The Oasis at Death Valley – Eastern California

The Oasis in Death Valley in California may be just the location for you to go if you’re looking for a retreat that features mineral springs and is positioned in a way that makes it appear to be in the middle of nowhere. You and your lover can have a luxurious, five-star stay with roots dating back to the 1920s, or you can have a magnificent adventure with your family while staying in the same peaceful location thanks to the hotel’s two separate experiences.

Death Valley National Park is the largest national park in the lower 48 states, and it encompasses the entire area surrounding the beautiful historic landmark known as The Oasis in Death Valley. It recently had a restoration that cost one hundred million dollars, assuring that any guests who are fortunate enough to grace its presence would have an extravagant experience.

Hot Spring Pools

Hot Spring Pools at The Oasis at Death Valley
Hot Spring Pools at The Oasis at Death Valley

It is difficult to realize that this resort, which is located in the middle of a dry desert that is touted as the “driest site in North America,” provides magnificent splashy pools for tourists to enjoy. However, The Oasis is well-known for its spectacular spring-fed pools, which have plenty of area for guests to play, unwind, and recharge their batteries.

This illustrious location features two different hot spring pools, one at each of their hotels (the Inn and the Ranch), which can be enjoyed by guests. The aquifer that supplies the water for each pool is located between Furnace Creek and Zabriskie Point, and it maintains a constant temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.

Things to Do in the Neighborhood

The Oasis is the ultimate playground for those who want to unwind, explore, and engage in some of the most memorable experiences of their lifetime because it is dispersed throughout the 3.4 million acres that make up Death Valley National Park. This should not come as a surprise because The Oasis is spread out within Death Valley National Park.

At The Oasis, in addition to the spring-fed pools, which are an absolute must-see, you will find a wide variety of other fun activities, including the following:

Explore

If discovering the mysteries of the natural world piques your curiosity, you’ll be happy to learn that The Oasis is an ideal location for adventures in the great outdoors. Whether you travel during the day or the night, you will find that you are greeted with some of the most breathtaking sites in the entire globe.

You won’t want to miss out on seeing one of the most magnificent vistas, which is Artist’s Drive. Magnificent washes, spectacular mud hills, brilliant colors, and incredible natural rock formations can be found along this paved canyon that only goes in one direction.

A visit to Badwater, the “lowest place in the Western Hemisphere,” which is located 282 feet below sea level, is another attraction that you won’t want to miss. While you’re there, you might as well check out Devil’s Golf Course, which is a salt field formed when water evaporates from bodies of water.

Mushroom Rock, Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Dante’s View, and the Harmony Borax Works are among the other places that absolutely cannot be missed.

Jeep Tours

Consider signing up for an adrenaline-pumping jeep tour if you want to explore Death Valley National Park in a way that is completely unique and exhilarating. These tours provide you the opportunity to escape off the beaten path, providing you with breathtaking panoramas and a thrilling journey that you won’t forget in a hurry.

Horseback rides! Family Fun at Death Valley
Horseback rides! Family Fun at Death Valley

Do you find the idea of off-roading to be a bit too thrilling? Looking for something that’s a little bit more chill, and maybe even a little bit romantic? Then you will need to get to The Ranch Hotel’s Furnace Creek Stables as soon as possible. You can go through this region on horseback or in a carriage, much like the pioneers who settled here almost 160 years ago did.

Shopping

At The Oasis, there are more activities available than just staying and playing. It is also a one-stop shopping destination, making it convenient whether you need to stock up on some favorite groceries or want to bring a luxurious memento back with you. The following retail establishments can be found on the premises:

  • The Ranch’s General Store
  • Oasis Shoppe
  • The Golf Pro Shop
  • Desert Outfitters
  • Spa and Wellness

The Oasis provides luxurious spa and wellness services that are on the cutting edge of technology to calm and rejuvenate the entire body. You may find a wide choice of therapies to refresh your mind, body, and soul at this facility, which is known as “the world’s first phytoactive spa.” These treatments include everything from reflexology to massages, salt cribs to aromatherapy.

Golf

Those who are passionate about golf won’t want to pass up the opportunity to play on the “lowest elevation course in the world.” The breathtaking Furnace Creek Golf Course is nestled inside a verdant terrain that is exquisitely flanked by the Panamint Mountains, which are home to Death Valley’s highest point, Telescope Peak. The course also features some of the most magnificent vistas of the barren landscape of Death Valley.

Dining

Death Valley Dining Oasis
Death Valley Dining Oasis

Hungry? Then The Oasis is the place to go to satisfy the rumbling in your stomach. There are a number of excellent dining establishments that can cater to your every gastronomic need, whether you have an insatiable sweet tooth or are in the mood for steak and potatoes.

  • The Last Kind Words Saloon is an old-school establishment with a western-themed bar that is known for its delectable barbecued ribs and enticing variety of beers.
  • The Inn Dining Room is The Oasis’s finest and most opulent dining experience available. Classic dishes and regional specialties are served with breathtaking, unhindered vistas at this restaurant.
  • The Inn Pool Cafe is a laid-back eatery where guests may have a salad or sandwich without having to move from their “ideal seat” by the pool.
  • Ice Cream Parlor — Although it feels like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit this retro ice cream parlor, it serves some of the most mouthwatering ice cream flavors imaginable. After making your way through the expansive desert, this is the ideal spot to stop and refresh.
  • At the 19th Hole, golfers can take a break from the course to kick back, relax, and enjoy a delectable meal during certain months of the year. While you dine, you will experience the maximum tranquility thanks to its view of the nearby golf course.
  • 1849 Restaurant: Despite the fact that it has the appearance of an old historical building, the 1849 Restaurant serves delicious food that is also pleasant to children. Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all “all you can eat,” so you are free to stuff your face to your heart’s delight at any of the three meals.

Accommodations

Room at The Oasis at Death Valley, National Park
Room at The Oasis at Death Valley, National Park

One of the advantages of choosing The Oasis as your destination is the fact that the region features not one but two unique hotel options in addition to a first-rate campground. You are able to select a place to stay that is suitable for your requirements, regardless of whether you are seeking for a flawless Honeymoon break with plenty of pampering or whether you want to get your pulse pounding with the fam-bam.

The Death Valley Inn and Restaurant

The Inn in Death Valley is a historic hotel that has been awarded four diamonds and has 66 hotel rooms in addition to 22 Casitas. This opulent and remote hotel was built in 1927, but it has been a haven for Hollywood celebrities such as Marlon Brando and Carole Lombard ever since it first opened its doors.

The Inn is the perfect place for grownups who want to get away from it all because of its upscale lobby, tennis courts, workout rooms, and saunas, in addition to its luxurious accommodations.

The Ranch in Death Valley

Consider staying at The Ranch, sometimes referred to as “the lively hub of the resort,” in the event that you are seeking for a hotel that is both thrilling and suitable for families. Since its opening in 1933, this hotel has made it a priority to offer exciting activities to visitors of all ages and demographics.

Everyone will have a good time at The Ranch due to its unique combination of laid-back atmosphere and exciting activities, which include its Spanish Colonial Town Hall, fire pits, volleyball courts, and playgrounds. Choose to stay in one of the rooms at the hotel or one of the brand new villas!

Fiddler’s Campground

At Fiddler’s Campground, you can pitch a tent or park an RV if you have one available to you. Campers staying at this campground in Death Valley have access to many of the facilities and amenities offered by “The Ranch,” including the spring-fed pools, showers, and restaurants at The Ranch. The campground is located just next to The Ranch.

Local Attractions

There’s no such thing as a bad place to visit in Death Valley. But some spots are more popular than others. Here are some of the most beautiful places within Death Valley National Park.

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point (Death Valley National Park)

Zabriskie Point is one of the most popular and iconic locations in Death Valley National Park. It’s the site of a famous viewpoint that looks down the length of a valley at a bizarre landscape of rock formations that look like giant stone organ pipes strewn randomly across the valley floor. From this overlook, you can also see an old borax mine, another testament to the region’s mining history.

To get to Zabriskie Point, follow Badwater Road out of Stovepipe Wells Village and head toward the Panamint Range. The road is paved for much of the way, but there are many gravel sections. As you drive, keep a lookout for desert tortoises, which are common on the road’s shoulders.

The entire drive to Zabriskie Point takes about 45 minutes from Stovepipe Wells Village. You’ll pass through landscapes that change drastically as you drive: first through rolling hills covered in sagebrush and grasses before reaching a wide valley with scattered small hills and an interesting geologic formation called the Golden Canyon.

Salt Creek (U.S. National Park Service)
Salt Creek (U.S. National Park Service)

Salt Creek is a short hike that leads to interesting geological features in the southern part of the park. The trailhead is located at the Salt Creek Interpretive Site, which is not open during the winter.

On this hike, you’ll see a variety of salt formations, including salt pillars and flats, and witness some of the geological forces that formed Death Valley. The flat salt formations were once underwater lakes, but as the lake evaporated, the minerals were left behind in these distinctive patterns. The pillars are formed when saltwater seeps through a layer of soil and dissolves minerals in that layer. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind salt that hardens into large pillars.

The entire hike is about one mile round trip, with most of it being level terrain. The interpretive site includes informational signs about the geology you will be seeing along the trail.

Salt Creek is one of three trails at Salt Creek Interpretive Site; the other two are short nature trails that lead to cactus gardens and interpretive signs about the desert tortoise population in the area.

Badwater

Badwater
Badwater

One of the most interesting places in Death Valley National Park is called “Badwater.” It is a depression in the Panamint Valley that is the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. The name “Badwater” was given by early pioneers who were exploring the area. They were struck by how bad the water looked and tasted, so they named it “Badwater.”

Badwater is an example of how a small change in elevation can have a big impact. The reason why this depression is so much lower than any other point in North America is because of the thickness of the crust under Death Valley. The crust under most of North America is about 25 miles thick, but here it’s only about 8 miles thick. This means that gravity pulls down on this area harder than anywhere else and causes these depressions.

Visiting Badwater isn’t difficult, but you have to plan ahead because it’s extremely remote. The closest town with accommodations and services is Lone Pine, California, which is about 120 miles away from Badwater on Highway 190. If you’re planning a visit to Badwater, you’ll want to check road conditions in advance because Highway 190 often closes due to snow or flooding during winter or spring months.

Eureka Sand Dunes

If you only have a day to visit Death Valley National Park, the most logical thing to do would be to base yourself in the town of Death Valley Junction (next to the park’s southern entrance) and spend the day exploring everything in the eastern half of the park. This area of Death Valley National Park is home to a number of fascinating geological features, including salt flats, sand dunes, and canyons.

The largest sand dunes in the United States are located at a place called The Oasis, not far from Death Valley Junction. The tallest dune is about 650 feet high, and if you’re interested in climbing it, be sure to check with rangers before you head out. Not all of the dunes are open for climbing.

Another popular destination that’s located near Death Valley Junction is the Badwater Basin (the lowest point in North America). If you have time for just one short hike, make it either Artists Drive or Grand Canyon Trail. Artists Drive is a short hike along an easy paved trail that leads to a beautiful canyon filled with colorful rocks that look like pieces of art. You might even see bighorn sheep if you’re lucky.

There is also some excellent hiking at Artists Palette, which is another spot where bighorn sheep are common.

Devil’s Golf Course

Devil's Golf Course
Devil’s Golf Course

If you want to see a weird landscape that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, head to the salt flats located in the southern part of the park. The salt flats are one of the most popular destinations in the park, and there are a number of different things you can do here, depending on the time of year. In summer, you’ll be able to take a drive on the salt flats (which will cost $10 per vehicle) and see some truly bizarre sights, including the Devil’s Golf Course.

Devil’s Golf Course is an area where salt has piled up in such a way as to resemble a golf course fairway. The salt ridges form perfect “greens” and “mounds” with “holes” that are full of salt. These formations are not stable and they shift over time, so you will never see them looking exactly like they do in this photo.

The Devil’s Golf Course is located within a larger area called Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. You’ll also be able to see some interesting erosion at work at Badwater Basin; for example, when it rains, water flows down into the basin from nearby mountains and creates a small lake that looks like a road. But this water disappears quickly into cracks and crevices in the earth and evaporates.

The Racetrack Playa

The Racetrack Playa is a dry lakebed in the northern half of Death Valley National Park. Although it does not offer much in the way of views, the playa itself is fascinating. That’s because it is home to “sailing stones,” rocks that have mysteriously moved across the surface of the flat, dry lakebed.

There are several theories about how these rocks move. One is that strong winds push them across the playa. Another theorizes that ice pushes them along as the playa freezes over during winter. A third theory states that “light stone” rocks, which are hollow on the bottom and filled with dirt, somehow move when wind blows through the rock.

The sailing rocks are most easily viewed from a pull-off on the side of Highway 190 between Saltdale and Mesquite Flat. Look for rocks in groups of three or more, since single rocks tend to get blown over by strong winds. Other great places to see the sailing stones include along Sand Spring Road (off of Highway 190) and at Golden Canyon (off of Highway 178).

Scotty’s Castle

If you only have time or energy to visit one place in Death Valley National Park, make it Scotty’s Castle. Located near the town of Death Valley Junction (home to several parks service facilities), Scotty’s Castle is a fascinating relic from the heyday of the Old West. Built in the 1920s by a former Kansas City bootlegger named Walter Scott, it was used as a residence by Scott and his wife Bessie for just a few years before they moved on to other things. But the castle was so fascinating that it remained in the family for decades.

The castle was finally purchased by the National Park Service in 1972, more than 50 years after it was abandoned. The NPS has been restoring and preserving the castle since then. The result is an amazing juxtaposition of Old West frontier architecture and Mid-Century Modern design. The castle is decorated with rustic cowboy memorabilia and art that belonged to Walter and Bessie Scott and their descendants.

Scotty’s Castle is also home to one of Death Valley National Park’s most interesting ghost stories. According to legend, Walter Scott buried $2 million somewhere on the grounds, hidden in a cache marked with a distinctive cross shape. Despite repeated efforts, no one has ever found this treasure.

Artist’s Drive and Mosaic Canyon

Artist’s Drive is a scenic loop that starts from the Artists Drive parking area. On the drive, you’ll pass through a valley with colorful rock formations before reaching a ridge with panoramic views. This is one of the most popular drives in the park, but it’s still possible to find solitude here on a weekday in the off season.

Mosaic Canyon is also located along Artist’s Drive. The canyon is one of the more remote locations in Death Valley, but that isolation makes it an interesting place to visit. The canyon floor is filled with sandstone formations reminiscent of waves at sea, a phenomenon known as “desert varnish.”

The canyon itself is only accessible on foot and requires a short hike down and then back up again. The hike isn’t hard, but some parts are steep and you will be walking on sandstone, so take care not to slip or fall. And be aware that Mosaic Canyon is hot in the summertime; wear plenty of sunscreen and take plenty of water with you so you don’t end up suffering from heatstroke or heat exhaustion.

Strawberry Point and Pueblo Mountains

Though it is located in the southern part of the park, the oasis at Stovepipe Wells is a popular destination for those staying at Furnace Creek Resort, the only lodging within the national park boundaries. But if you are willing to drive a few miles off-road, you can find some spectacular scenery just off State Route 190 in the central part of Death Valley National Park. The most notable feature in this area is Strawberry Point, a rocky outcrop with panoramic views of Death Valley that is one of the most photographed spots in all of the national parks.

From Stovepipe Wells, take State Route 190 north for about 6 miles. Turn right onto Centaur Road and drive about 2.5 miles to where it ends at a locked gate (the road used to continue for several more miles to an area known as North Road). Park here and walk past the gate and along the dirt road for about 2 miles. You’ll see signs pointing toward Strawberry Point that will lead you to an even steeper path up a hillside.

Those who want a longer hike should check out the Pueblo Mountains near Scotty’s Castle, which are located off State Route 178 in the southern portion of Death Valley National Park. Like all hikes in this desert, this one requires plenty of water, sunscreen, and other provisions for surviving in harsh conditions.

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Bottom line

Have a wonderful time during your stay at this genuine oasis in the middle of the desert. During your time in the area, add a visit to one of the many additional natural hot springs located near Death Valley to your agenda for Eastern California.

Local Information

Address: Highway 190, Death Valley, California 92328
GPS: 36.457239,-116.866273
Phone: 760-786-2345
Season: Year-round
Website: oasisatdeathvalley.com

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