Death Valley, the largest national park in the lower 48 states, remains a fascinating and popular destination during the summer, when the extreme reigns supreme at the park’s 3.3 million acres: from the lowest spot in North America, Badwater Basin (282 feet below sea level), to Telescope Peak, the highest point in the park at 11,049 feet and a perfect place to watch the sun rise or set.
Travelers can enjoy many activities at Furnace Creek Resort during the summer, including night-sky tourism, the “World’s Toughest Foot Race,” the exciting new water sport of hydroflight, and plenty of opportunities to spend quality time with Dad or reflect on the many contributions of the National Park Service over the past 100 years.
Hydro-Fest 2016 (June 10-12): The first industry-wide hydroflight event, Hydro-Fest 2016, brings together the impressive talents of the best hydroflight athletes in the world of jetboarding, jetpacking and jetbiking for a single event. This family-friendly weekend in nearby Pahrump, Nev. combines sport, competition, festival and fun for all. Other beach-related activities include slack lines, beach volleyball, paddleboards, a bounce house and more.
Father’s Day Weekend (June 17-19): Traditionally, fathers always seem to be relegated to the backyard grill on this weekend. Ditch the tie and socks this year and give Dad the Father’s Day gift he deserves (and the day off!) with a weekend of hiking, biking, jeep tours or simply relaxing in the spring-fed pool at The Ranch at Furnace Creek. If Dad still wants a steak, he’ll be taken care of in the Wrangler Steakhouse. And the golf course – the lowest on Earth at 214 feet below sea level – remains open, even if the temperatures rise above the average monthly temperature of 109 degrees Fahrenheit.
July 4th Weekend: Combine the long holiday weekend with stargazing in honor of the new moon on July 4th. Some of the best times to visit Death Valley National Park – one of the only Gold Tier-designated International Dark Sky Parks in the United States – are during new moons, when it’s possible to view the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers, and even the Milky Way with the naked eye.
Styr Labs Badwater 135 Ultramarathon (July 18-20): Known as “The World’s Toughest Foot Race,” the Styr Labs Badwater covers 135 miles from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, Calif., and is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. The start line is at Badwater Basin, Death Valley, the lowest elevation in North America, and the race finishes at Mt. Whitney Portal at 8,300 feet, with the course covering three mountain ranges for a total of 14,600 feet of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100 feet of cumulative descent. Those who prefer to leave their running shoes at home and cheer on this amazing group of athletes are also welcome.
The National Park Service Birthday (August): Historic art from Death Valley’s collections will be on display in the Visitor’s Center for the duration of the National Park Service’s founding month, and the entrance fee to Death Valley National Park (and the nation’s other National Parks and Monuments), will be waived during the National Park Service Birthday, Aug. 25-28. On August 25th, all are invited to attend a special National Park Service birthday celebration at the Death Valley Visitor Center. Furnace Creek Resort’s “Find Your Park” Package, valid through Sept. 25, 2016, includes an America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, an $80 value, with any two-night stay.
About Furnace Creek Resort
With its towering palm trees and true oasis atmosphere, Furnace Creek Resort – comprised of the AAA Four Diamond historic Inn at Furnace Creek and the family oriented Ranch at Furnace Creek – presents a complete contrast to the desolate desert landscape. The property is fed by natural spring waters and boasts two large pools, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, massage therapy and various spa treatments, post office, general store, three restaurants, saloon, cocktail lounge, horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s playground, service station and 290 rooms. Those traveling in RVs or interested in camping have many options as well, including RV parking sites with full hook-ups, the Fiddlers Campground with campsites for RVs and tent camping, and a nearby National Park Service campground. The Borax Museum, with artifacts large and small including some of the original 20 Mule Team Wagon trains, also calls The Ranch home, as does a nearby 3,000 foot airstrip. The Death Valley National Park visitor center is also within walking distance.
Furnace Creek Resort is two hours west of Las Vegas by car and a four-hour drive from Los Angeles. For additional information, rates and to make a reservation, visit www.furnacecreekresort.com.