A woman stands at Dante's View in Death Valley, looking out to Telescope Peak and Manly Lake, Badwater Basin below.

Sunrise, Sunset, Starry Desert Hikes

March in Death Valley is (dare we say) full of life! There’s a dark sky festival to kick off the month; blooms, though perhaps not super this year, will nevertheless be popping; and the temporary Manly Lake at Badwater Basin—the lowest point in North America—is still going strong (for now). Here’s your guide to a sunrise, sunset, and starry night hiking trifecta for winter and early spring in Death Valley National Park.

Week: 02.21.2024
Regions: Northern & Southern CA

Sunset Hike (and Manly Lake Vista!) at Dante's View

Sunset Hike at Dante's View and See Manly Lake in Death Valley National Park

A woman stands at Dante's View in Death Valley, looking out to Telescope Peak and Manly Lake, Badwater Basin below.
It’s one of the world’s best places to watch a sunset. Dante’s View is a 5,476-foot vantage of the whole southern basin of Death Valley from the top of the Black Mountains. On clear days you get views of both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous U.S. 
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Rise and Shine Zabriskie Hike

Sunrise Hike from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley

The sunrise at Zabriskie Point makes a grand entrance, with the light ascending slowly and washing over the golden badlands. It’s signature Death Valley. It’s also a great starting point for one of the Valley’s marquee hikes.
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Starry Night & Dark Sky Adventures

Starry Night and Dark Sky Adventures in Death Valley National Park

Woman on Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at Death Valley National Park
You don’t have to stay out all that late to experience eminent stargazing at Death Valley National Park. The park's been given the highest ranking of darkness by the International Dark-Sky Association. Here are a trio of amazing ways to witness the mesmerizing night sky at Death Valley:
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  1. Taking the Stage: Tyler Ranch

    Hike the recently opened Tyler Ranch Staging Area in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, with 18 miles of new trails. This 6.5-mile loop up Sunol Peak is a challenge and rewards with exceptional views of seasonal iridescent hills.

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  2. Swing into Spring

    Swing into this 7.1-mile hike in the hills of Half Moon Bay! It’s got gorgeous views, fields of spring wildflowers, and a hidden rustic tree swing.

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  3. The Carson Show

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    Double Up on Diablo

    Set the tone for 2024 with this twofer summit hike at Mount Diablo State Park. Embark on a 7-mile out-and-back up Mount Olympia and Diablo’s lesser-known summit, North Peak.

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  1. Hiker overlooking Bear Gulch Reservoir at Pinnacles National Park near Monterey

    Pinnacles of Spring

    Why hike at Pinnacles National Park? Spring's a beautiful time of year here. And you might spy the magnificent California condor soaring while you gain soaring views from the High Peaks Trail.

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  2. Caves in Mojave

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    Port of Call

    Nestled by the sea on the majestic Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, Port Townsend is for travelers who treasure small town charm and natural beauty.

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