Zabriskie Point: A Scenic Vista Point in Death Valley

Zabriskie Point at Death Valley National Park

Famous for its eroding, undulating landscape, Zabriskie Point is only a short drive From Furnace Creek. The popular Death Valley vista point was built by the Pacific Coast Borax Company in the 1920s and named after the company’s vice president and general manager, Christian Zabriskie.

Originally, automobiles could drive all the way out onto Zabriskie Point to see Manly Beacon, but today a large, paved parking area greets visitors, who can walk up the steep, short, curving paved path to the lookout.

Visiting Zabriskie Point

We first visited Zabriskie Point in the middle of the day after meandering along the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail, walking the Harmony Borax Works Interpretive Trail, visiting the Borax Museum, driving through Mustard Canyon, and hiking the Keane Wonder Mine. We ate a delicious picnic lunch, took in the awe-inspiring view, and climbed out onto the majestic white and golden undulating hills.

At 710 feet in elevation, Zabriskie Point is one of the most visited areas in Death Valley National Park, and it’s so easy to see why… the view is full of rich colors and absolutely gorgeous:

  • To the south, you can see dark, colorful mountains that stand tall behind Artist’s Palette. The dark-colored material covering the badlands ridges is lava from volcanic eruptions that happened three to five million years ago.
  • To the northeast, past the golden badlands, you can see Manly Beacon, and just to the right, the cliffs of Red Cathedral.
  • In the distance, you can see the the salt plains on the valley floor.

After stopping at Zabriskie Point, we explored 20 Mule Team Canyon and drove out to Dante’s View to experience what is considered to be the most amazing view in Death Valley National Park.

While atop Dante’s View, Brian realized that he had LTE and after having basically zero service in Death Valley (even at the hotel), we posted photos to Instagram, checked email and social media, and sent/received text messages. I was also able to connect with my in-laws who arrived in Death Valley earlier in the day and we made plans to meet back at Zabriskie Point to watch the sunset.

Sunset at Zabriskie Point

Seeing an unforgettable sunset from a mountaintop in Death Valley was something I really wanted to experience, and I wasn’t disappointed. At Zabriskie Point, tons of people (lots of photographers) were gathered and lined up to view the sunset and it was remarkable. The sky lit up with pink streaks in one direction, and turned a stunning yellow and orange in the other — and the clouds added breathtaking character to the sky. And even better, as the sun set, the sky kept changing colors so every time we looked up we saw something different!

Know Before You Go

  • Zabriskie Point, part of the Amargosa Range, is a paved scenic viewpoint off CA-190 in Death Valley National Park, California about 4 miles from Furnace Creek.
  • Vault toilets are available in the paved parking area.
  • Zabriskie Point is featured on the cover of U2’s album The Joshua Tree.
  • Hiking trails lead from the point through the hills into Gower Gulch and Golden Canyon.

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