scorching heat.

Alternatively, you can sign up for something like the Las Vegas Death Valley premium tour , which not only shows off the quintessential classics, but also dedicates some time to walking along the Salt Creek boardwalk, checking out the 19th-century Harmony Borax Works historic mining site, and popping into the Area 51 Alien Center.

Death Valley jeep tours from Las Vegas

Death Valley jeep tours from Las Vegas

Tailored to adventurers and travelers who like to journey off the beaten path, jeep tours are all about experiencing the raw, unfiltered Death Valley — one of desolate backcountry roads, abandoned mining camps and stunning viewpoints.

Similar to the traditional Death Valley single-day getaway, these tours start with convenient pick-up from your Las Vegas hotel in the morning (usually 7 am in the case of Pink Jeep Tours), make their way up to the Area 51 Alien Center and the Goldwell Open Air Museum, and then wind through some of the park’s must-sees: the Borax Works Historic Mining site, Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, and the Artist’s Palette, to name a few.

However, what sets Jeep tours apart is their flexibility. With a smaller group size and a knowledgeable guide behind the wheel, you’ll have more time to venture deeper into the park and explore the lesser-known areas. Plus, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for breathtaking photos – and the tour guide is always happy to act as your professional photographer.

Factor in an included picnic lunch, the big windows from the custom-made Tour Trekker Jeep, and time to wander along the Salt Creek Boardwalk and learn about the endangered Desert Pupfish, and you’ve got yourself an immersive, unforgettable Death Valley experience.

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Death Valley stargazing tours from Las Vegas

Death Valley stargazing tours from Las Vegas

By day, contiguous America’s largest national park is a vast and arid, yet surprisingly diverse landscape of sand dunes, salt flats, canyons and mountains. It’s hot, it’s dry, and it looks like something taken straight out of a sci-fi movie (especially at The Racetrack, where the rocks mysteriously move on their own).

But by night, Death Valley transforms into one of the best places for stargazing in the world. With next to zero light pollution, clear desert skies most nights of the year and low humidity levels, it’s a prime location for staring at the stars and constellations above.

And contrary to the first-thought image most visitors conjure up, Death Valley isn’t just flat – it boasts several valleys and mountain peaks, each of which serves up different vantage points to appreciate the twinkling night sky.

Death Valley stargazing tours from Las Vegas typically work in one of two ways: Either you’ll depart from Sin City a little later so that you can stay in the desert after sundown (when the constellation show begins), or you’ll leave in the wee hours of the morning to stargaze before the sun comes up, and then add on a few quintessential sightseeing stops thereafter.

Whichever option takes your fancy, thanks to certified guides who not only know the ins and outs of the park, but are also experts in astronomy, you’re bound to walk away having learned something new.

Consider this: If you’re looking for something a little on the fancier side, consider the Death Valley Sightseeing and Stargazing Photography Tour with VIP Wine Tasting . As the name suggests, you’ll be treated to a stop at a local winery (usually the Pahrump Valley Winery) – the cherry on top of an already fantastic day out. Keep reading to learn more…

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Death Valley wine-tasting tours from Las Vegas

Death Valley wine-tasting tours from Las Vegas

Adding a touch of sophistication to the typical Death Valley day trip, these highbrow tours not only show off the postcard-worthy landscapes this National Park is known for — places like Badwater Basin, the colorful Artist’s Palette and the Zabriskie Point lookout — but they drizzle on some local culture with a lovely stop at a Nevada winery.

Capped at just 12 people, meaning that you’ll get a more personalized experience compared to the traditional busload of tourists, this tour picks you up from your Vegas hotel and then heads straight up Highway 160 to the Pahrump Valley Winery.

Here, you’ll have the chance to sample a delicious variety of reds, whites and sweet dessert wines as you soak up the scenery in a picnic-style setting. The winemakers will walk you through the wine-making process, from soil to bottle, giving you a deeper appreciation of the art, and you can even purchase a bottle or two to take home as a souvenir.

After a glass (or three) or Nevada’s finest, you’ll hightail your way over to the National Park where you can expect a combination of exploring and photo-ops, hearing plenty of stories and tidbits from your friendly tour guide along the way.

The day is usually capped off with an enchanting stargazing session, after which you’re taken on the scenic route back to your Las Vegas hotel.

Quick tip: If you do decide to book one of these tours, make sure to do so in advance. With only a dozen spots available per tour, these experiences tend to sell out quickly.

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Death Valley & Rhyolite Ghost Town day trip from Las Vegas

Death Valley & Rhyolite Ghost Town day trip from Las Vegas

Before Nevada became known worldwide for its ritzy casinos, lavish hotels and bustling nightlife, it was the epicenter of the Wild West — a place where cowboys roamed free and gold was king. Showing off a slightly different side of the state, this tour takes you back in time to the days of the Gold Rush, exploring Death Valley and the historic Rhyolite Ghost Town through a more historical lens.

You’ll start your journey by heading out in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle in the morning, making your way through the stunning desert landscape towards Death Valley via Pahrump. Just before you get to the park’s entrance — “Hell’s Gate”, as it’s widely known — you’ll stop into Rhyolite. In the early 1900s, this city was one of many gold rush-era boomtowns. Fast forward to today and it’s nothing but a collection of old buildings, half-standing ruins and deserted streets — the perfect precursor to what lies ahead in desolate Death Valley.

After about an hour for photo ops and history lessons, your guide will take you into the heart of the Valley, where you’ll get to see the rolling Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, colorful Artist’s Drive, Badwater Basin, and the 19th-century Harmony Borax Works which played a huge role in shaping the early history of Death Valley.

Given its affordability and combination of history and sightseeing, this option sells itself as one of the best Death Valley Tours from Las Vegas.

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Death Valley 4-day trips from Las Vegas

Death Valley 4-day trips from Las Vegas

Want to see as much of this part of the country as possible? And not just the big, famous cities? If you’ve got some more time up your sleeve, the multi-day trips from Las Vegas that combine Death Valley with a handful of other equally stunning locations are definitely worth considering.

On the one hand, you’re getting a much better bang for your buck — these trips take in the very best of Nevada and California, following a cleverly put-together route that saves you from doing multiple single-day trips from different cities. On the other, you’re getting a much more varied and enriching experience compared to the cookie-cutter Death Valley day trip.

Despite having a handful of companies to choose from, when it comes to Death Valley 4-day trips, you’ve essentially got two very different yet equally fantastic options.

The first (and the most popular) is an adventure that hits up Death Valley on day 1, Yosemite National Park (via the stunning Tioga Pass) or days 2 and 3, and then finishes up in the City by the Bay –  San Francisco – with an in-depth city tour. Since this is a one-way trip, you’ll save money on a potential airfare from Vegas to San Fran as well. And with highlights including Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, the Golden Gate Bridge and, of course, Death Valley, it’s an experience that few others could hope to match.

Or, you can choose the second option – a 4-day Death Valley hiking and camping trip that stays within the confines of the park for an epic 96 hours of pure adventure. Sure, you’ll get to see the most famous spots like Zabriskie Point, Dante’s View and the Salt Flats, but you’ll also traverse trails like Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, the Amargosa Range and the Wildrose Peak climb — perfect for adventurous types that love to get off-the-beaten-path.

All up, you’ll hike at least 22 miles worth of trails, allowing you to see areas of the park that only one in a million tourists get to experience. All of your meals are included, and camping under the stars each night; well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

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  • Death Valley private tours

Death Valley private tours

The fundamental appeal of Death Valley is its remoteness. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere – be that the lowest elevation point in North America, or one of the viewpoints that look out over the empty, desolate and foreboding landscape – you get a sense that this is truly unspoiled, wild America.

But if you’re experiencing all of this rugged, untouched wilderness surrounded by 40 other snap-happy tourists, it kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? That’s why some people opt for private tours of Death Valley instead.

Limited to just you and your group (friends, family, bachelor party buddies, whatever), private tours are all about personalized, intimate experiences. While the tours do have an itinerary, you have the flexibility to make adjustments here and there, whether that’s staying longer at a certain spot or skipping some places altogether to go hiking instead.

While the single-day private Death Valley adventure is justifiably popular, making its way to places like Golden Canyon, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Dante’s View, it’s not the only option. If you’ve got more time up your sleeve, the Private 4-Day Death Valley and Yosemite Tour from Las Vegas is a non-stop highlight reel certainly worth considering.

Like all Las Vegas private tours , you get the added benefit of having your very own guide (AKA private photographer) the whole way through. They’ll be on hand to answer any questions, point out hidden gems and of course, capture all your Insta-worthy moments.

And while they might be more expensive at face value, in reality, private tours can be relatively comparable with small group tours. Since they’re usually charged per group, not per person, the more people in your group, the cheaper it will be for everyone.

What will you see in Death Valley?

What will you see in Death Valley

The uneducated answer is “not much – there’s nothing there,” or “it’s just a desert.” But these couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, Death Valley National Park is full of diverse landscapes and incredible geological structures that have been shaped by millions of years of natural forces.

From the lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin to the towering peaks of the Panamint Mountains, there is so much to see and explore in Death Valley. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the top-rated things to do in Death Valley.

Badwater Basin

Officially the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin is an eerily beautiful, very rare landscape that sits at 282 feet below sea level. Guaranteeing incredible photos, the salt flats here tessellate spectacularly, and you can wander across them as far as the eye can see.

Zabriskie Point

Of all the lookouts in the park, Zabriskie Point is probably the most famous – and for good reason. Sitting just south of Furnace Creek it serves up spectacular views of Artist’s Palette. The waves of deep canyons and the colorful pastel-hued rocks aren’t something you’d see in any other national park.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

When people think desert, they think of rolling dunes of sand. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Mesquite Flat. These ever-changing, wind-sculpted dunes are perfect for a quick hike or an off-road adventure. If you’re coming up through the Rhyolite Ghost Town entrance, you’ll usually stop here first before heading south toward Badwater.

Dante’s View

While not as popular as Zabriskie Point, Dante’s View is equally picturesque. From here, at about 5,000 feet above sea level, you’re treated to sweeping vistas of the Badwater Basin. If you’re up for a challenge, you can tackle the 8-mile round-trip journey to Mt. Perry – although this isn’t included in any day tours.

Artist’s Drive

Considered the best scenic road trip in Death Valley, the Artist’s Drive is a nine mile detour off of Badwater Road that takes you through the most colorful landscapes in the park. About halfway along the drive, you’ll come across the famed Artists Palette, a dramatic section known for its multi-colored rocks. Words simply can’t do it justice.

While not technically in Death Valley National Park, the ghost town of Rhyolite is right next to the Hell’s Gate entrance — so if you’re coming in from the northeast, it’s impossible to miss. Once a bustling gold rush town, it’s now one of the most photographed ghost towns in Nevada thanks to its abandoned buildings and eerie, Wild West feel.

Is one day in Death Valley enough?

Yes, a day in Death Valley can definitely be enough to see some of the highlights and get a feel for the park. You’ll be able to check out the Badwater Basin, admire the Artist’s Palette, and take in the sand dunes over at Mesquite Flat.

However, with over 3 million acres of land to explore, the reality is that you’ll only scratch the surface in just one day. If possible, it’s recommended to spend at least two days in Death Valley to truly appreciate its diversity. If you have the opportunity to stay overnight to witness the unobstructed starry sky, or even take a multi-day tour that ticks off Yosemite, go for it!

That being said, most of the best Death Valley Tours from Las Vegas are only 11-12 hours long.

How much does a Death Valley tour from Las Vegas cost?

Death Valley tour from Las Vegas cost

Prices for Death Valley tours from Las Vegas vary pretty substantially depending on the tour company, the length of the tour, and whether you decide to combine it with places like Yosemite.

For the most basic day trips, expect to pay between US$180 and US$290 per person. Generally, the cheaper end of the spectrum will be with a larger group, while smaller group sizes typically come with a small premium.

More niche excursions, such as the VIP wine-tasting plus Death Valley sightseeing and stargazing tour cost around US$285 per person, while the Tour Trekker Jeep adventure costs about US$295 each.

Private tours, understandably, cost a lot more, with prices ranging from US$1100 to US$1,350 depending on the length of the tour and group size. The caveat here is that these prices are generally per group, not per person**, so if you have a larger group, it may actually be a more cost-effective option (or, at least, not that much more expensive) to book a private tour.

Multi-day tours tend to cost roughly US$950 if you go for the camping option, or US$1,395 if you prefer a bougier lodge setup.

How to book Death Valley tours from Las Vegas?

How to book Death Valley tours from Las Vegas

The most important thing to know about booking Death Valley trips is to do so BEFORE you actually arrive in Las Vegas. The earlier the better, because you don’t want to be stuck with limited options or overpriced tours if you only have a few days to play with.

If you’re planning a trip in advance, it’s best to book online through reputable tour companies. But rather than spend hours in the weeds of different websites, use something like the TourScanner search engine instead. Designed to make your trip as hassle-free as possible, the search engine shows off a wide range of tours, compares all of prices and discounts, and even lets you read reviews of previous visitors, giving you a much better idea of what to expect before you book.

Plus, the majority of the tours shown on TourScanner offer free cancellation up to a day before the tour begins, so there’s no need to worry about unexpected changes in your plans.

  • compare Death Valley tours

Death Valley’s opening hours

Being a National Park, Death Valley is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The Visitor Center, which is located in Furnace Creek, is also open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.

While the park itself doesn’t close, some facilities and areas do have seasonal closures, especially in the summertime when temperatures can exceed 120°F (48°C).

With that in mind, it’s always important to check the park’s website for the most up-to-date information before planning your trip. On that note, if you plan on camping, only one of the 12  campgrounds is open year-round (Furnace Creek Campground). The rest have specific opening and closing dates, so make sure to check those as well before heading out.

When is the best time to visit Death Valley?

best time to visit Death Valley

Most of the Southwest’s coveted national parks around Utah and Arizona are best visited in the summertime, known for getting snow during their winters. Death Valley, on the other hand, is different. With a reputation as one of the hottest places on Earth, winter is actually the best time to take on this adventure.

In the winter, temperatures tend to stay below 80°F (26°C), making it a much more comfortable experience compared to June through September. Winter also welcomes a handful of extra activities, such as daily ranger-led programs.

The downside of visiting in the peak of winter is that the days are slightly shorter. Unless you plan on stargazing, a tour in spring or fall would be ideal for avoiding the crowds and still enjoying bearable (read: certainly warm) temperatures.

Travel tips

Death Valley travel tips

  • Let’s not beat around the bush. Even outside of summer, Death Valley is HOT. So, dress appropriately, bring a hat, sunblock, and sunglasses, and make sure to bring extra water. Most tours will have near-unlimited water on hand, however, you can never be too cautious
  • Due to the size and remoteness of the park, cell phone service can be pretty hit-and-miss, so make sure to download an offline map or go old-school with a physical one on hand.
  • Some phones struggle on days of extreme heat, so bringing a portable charger might save your skin if something goes wrong.
  • Given the infamous risks of Death Valley, it’s highly recommended for first-time visitors to take a guided tour instead of attempting to explore on their own. Not only will you have an experienced guide leading the way, but you’ll also learn a lot more about the park’s history, nature and wildlife this way.
  • Last but not least, make sure to book your tour online and in advance. This way, you can lock in the best price on your preferred day, and not have to worry about planning it all out yourself when you touch down in Sin City.

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Death Valley National Park at night

Experience a fruitful tour in Death Valley. It is a tour where you can see the sunset in the evening and enjoy the night sky full of stars at night. It's a fantastic tour of MYTOURSTORY. It's our only travel package that other travel agencies don't have. Take this opportunity.

Badwater Basin

This place is famous for being below sea level. It is a mysterious Badwater that does not dissolve salt 365 days a year.

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Experience a fruitful tour in Yellostone National Park. It's a fantastic tour of MYTOURSTORY. It's our only travel package that other travel agencies don't have. Take this opportunity.

Our Product 

Death valley national park tour | sunset & stargazing tour | starry night tour.

Death Valley National Park sign

$295 ==> $265.5

Small-group Guided Tour

Departure: 8 am ~ 1 pm

Arrive: 8 pm ~ 12 am

At least 3 people are required

Dante's View Point

Badwater Point

Artists Palette

Zabriskie Point (Sunset)

All fees and taxes

Bottle water

Guide Gratuities($20)

Death Valley Tour From Las Vegas

Experience the stunning beauty of Death Valley National Park on a day tour from Las Vegas. This tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the vast desert landscape and learn about its geology, history, and plant and animal life. You'll be taken to some of the most iconic sites in Death Valley such as Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, Dante's View, and Furnace Creek. Along the way, you'll take in breathtaking views of dunes, salt flats, mountain ranges, canyons, and more! Join this tour for an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories

A Death Valley National Park tour from Las Vegas is a great way to explore the beauty of the desert. From watching the sunset over the rugged landscape to stargazing in one of the darkest places on Earth, this tour offers a unique experience that you won't soon forget. Get ready to explore some of nature's most stunning features,  and salt flats to canyons and mountains. With an experienced guide leading your tour, you'll have plenty of time to take in all that Death Valley has to offer. So join us for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and get ready for an unforgettable sunset and star-filled night!  

Las Vegas is known for its bright lights, but it's also home to some of the most beautiful sunsets and starry skies in the world. Taking a Death Valley National Park tour from Las Vegas is the perfect way to experience these amazing sights. Imagine watching the sun dip below the horizon as you take in the stunning views of Death Valley. As night falls, you can marvel at a blanket of stars stretching endlessly across the night sky. A Death Valley tour from Las Vegas offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

Boo k Your Tour Today 

Are you ready to explore one of the world's most unique and mysterious places? Death Valley tour is the place to be this summer. Join us for a Death Valley tour and experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

D eath Valley is full of spectacular sights, from its vast sand dunes to its rugged mountain peaks. On our tour, you'll get to see some of the park's most iconic spots, such as Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. You'll also have the chance to explore some of the less-visited areas of Death Valley and learn about its fascinating history.

Book now and let us take you on an unforgettable journey through My Tour Story!

Caution: No discount when booking on Viator or Tripadvisor Check out the review by clicking here.

Valley of fire state park & ghost town (eldorado canyon) tour from las vegas.

Valley of Fire Elephant Rock

​ $285 ==> $256.5

Departure: 7;30am / Arrive: 4:30~5:30pm

Tour Course: Ghost Town(Eldorado Canyon), Techatticup Mine Tour, Valley of Fire Elephant Rock, Historic Cabins, Seven Sisters, Visitor Center, Mouse’s Tank, Rainbow Vista, Atlatl Rock, Beehives Rock

​At least 3 people are required

Inclusions: All fees and taxes , Gold Mine Tour

Exclusions: Tour guide Gratuities, Meal

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Departure: 7 am / Arrive: 7 pm

Tour Course: Bryce Canyon: Bryce, point, Inspiration point, Sunset point/ Zion Canyon: Human History Museum, Naural Bridge, CamelTunnel, Checkerboard Mesa / Grand Canyon: Lipan Point, Mather Point, Yavapai Point

Inclusions: All fees and taxes, 2 Meal 

Accommodation: Hotel

Exclusions: Tour guide Gratuities

6 Day Yellowstone Tour & Grand Teton &Grand Canyon & Zion Canyon & Bryce CanyonNational Park

Yellowstone National Park

$4,999 ==> $4,499.10

Departure: 7am / Arrive: 7pm

Tour Course: Yellowstone National Park(Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Upper & Lower & Midway Geyser Basin), Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, Hot Spring 

Inclusions: All fees and taxes, All Meal 

Exclusions: Guide Gratuities

Death Valley Day Trip from Las Vegas

death valley tour vegas

  • Death Valley day trip from Las Vegas
  • Easiest way to see Death Valley in just one day
  • Efficient private transportation makes the most of your time
  • Fully narrated tour provides information about Death Valley
  • Lunch and bottled water included to keep you fueled
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from Las Vegas included
  • See itinerary
  • Professional guide
  • Bottled water
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Snacks, Peanuts, Cheese, Muffins, Juice
  • Entry/Admission - Rhyolite
  • Entry/Admission - Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
  • Entry/Admission - Devil's Golf Course
  • Entry/Admission - Zabriskie Point
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infant seats available
  • Please advise of your sandwich/lunch preference in the Special Requirements field at the time of booking:
  • Deluxe Turkey (cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayonnaise)
  • Italian (combination of Genoa salami, capacolla and prosciutini)
  • Garden salad with vinaigrette
  • Tour requires a minimum number of participants to operate. If the minimum number has not been met, you will be offered another date or full refund.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 28 travelers
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • You'll get picked up See departure details
  • 1 Rhyolite Stop: 35 minutes - Admission included See details
  • 2 Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Stop: 25 minutes - Admission included See details
  • 3 Furnace Creek Visitor Center Stop: 30 minutes See details
  • 4 Badwater Stop: 20 minutes See details
  • 5 Artists Palette Stop: 20 minutes See details
  • 6 Devil's Golf Course Stop: 15 minutes - Admission included See details
  • 7 Zabriskie Point Stop: 25 minutes - Admission included See details
  • You'll return to the starting point

death valley tour vegas

  • boob637 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Helicopter ride in the Grand Canyon It was an awesome tour. Very informative and made sure we were taken care of in anyway possible. Michael, our tour guide, was great. Dustin, the helicopter pilot, was awesome. We got to ride up front in the helicopter and the views of the Grand Canyon were amazing. It was our first ride in the helicopter and it was worth every penny. Hoover Dam was great too. Wonderful experience. Read more Written April 7, 2024
  • Inspire66660021382 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Area 51 tour Went on the Area 51 tour and Captain Kirk was an amazing tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and great to listen to as he told his stories and facts about the area. Would highly recommend this tour group. We hadso much fun. Read more Written April 5, 2024
  • davncath 0 contributions 4.0 of 5 bubbles Fantastic day..take the helicopter option if you can ! A good itinerary, fits it all in. Upgrade to the helicopter if you can, a great experience. Lunch was a bit long, most of our group were ready to hit the road for home and were back at the bus 15 mins early. Our driver was ok, picked us up on time. He gave us some facts but didn’t really engage with the group with trivia and useless attempts at humour and that’s OK ! I thought he drove a bit quick actually and a bit fast into some corners. All things considered it was a fantastic day. These buses are not designed for large people so consider that before you book Read more Written April 3, 2024
  • clairesI2055NV 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles A great day out! I dragged my husband along on this tour quite reluctantly but he loved it! We both did! The views are amazing, our tour guide ‘Captain’ Kirk was extremely knowledgeable and the tour was great value for money. Plenty of short rest stops and lunch (included in the price) at A’Le’Inn was lovely and plentiful. I’m veggie and this wasn’t an issue. Lots of photo opportunities and a great day outside of the hustle and bustle of the strip. Read more Written March 29, 2024
  • Sunshine033 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Sisters trip It is a long ride out there and there is not much to see. But we did stop along the way and saw the Black Mailbox, the Alien Jerky Store is a much stop for souvenirs. Read more Written March 28, 2024
  • karol452 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great Scenery I took the Valley of Fire tour. The tour was great. Lunch, water and snacks were included. The tour entered one end of the park and we did some exploring. We exited from the other side of the park. When we exited our last stop was the Lost City Museum. Our guide was Marcus. He was very professional and explained everything and ample time was given at the stops. A suggestion do not wear sandals or open toed shoes. The reason is sometimes you are walking in sand. Read more Written March 26, 2024
  • glynm178 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great tour, great experience Great experience, really enjoyed the helicopter trip. Small group worked well for us, no waiting around. Clayton our guide was very informative Read more Written March 17, 2024
  • Jenna M 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Awesome time had by all! A great tour in which we got to see the much hyped gates to Area 51! Our tour guide Mike brought a lot of knowledge and thoughtful questions to our group as we got to learn about the nature of Mojave desert and all the geology and botany we could handle! Lunch was awesome and Mike made sure we had all the right photos and even the best poses! Plenty of bathroom breaks and chances to stretch our legs! 10/10 would do again! Read more Written March 13, 2024
  • grahamwI9482TA 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great trip to Grand Canyon, brilliant guide. Brilliant trip, breakfast and lunch provided, helicopter tour down into the canyon itself and great tour of the Hoover dam. Unbelievable knowledge from our driver and tour guide Kirk…..the guy had 10,000 facts about vegas and the whole of Nevada. Highly recommend. Read more Written March 13, 2024
  • Adventure59785158145 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles It was everything I hoped for and MORE I cannot say enough good things about this tour. I of course being the enthusiast, dragged my spouse along and I think he enjoyed just as much if not more than me! It's fun to speculate on what may or may not happen at a facility that may or may not exist but it's also nice to hear the lore based in reality that formed some of these myths. We had Michael as our guide and I wouldn't have wanted anyone else. It is a long drive out there so along the way we learned about desert geology and plant life even stopping from time to show us examples in the rocks and give us a chance to stretch. He even did a small bit about dimensional physics! Best part for me THEY SOUNDED THE SIREN AT US AT THE GATE!! We loved the little town in Rachel and the Alien research center was open so we were able to stop there. The only issue with this tour was that the black mailbox was ... missing? stolen? being worked on? either way it was not there and I do not hold that against the tour company AT ALL, it happens, just gives us a reason to come back! We loved every second thank you Michael and Adventure Photo Tours for helping me cross off a bucket list item and making it a perfect experience!!! Read more Written March 13, 2024
  • Urrutiacj 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Hoover Dam Tour Art did an amazing job throughout the tour. He was friendly, professional and did a good job narrating along the tour. He is very knowledgeable, providing historical information of Hoover Dam, Boulder City and historic Boulder. He also drove us to different areas, so we could get the photos with the best views and also offered to take the photos. We had a wonderful experience. Well done. Highly recommend this tour. Thanks Art! Read more Written February 27, 2024
  • L3157WKmichaelc 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Hollywood 24 Brilliant and informative also interesting, pleasant and comfortable journey with Christian, who was thoughtful, and totally amazing dude Read more Written February 18, 2024
  • maika2023 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Entertaining day in Hollywood I booked the day tour from Vegas to Hollywood L.A. Everything was perfectly organized. Micheal and Jim were the drivers and entertainer. During the 4,5 h drive to L.A. they impressed me with a huge infotainment about geology and plants on our way, and later about place of movie scene took place. In L.A. were enough time to see the the promised places. It was an entertaining day and I had enough time to catch my flight before midnight. Read more Written February 4, 2024
  • koodava 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Micheal was fabulous! We booked the Area 51 tour and was greeted by our tour guide Michael. He picked us up at Planet Hollywood and was on time. He was fabulous! Taught us some great geology on the way. Was more than happy to take our pictures. And shared his list of recommended books to read. It was like going on a tour with my wise uncle! He is a fountain of information. I highly recommend this tour. We are looking forward to our next trip to Vegas. And hope Micheal will be our tour guide for the Hollywood tour! Read more Written February 1, 2024
  • Chalks999 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Trip to Area 51 Fantastic trip, Kirk was highly professional and knowledgeable about the subject matter and an exemplary driver as well. A great day out with a visit to the ‘base’ and the Little Ale’Inn in Rachel. Read more Written January 28, 2024

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Karen K

Death Valley Day Trip from Las Vegas provided by Adventure Photo Tours

artists-palette-las-vegas-tours-to-death-valley

The Best Tour to Death Valley from Las Vegas

Home | Travel | North America | United States | California | Death Valley | The Best Tour to Death Valley from Las Vegas

A  Las Vegas-Death Valley tour  is one of the best  day trips you can take from Las Vegas . This park is just 2 hours from Sin City, so it’s the closest national park to Las Vegas .

Death Valley is one of the most unique places on earth, an area full of salt pans, dunes, and impressive lookout points. It’s also a hot and arid desert that experiences extreme temperatures, so taking safety precautions is crucial. Don’t worry; if you stick to the main attractions and prepare yourself, you’ll successfully make your way through the park.

Mesquite Dunes, tours from las vegas to death valley

It’s possible to visit Death Valley from Las Vegas  on your own (we did it during our West Coast Road Trip ), but if it’s your first time and you want to see all the highlights, I suggest taking a tour. There are only a few options, and they all leave from Sin City. To help you out, I’m recommending the best  day trip from Las Vegas to Death Valley .

Death Valley full-day tour , the best Death Valley day trip from Las Vegas

Enjoy the perfect  day trip to Death Valley from Las Vegas  on  this full-day tour . It includes round-trip transportation on a private bus, making the 2-hour journey to the park easy and comfortable. Once you arrive, you’ll stand before notable sights in Death Valley, like Dante’s View, Devil’s Golf Course, and Mule Team Canyon.

The tour includes a scenic drive to see the Artist’s Palette, where you can capture incredible photos of the colorful terrain. You’ll also witness the breathtaking view from Zabriskie Point and travel to the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, Badwater Basin.

Devil's Golf Course, tour to death valley from las vegas

Your group will stop for a picnic lunch at Furnace Creek, where you can rehydrate and check out the Visitor’s Center. This small-group tour allows no more than 14 people, so it maximizes your time and includes more locations. Plus, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide will keep you educated and excited at every turn as you learn about the desert flora and fauna.

  • Highlights : Badwater, Artist’s Palette, Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point, Devil’s Golf Course, Furnace Creek, Mule Team Canyon
  • Duration : 1 day
  • Price : $239+
  • Description : This full-day  tour to Death Valley from Las Vegas includes hotel pick-up/drop-off and park admission. Go to the most iconic areas of Death Valley, enjoy a picnic lunch in the park, and spot wildlife in the harsh desert.

Departure & return of this day trip to Death Valley from Las Vegas

This Las Vegas tour to Death Valley departs at 8 am and returns to the city around 6 pm.

Itinerary of this Death Valley tour from Las Vegas

Your tour to Death Valley from Las Vegas begins around 8 am with hotel pick-up from several Vegas hotels. You’ll board a comfortable tour bus and ride through the Mojave Desert to Death Valley National Park in California.

Once your group is in the park, you’ll visit Dante’s View , a 5,500-ft lookout point with beautiful views of Badwater Basin and Devil’s Golf Course, the two attractions that you’ll go to next.

Badwater Basin is one of the most well-known places in Death Valley. The 200-square mile salt flat is the largest in the world, and Badwater is the lowest point in the country, at 282 ft below sea level. From there, you’ll go to Devil’s Golf Course , an expansive salt pan with jagged halite salt crystals. The large chunks of salt were left behind after Lake Manly evaporated, and the name ‘Devil’s Golf Course’ comes from the chaotic landscape it creates.

Badwater Basin, day trips from las vegas to death valley

Badwater Basin, part of the itinerary of this Death Valley tour from Las Vegas

The next part of the tour is a scenic drive through Artist’s Palette , an area of the Black Mountains where the rock faces range in color from pink, red, and purple, to yellow, green, and gray. The colors are caused by oxidized iron, mica, and manganese, and create one of the most incredible attractions in the park.

Next, your group will stop at Furnace Creek for a picnic lunch and some free time to explore the Visitor Center. There, you can learn more about the surrounding Furnace Creek area. The fertile desert oasis is home to the highest recorded temperature on earth (134.1° F). The Visitor Center has exhibits, weather forecasts, educational presentations, and other convenient facilities.

After the lunch break, your group will continue the tour by visiting Zabriskie Point . Its recognizable yellow and brown landscape comes from broken-down sediment from Furnace Creek Lake.

death valley best things to do in zabriske point

Zabriskie point, part of the itinerary of this Death Valley tour from Las Vegas

Finally, you’ll go to nearby Twenty Mule Team Canyon , which also has distinct yellow and brown hills. The caves and old mine shafts were left behind after the prospecting period of the 1880s.

From there, you’ll board the tour bus and make your way back to the Vegas Strip, returning to the city around 6 pm.

Death Valley tour from Las Vegas price

This day trip to Death Valley from Las Vegas costs $239 per person.

What’s included on this excursion to Death Valley National Park from Las Vegas

For $239/person, you’ll get round-trip transportation from Las Vegas to Death Valley , national park admission, lunch, snacks, water, and expert tour guides. Hotel pick-up/drop-off is also included.

Las Vegas – Death Valley tour reviews

Our experience in Death Valley was amazing! We visited in August, and while it was hot, it wasn’t unbearable. Just be sure to bring plenty of water!

We decided to go through the park on our own, and I would recommend spending two days here to see all the highlights. However, if you’re short on time  this 1-day   Death Valley tour from Las Vegas  is the best option.

We loved the views from Zabriskie Point and Dante’s View, as well as the colorful trek through the Artist’s Palette. Another must-see is Badwater Basin, although it’s one of the hottest parts of the park.

Artists Palette, day trip to death valley from las vegas

One of the most curious things we saw was Devil’s Golf Course, and it was lots of fun seeing it close-up as well as from above at Dante’s View. And, of course, we kept an eye out for desert critters like tortoises, wild rabbits, and coyotes.

Since we spent some more time here, we were able to see a few other attractions like the Mesquite Flat, the most famous dunes in the park. We wrote a guide on where to stay in Death Valley , in case you are planning to rent a car in Las Vegas and spend some more time in the park too.

If not, don’t worry, even during a short visit you can see some of the most incredible things in this national park. Again, a one-day  Death Valley tour from Las Vegas  is better than not visiting at all.

Death Valley – Las Vegas map

You can see all the attractions you’ll visit on this Death Valley – Las Vegas tour on the map below.

FAQ – Tour to Death Valley from Las Vegas

For anyone unsure about taking a  day trip to Death Valley from Las Vegas , I’ve answered some common questions you might have.

Do the day trips from Las Vegas include the entrance fee to Death Valley?

Admission to Death Valley National Park costs $15 per individual and $30 per vehicle. If you take a Las Vegas tour to Death Valley , park admission is included in the trip price.

When is the best time to tour Death Valley from Las Vegas?

Death Valley is hot and arid year-round, especially during the summer. The best time to tour Death Valley from Las Vegas is from late fall to early spring. Between March and April, you can see the desert flora come to life, and the temperatures aren’t terrible, so it’s one of the best times to visit.

How far is Death Valley from Las Vegas?

Death Valley is about 126 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It takes about 2 hours to get there.

How to get to Death Valley from Las Vegas?

You can take the scenic route on NV-160 through Pahrump and Death Valley Junction. An alternative is taking US-95 through Indian Springs and Amargosa Valley.

What should I bring on a Death Valley tour from Las Vegas?

Whether you’re  touring Death Valley from Las Vegas  or visiting on your own, you must be prepared:

  • Water (at least 1 gallon/person per day)
  • Food/snacks
  • Light layers of clothing
  • Hiking shoes or boots
  • First aid kit
  • Smartphone/charger (your phone won’t work in most areas of the park)

How much does a Death Valley tour from Las Vegas cost?

There aren’t many  Death Valley tours from Vegas , and  the one I recommend  is the cheapest ($240).

Can I visit Death Valley without a tour guide?

You can visit Death Valley on your own, but you’ll have to be very careful and plan accordingly. Running out of gas/supplies or getting lost is easier than you think. That’s why I recommend booking a  Death Valley trip from Las Vegas .

Now you know how to get to  Death Valley from Las Vegas  and all the things to see here. If you do want to see all that this place has to offer, I highly recommend doing the  Death Valley day tour from Las Vegas . Also, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a question; I’ll be happy to help. Have a safe trip!

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Death Valley Tours & Trips

Find the right tour package for you through Death Valley. We've got 27 trips going to Death Valley, starting from just 3 days in length, and the longest tour is 14 days. The most popular month to go is October, which has the most tour departures.

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27 death valley tour packages with 4 reviews.

California Dreaming: Yosemite, Death Valley & Coastal Camping Tour

  • Mountain Hikes

California Dreaming: Yosemite, Death Valley & Coastal Camping

Great Cities of the West Tour

  • Sightseeing

Great Cities of the West

Los Angeles, Las Vegas with National Parks ROT Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

Los Angeles, Las Vegas with National Parks ROT

USA – New Year in Las Vegas 5 Days Road Trip Tour

USA – New Year in Las Vegas 5 Days Road Trip

5 Days Death Valley and Joshua Tree Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

5 Days Death Valley and Joshua Tree

Nevada Trails to Rails small group beginner and intermediate bike and hike 7 day tour-  max of 8 guests. Tour

Nevada Trails to Rails small group beginner and intermediate bike and hike 7 day tour- max of 8 guests.

This trip was an incredible way to access and ride an entire blossoming network of trails in and around Ely whihc are otherwise rather hard to navigate without a guide. The food way amazing! The staff were incredible - helpful, very experienced and knowledgeable. I couldn't recommend Bindlestiff more highly.
  • 5% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Death Valley Basecamp Tour Tour

Death Valley Basecamp Tour

Our tour guide Jennie did a great job. she took care of me very well. She is so knowledge about the area and her cooking was fantastic. I enjoy the environment and the time that I spend with her and the group, thanks Jennie, i would like to go another trip with her in the future/

Death Valley Inn Based Tour Tour

Death Valley Inn Based Tour

Was great trip, good people great guide Wally just wasn’t sure I agreed with the difficulty ratings… also would have liked more breaks yo enjoy the surroundings ! Would definitely use wildland reeking again

Valley of Fire and Death Valley Tour

  • Desert Hikes

Valley of Fire and Death Valley

The Treasures of California Tour

The Treasures of California

Dreams of the West end in San Francisco Tour

Dreams of the West end in San Francisco

West Park from Las Vegas Tour

West Park from Las Vegas

Dreams of the West Tour

Dreams of the West

Great Cities of the West, Ending in San Francisco Tour

Great Cities of the West, Ending in San Francisco

Los Angeles, Las Vegas with National Parks Tour

Los Angeles, Las Vegas with National Parks

What people love about death valley tours.

This trip was an incredible way to access and ride an entire blossoming network of trails in and around Ely whihc are otherwise rather hard to navigate without a guide. The food way amazing! The staff were incredible - helpful, very experienced and knowledgeable. I couldn't recommend Bindlestiff more highly.

Death Valley Tours starting in:

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  • Hiking & Trekking (14)
  • Family (11)
  • Small Group (14)
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  • DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK 4×4 TOUR
  • Death Valley

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Wild Mustang crossing road near Death Valley

Description

A unique experience… H2 Hummer Tours in small groups of 6 or less. Personalized guided tours to Death Valley.  One of the most unique landscapes on Earth. Lunch included. Save $.

Vegas Tours.com Price: $249.00 /  Save $27.00

Book now to reserve this tour:, payment requirements: pre payment required at time of booking, duration: 11 hrs (approx), days available: 7 days a week – sunday thru saturday, ( this tour has been temporarily paused  until further notice), departure time: 06:15 am, tour highlights and what’s included on this adventure.

  • Price is All-Inclusive. No Hidden Fees!
  • Get picked up and dropped off at your hotel
  • Travel is a Luxury 4×4
  • Visit Furnace Creek Visitor Center at Death Valley Unique
  • Experience light off-road experience thru 20 Mule Team Canyon
  • Stunning views & photo opportunities at Zabriskie’s Point
  • Spectacular scenic drive through Artist’s Pallet
  • Stop at Bad Water, 280 feet below sea level
  • Visit the Harmony Borax Mine
  • All-you-can-eat lunch buffet at Furnace Creek
  • Take a light Hike option
  • Browse the Death Valley gift shop
  • Courteous, friendly, fully informed, experienced guides
  • Spectacular Photo opportunities
  • Free and easy 48 Hr Cancellations
  • Book Now to reserve your place on this tour

The Death Valley National Park Tour is a full-day tour where you’ll see one of the most unique landscapes on Earth.

You will travel from Las Vegas in a luxury 4 x 4 vehicle to 190 feet below sea level as we arrive at Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Death Valley Museum.

You will visit the Harmony Borax Mine, with photo opportunities at Zabriskie’s Point. There is a light off-road experience through 20 Mule Team Canyon, a spectacular scenic drive through Artist’s Pallet, and, of course, a stop at Bad Water, 280 feet below sea level, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere.

The unique tour also includes an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at Furnace Creek as well as ample time to browse the Death Valley gift shop.

** This tour requires a minimum of 3 guests

B ook early and Save, Some tours dates and times have limited seating and sell out fast,  Free and easy 48 Hour Cancellations Policy for this tour.

Vegas Tours.com is an authorized agent for Big Horn Hummer Tours

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While on holidays in Las Vegas we organised a tour to Death Valley with Big Horn Tours. Scott was our driver on that day and what a day to experience and remember not only Death Valley, but also being in 120F temperatures. Scott professionalism showed through with his excellent knowledge of Death Valley and we would highly recommend anybody wanting to take a tour with Big Horn Tours to ask for Scott. Thank you Scott for giving us such wonderful memories of our holiday to the U.S

Jill Martin

Fantastic day out to Death Valley.... It is far from ,dead.... Best trip so far from Vegas. Brilliant and thoroughly recommend it

Teresa Denton Duncan

Mr. Scott Rivers was great at driving and explaining the history of the area. He is wonderful with story telling. I went to Death Valley and it was surprisingly beautiful and unique. I also liked Mr. Scott's hat and music as we were on the tour. It was very comfortable and we had plenty of stops. It was a very nice trip. I would definitely take more trips with this company.

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The Discoveries Of

7 Best Death Valley Tours for Epic Adventures

Ready for an adventure? Plan the ultimate Californian trip with one of these epic Death Valley tours.

Okay, I’ll admit: Death Valley appears to the untrained eye as an arid and desolate destination – and it might be. But, with its medley of russet stone and stunning mineral deposits, it’s also an explorer’s paradise. 

Boasting landscapes that defy imagination and extreme temperature levels, Death Valley is an iconic strip of Eastern California that needs to be seen to be believed.

Wait up before you go booking your Death Valley adventure – I’m about to treat you to the best Death Valley tours money can buy. No, I’m not kidding, these tours are insane .

The Best Death Valley Tours 

Las vegas: death valley day tour.

Mesquite Sand Dunes Death Valley National Park

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that Death Valley has enough distinct features to keep anyone busy for days. 

But, alas, sometimes all you have is one day. But, when you book this Death Valley Day Tour , maybe one (extremely jam-packed) day is all you need.

How does a walk along the lowest elevation in North America sound? Or maybe hitting up some eclectic desert Americana sites is more your vibe? That and much more await you during this tour. 

The big highlight, though, is the stop at Furnace Creek, where the hottest air temperature in Death Valley occurred in 1913—a whopping 134°F (57°C).

If that doesn’t win you over just yet, you’ll also visit Area 51 sites, such as the remote Alien Crater, during this tour. A stop at one of Death Valley’s ghost towns, Rhyolite, adds some spooky flair, while the Goldwell Open Air Museum showcases oddities and a glimpse into the past.

Finally, you’ll have ample chance to catch some buzzworthy snapshots at Badwater Basin, followed by the swirling colours of Zabriskie Point.

Tip: Eager to explore more of the Golden State? Read my guide on the best things to do in California .

Book Your Spot on the Death Valley Day Tour from Las Vegas

From Las Vegas: Full-Day Death Valley Group Tour

Artist's Palette Death Valley

While Death Valley boasts a myriad of exciting locations to visit, its vast landscapes make fitting the best into one day quite tricky.  But don’t say I don’t go above and beyond – this full-day Death Valley Group Tour , excitingly, includes the best of the best.

With its first stop, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, you get the chance to traverse one of the most majestic dunes in the world. 

Soon after, you’ll head to the stunning Zabriskie Point and Artist’s Palette, which will have your cameras working overtime. It’s at Artist’s Palette, where you hike a short distance for some epic scenes of volcanic minerals frozen in time.

Better yet, this tour includes complimentary food and drinks to ensure your belly is as treated as your eyes. 

Departing from the Martian-like landscapes of Zabriskie Point, you’ll end the tour at Dante’s View. Here breathtaking sights of the edge of the Black Mountains await.

Book a Spot on This Full-Day Death Valley Group Tour

Death Valley NP Full-Day Small Groups Tour from Las Vegas

Badwater Basin Death Valley National Park

Staying in Las Vegas and eager to experience the ultimate Death Valley tour? Look no further than this full-day Small Group Tour , with direct pickup from central Vegas. 

I would like to think that I’m the Queen of getting bang for your buck, and this tour easily ranks as one of the best value Death Valley excursions.

As a first stop, you’ll get up close and personal with Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. Taking you on a scenic drive after that through Artist’s Palette and a stop at the Death Valley Visitors Centre immerses you in the park’s history.

Now, if you’re eager for epic selfie opportunities (how else are you going to flex on the ‘Gram, of course?), this tour includes viewpoints such as Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point, and the Devil’s Golf Course. 

Another major highlight of this tour is the provided picnic lunch at Furnace Creek and a drive back to Vegas through Mule Team Canyon.

Tip: This tour is available as a fully private day tour if you book all five seats.

Book an Epic Adventure with this Full-Day Small Groups Tour

From Las Vegas: Death Valley Trekker Tour

Mosaic Canyon Death Valley National Park

Newbie looking to hit up the valley? Next up is one of the most iconic Death Valley National Park tours from Las Vegas. The Death Valley Trekker Tour offers a luxurious trip in a comfortable, specially fitted all-terrain vehicle, taking you to places few others go.

Along this tour (and from the comfort of your reclining leather captain seats, no less), you’ll get to admire all the popular sites. 

Starting in Badwater Basin, where you’ll stand 282 feet below sea level, the tour takes you to the historic Harmony Borax Works. This tour includes a prepacked lunch to enjoy as you roam from one unique spot to the next.

Heading off-road through Mule Team Canyon, you’ll get to marvel at the sweeping vistas and mountainous Amargosa Mountain Range. Things finish up with stops at the Devil’s Golf Course and Artist’s Palette viewpoints before heading back to Las Vegas.

Explore Death Valley in Style with the Death Valley Trekker Tour

Death Valley: Full-Day Tour from Las Vegas

Badwater Basin Death Valley National Park

Most tours of Death Valley head to its enigmatic locations, which are perfect if you’re an eager explorer looking for memorable hotspots. But some tours highlight the valley’s breathtaking landscapes, which is why this full-day Death Valley Tour stands out.

Expect to feast your eyes on the endless desert, vast valleys, and sculpted peaks of Death Valley during this stunner. Yes, it includes stops at typical attractions such as Badwater Basin and Rhyolite, but it adds a unique flair. If you’re a scenery-chaser, this one’s for you.

Prepare yourself (and your cameras) for almost unreal valley views from Hell’s Gate, followed by gorgeous photo ops at Zabriskie Point. Hitting the colourful swirls of the Artist’s Palette, the stunning Salt Lake, and the mind blowing Sand Dunes to finish off.

Tip: Include a Death Valley tour on this great California road trip .

Go Sightseeing with this Full-Day Death Valley Tour

From Las Vegas: Death Valley & Rhyolite Ghost Town Private Tour

Zabriskie Point Death Valley National Park

Next up is a tour that, admittedly, won’t be for everyone – but fans of all things spooky won’t want to miss out.

Exploring the harsh terrain of Death Valley is one thing, but wandering the lonely streets of its most famous ghost town is an almost surreal, certainly creepy experience. Heading out on this Death Valley & Rhyolite Tour with an expert guide is a must.

Starting the trip, you’ll venture through the valley’s picturesque landscapes and iconic regions. 

Grab some snapshots of Zabriskie Point, the Harmony Borax Works, and then step into the past in Rhyolite, a gold rush town which only saw habitation for 12 years. 

Your guide will divulge its rich history – and, while there likely won’t be any actual ghosts (don’t worry), I guarantee you’ll be left feeling a little but unsettled by the town.

Once you’ve explored the abandoned town, you’ll head back through the Mojave Desert and return to your comfy Las Vegas accommodation.

Ghost Hunt and Explore the Town of Rhyolite on this Private Tour

From Las Vegas: Death Valley Day Trip with Stargazing & Wine Tour

Dante's View Death Valley National Park

Alright, so I may have saved the best ‘til last. I’ve got a very smug face right now.

For a truly unforgettable experience within Death Valley National Park, you’ll want to book this full-day hiking Death Valley Day Trip . 

I know what you’re thinking – Julianna, what’s so special about this one? Well, allow me to explain.

Led by a professional photographer and guide, you’ll embark on an intimate adventure with the panoramic landscapes of the valley. Starting the tour in Pahrump, things kick off with wine tasting at a local winery (it’s a huge yes from me), followed by a journey to Dante’s View, Badwater Basin, and Furnace Creek. 

Seeing why it’s so special yet? Thought so.

But that’s not all: To cap off your epic adventure, you and your group will head to Zabriskie Point as the sun begins to set. As the sun sets, a spectacular array of dazzling stars begins to shine above, and your senses can feast on the best stargazing opportunity in the park.

Tip: After this tour, all photos taken by your professional guide are available to download from the generated link provided.

Indulge in Wine and Stargaze during This Death Valley Day Trip

Practical Tips for Booking Your Death Valley Tour

  • Be sure to check the availability of your tour before booking. Most Death Valley tours only have seasonal availability.
  • Death Valley gets EXTREMELY hot – I’m talking skin blisteringly so. Make sure you wear suncream and bring a hat and plenty of water, you’ll thank yourself. Check out my guide to essential travel gear to help you prepare.
  • It sucks but some tours are not suitable for certain people, such as minors and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. Make sure your chosen excursion accommodates you before booking.

Read More Death Valley Guides

  • Brilliant National Parks to Visit in December
  • The Ultimate California Road Trip
  • Unmissable Things to do in California

I’m Julianna Barnaby - a professional travel writer and geek extraordinaire. I started The Discoveries Of to help you to discover the best of new destinations from around the world.

Discovering new places is a thrill - whether it’s close to home, a new country or continent, I write to help you explore more and explore differently.

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Death valley tour details & tips.

  • Locations: Death Valley, Scotty's Castle, Ubehebe Crater
  • Tour length: 660 minutes
  • Air time: N/A.
  • Transportation type: Bus, van
  • Meals included: Lunch, unlimited bottled water and snacks.
  • Special requirements: This tour is typically available from the beginning of September through the end of May. This tour is not available Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

DEATH VALLEY TOUR DESCRIPTION

Begin your morning with a complimentary boxed continental breakfast served in Beatty, Nev., your first stop as you travel through the magnificent Mojave Desert. Then it's on to Death Valley.

Within the park you'll see many of the natural wonders that make Death Valley unique, including:

Ubehebe Crater: The crater is all that remains from a volcanic eruption so violent the volcano itself was destroyed. The crater is nearly a half-mile across and about 800 feet deep.

Furnance Creek: Explore the Furnace Creek Ranch museum, where you can learn about the history of Death Valley.

Badwater:  The lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level with a permanent spring-fed pool where you actually can walk on the salt flats.

Devil's Golf Course: A giant area of rock salt that has been eroded by wind and sand to create rocky spires so rough "only the devil could play golf on such rough links."

Dante's View: at 5,000 feet above Death Valley you get an overview of Death Valley. "Star Wars" fans will recognize the view as it was a filming location when Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi overlook the Tatooine spaceport of Mos Eisley.

Rhyolite Ghost Town: The ruins of the once prosperous mining town have been immortalized in photos and film.

Stops can change based on park closures, weather or other events. A boxed lunch is served during a stop in the tour.

Lunch includes a deli-meat sandwich, chips, cookies, fruit, soda and water.

This tour is not available Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

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Death Valley Tours From Las Vegas

This breathtaking national park filled with rugged mountains, salt flats, sand dunes, and ancient rock formations is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream.  Discover Death Valley with us  today!

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Enjoy breathtaking views that are perfect for picture taking.

Death Valley is home to diverse wildlife, including coyotes, ravens, and even roadrunners.

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Private group: death valley national park day tour from las vegas.

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At  National Park Express , we pride ourselves on offering a hassle-free, convenient, and informative way to experience one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, Death Valley. Our knowledgeable guides have years of experience leading tours, and they will provide insights into the national park’s history, geology, and wildlife, making your visit an educational and enriching experience. Not to mention, we provide comfortable transportation, so you can relax and enjoy the stunning scenery without having to worry.

All of our vehicles are well-maintained and are driven by experienced guides that are trained to handle any and all situations that may arise.

By taking a tour with us, you can spend less time planning and more time getting ready to enjoy your experience.

Our expert guides will provide you with insight into the history and hidden secrets of the Grand Canyon.

We offer you a chance to take a break from everyday life and ease into the comfort of nature.

We are a group of nature enthusiasts who are dedicated to sharing the beauty of the Earth’s creations with the world. With over 20 years of experience under our belts, we are beyond proud to continue to serve such an amazing community. For years we’ve provided a network connecting various destinations in the Southwest United States for travelers to have the opportunity to visit multiple attractions in the region. Our company offers flexible itinerary planning, making it easy for visitors to experience the beauty of the Southwest.

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When booking a Death Valley tour with  National Park Express , you can expect a comfortable and safe journey accompanied by experienced guides who will provide in-depth knowledge of the canyon’s natural beauty and cultural history.

All of our tours are customizable, with options ranging from day trips to multi-day excursions, helicopter rides, and sunset tours, allowing you to choose the tour that best suits your preferences. Be prepared to enjoy breathtaking views while creating lasting memories amidst the tranquility of nature.

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Decades after his death, the legend and legacy of ‘Mr. Las Vegas’ and his southern Utah mobster hideaway live on

From the desert inn to the d.i. ranch, moe dalitz lived large, long and prospered. it is said the bootlegger-turned-business-tycoon beat every rap — save for his checkered past..

(The Mob Museum) Moe Dalitz with a mountain lion he killed while hunting at the D.I. Ranch.

St. George • Southern Utah’s D.I. Ranch, tucked away in a rugged desert valley 25 miles west of St. George, hardly seems like an alluring hangout for a mobster whom Sin City denizens once dubbed “Mr. Las Vegas.”

But Morris Barney Dalitz — called “Moe” by those who knew him best — was no ordinary criminal. By all appearances, he was a gentleman with old-school manners who was popular, polite and eschewed violence.

Ditto for the remote D.I. Ranch, which The Salt Lake Tribune profiled earlier this month . When Dalitz bought it in 1954, it looked nothing like its namesake: the famed Desert Inn luxury resort the gangster owned on the Las Vegas Strip.

Appearances, as the maxim suggests, are often deceiving — as author Michael Newton related in his book “ Mr Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz .”

“America’s most secretive and most successful gangster never spent a night in jail, or even went to trial, despite a life of crime that spanned three-quarters of a century.” He was, Newton and others state, someone who preferred brain over brawn and knew how to keep his hands clean but was not above enlisting mob muscle to do the dirty work.

As for his 831-acre desert haven in southwestern Utah’s backcountry, the D.I. Ranch reputedly became a hideaway for mobsters on the lam and a discreet retreat for prostitutes, showgirls, gamblers and celebrities, like Elizabeth Taylor, on occasion.

(Mark Eddington | The Salt Lake Tribune) This building exists on the site of the D.I. Ranch, 25 miles west of St. George, where reputed Las Vegas mobster Moe Dalitz once lived.

The D.I., cowboy old-timers have attested, was a place patrolled by Uzi-toting guards in pickups and where dead bodies and vehicles were deep-sixed beneath mounds of earth or creek beds.

So who was Moe Dalitz? The answer, it seems, depends on who is asked?

There’s little dispute about his mobster beginnings. Born in Boston, Dalitz later moved to Michigan with his family and went into the laundry business. During Prohibition, he supplemented his laundry income as a bootlegger, ferrying illegal Canadian booze across Lake Erie to the U.S. Soon, Dalitz was linked to the criminal Purple Gang, the Mayfield Road Mob and what some federal officials dubbed “the Cleveland Syndicate.”

He also ran a string of illegal casinos in Ohio, Kentucky and Florida along with a legal one in Havana, which he fortuitously sold before Fidel Castro seized power. As one Cleveland law enforcement officer told members of a congressional committee on organized crime at the time, “ruthless beatings, unsolved murders and shakedowns, threats and bribery came to this community as a result of gangsters’ rise to power. Dalitz was considered part of that rise,” according to a 1999 Las Vegas-Review Journal article.

Too legit to quit

(Las Vegas News Agency via Wikimedia Commons) The Desert Inn hotel and casino in Las Vegas, pictured June 12, 1969. Moe Dalitz owned this longtime resort.

When Congress turned up the heat on organized crime after World War II, Dalitz made a momentous decision. Rather than quit, he would go legit by diversifying his businesses into mostly legal enterprises, shunning the spotlight and steering clear — at least publicly — of notorious ventures.

In 1949, Dalitz and partners Sam Tucker, Morris Kleinman and Louie Rothkopf — known collectively as the “Cleveland Four” — surfaced in Las Vegas, where they took over construction of the Desert Inn that developer Wilbur Clark had started but was too cash-strapped to finish.

Clark stayed on as the affable frontman for the hotel and casino, while Dalitz and his partners were the power behind the throne. Soon, people from across the country flocked to the Desert Inn to carouse, play craps or slots, lounge poolside with cocktails in hand or cluster behind giant windows in the resort’s swanky Sky Room to watch atomic bomb blasts from the nearby Nevada Test Site .

Dalitz pumped $2.7 million into entertainment during the Desert Inn’s first three years to lure top-flight entertainers like Frank Sinatra, who made his Vegas debut at the resort in 1951.

“For six bucks, you got a filet mignon dinner,” Sinatra said, “and me.”

[Read more about southern Utah’s D.I. Ranch , including fringe religious beliefs that it was once home to Adam and Eve and Book of Mormon bandits.]

Buoyed by the resort’s buoyant bottom line, Newton and other historians say, Dalitz parlayed his profits — along with cash infusions from International Brotherhood of Teamsters pension fund loans — into mostly legitimate investments that transformed the Vegas landscape and burnished his tarnished reputation.

(AP Photo, File) Frank Sinatra, in this 1990 photo, made his Las Vegas debut in 1951 at the Desert Inn.

For example, Dalitz invested in the Stardust and Flamingo casinos. He helped build the Las Vegas Country Club , created the PGA Tournament of Champions tour event in Las Vegas and tapped his financial backing and Teamster contacts to help construct Sunrise Hospital , Boulevard Mall , the Las Vegas Convention Center and the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

He also donated generously to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a variety of charities.

“People started seeing Moe as a civic and business leader in Las Vegas rather than a mobster,” said historian Geoff Schumacher, vice president of exhibits and programs for The Mob Museum in Las Vegas. “It got to the point in the 1970s and ‘80s where he was being honored by different organizations as the ‘man of the year’ for his philanthropy and involvement in different causes.”

Dalitz does Muhammad Ali one better

(John Rooney | AP) Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston in their 1965 bout. Dalitz and Liston once went the rounds, so to speak, during an encounter in Hollywood.

Notwithstanding Dalitz’s suave and civilized veneer, he was not above showing some syndicate steel. Dining in Hollywood, Dalitz was once accosted by heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston who told him, “You ain’t such a tough guy away from Las Vegas” and raised his hand as if to strike him.

“If you hit me … you’d better kill me,” Newton quotes Dalitz as replying. “Because if you don’t, I’ll make a phone call and you’ll be dead in 24 hours.

“...Liston couldn’t have been more stunned if he’d been hit over the head with a crowbar,” Newton wrote in “Mr. Mob.” “... Forget Cassius Clay’s ‘phantom punch.’ Moe Dalitz knocked out Sonny Liston with no punch at all.”

(Mark Eddington) Michael Newton's biography of Moe Dalitz, titled “Mr Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz.”

Clay, who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali, ostensibly knocked out Liston with the invisible “phantom punch” in their 1965 title tilt, causing some to speculate the fight was rigged.

Despite such incidents, as well as periodic unwelcome bouts of publicity over his mob ties and alleged skimming from casinos, Dalitz stayed largely above the fray. Even when reporters and investigators landed a stinging blow, civic and elected leaders often rushed to his corner.

On one such occasion, Dalitz approached Clark County Commissioner Thalia Dondero during her Las Vegas mayoral campaign and told her that he would understand if she would rather not be seen with him.

“If I can’t be friends with you, Moe,” Dondero reportedly replied, “I don’t want to be the mayor.”

D.I. days: Holing up and hiding out

(Suzanne Dalitz via The Moe Dalitz Archive) Joe and Averill Dalitz and their daughter, Suzanne, on a visit to the Grand Canyon.

Dalitz’s life in the sunshine and the shadows defy easy description.

“It’s complicated,” Suzanne Dalitz Gollin , a writer who lives in New Mexico, said about her late father and his legacy. “You can sympathize with the plight of a young girl when they told her that her father was a mobster, or with the young woman trying to form an independent identity while being called a mob daughter and having to endure everyone’s ‘Godfather’ movie references.”

Some of Suzanne’s fondest childhood memories are the times she spent with her father and mother, Averill, at the D.I. Ranch, riding her ill-tempered Shetland pony, romping around the grounds or relaxing at the house.

Even though she was just a little girl, Suzanne has vivid memories about the D.I. and how it differed from her Vegas home. Instead of maids and nannies, she remembers, there were cowboys and Paiutes.

She once spotted a rattlesnake on the bunkhouse steps and ran to tell her father, who was skeptical but grabbed his pistol and sauntered outside “like a real gunslinger, moving slowly until he saw the rattler.”

“Whaddya know, you’re right,” Suzanne recalled him saying. “Then he shot the snake dead and made me and my friend Judy hold it up like a trophy for a photograph, even though its guts were getting all over our hands.”

By the time Dalitz bought and built the ranch house, Suzanne explained during a 2016 presentation to the Washington County Historical Society, he had largely left behind his lawbreaking past.

“Dad didn’t want to be a mobster,” she said. “He wanted to be a lion-hunting, cattle-wrangling cowboy and a respected Las Vegas city father.

“...I never did see a single high-rolling customer, prostitute or bodyguard there, which isn’t to say that kind of thing didn’t happen,” added Suzanne, who was 6 years old when her parents divorced.

(Suzanne Dalitz via The Moe Dalitz Archive) Moe Dalitz on horseback at the D.I. Ranch.

Jay Leavitt, who lives in nearby Gunlock, was a boy when his father, Rodney, was Dalitz’s partner and helped manage the D.I. While he doesn’t discount Dalitz’s mobster past, he believes some of the tales spun about him and the ranch are a bit taller than the truth.

“When I was a little boy, we called him ‘Uncle Moe,” Leavitt recalled. “He would send truckloads of toys to kids in Gunlock.”

Jay said his father ran a telephone line all the way from the family’s Gunlock home to the D.I. Both dwellings had old-style crank phones Dalitz and his dad used to keep in touch.

He remembers Dalitz, upon learning he was about to be indicted, bringing his male German shepherd to the Leavitt home and asking his father to look after the dog while he went into hiding.

“He called my dad later,” Jay said, “and asked him to get his dog a girlfriend so he wouldn’t be lonely.”

Larry Shurtleff, who managed the ranch for subsequent D.I. owners Hyrum and Gail Smith in the 1990s, said Rodney Leavitt once told him about the time he was warned by Dalitz that federal agents would be coming to the D.I. in two days.

Facing possible arrest, Dalitz told his partner that he was leaving the country. Sure enough, “the feds” arrived as scheduled, only to find the ranch owner had vamoosed.

“[Dalitz] was always two steps ahead of everybody,” Rodney reported, “because he had moles everywhere and knew exactly what would happen two or three days before anything ever happened.”

Beating the rap, burying the past

In 1967, Dalitz sold the Desert Inn to billionaire recluse Howard Hughes and found a buyer for the D.I. Ranch two years later. He also hobnobbed with celebrities like Sinatra, Bob Hope and Lee Majors and rubbed shoulders with then-Nevada Gov. Paul Laxalt and other prominent politicians, many of whom hailed him as “Mr. Las Vegas” for his philanthropy and business acumen.

Still, his mob roots and relationships loomed too large for some to ignore. By the time of his death at age 89 in 1989 , Dalitz was said to have beaten every rap except his checkered past.

Suzanne recalls watching a home movie a few years ago of a mountain lion her dad caught and caged in an enclosure at the D.I. that he dubbed the “Lion Hilton.” She remembers her father posing by the cage, looking at the lion as it looked back at him.

“In that lion’s plight,” she said, “I could see my dad’s own dilemma, captured as he was by old stories and bad choices, a man destined to be hunted by the press and government for the rest of his years. I see a man on the outside of a lion’s cage [who] was once a mighty predator but now dreamed of a different life, one out on the open range where the past was past and there were no limits to a cowboy’s horizons.”

author

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