I got a cute little AirBnb in Beatty, NV and even though it is a tiny little town with basically nothing there (except wild burros); it is the perfect jumping off point for a trip to Death Valley.
It was close to everything I wanted to see, and even left time for me to get back in time for a late afternoon nap. #winning
The NPS site has a great resource that I used quite a bit to decide what I wanted to see, and what would be actually doable. Again, I was little concerned about the weather, but it was perfect. It was high 80s (already?! In April?!), but not I'm-gonna-die-right-now hot.
I wish I'd taken a picture, but the bathrooms all have color charts for your pee - ranging from "normal" to "OMG-call-an-ambulance-now" dehydration.
Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes
These dunes are the largest dune field in the park. It includes 3 types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star shaped.
These formations resemble bundled/shocked corn during harvest. Their roots hoard soil and bind it them in order to survive.
These signs are scattered all through the park. I only stopped at this one, plus Badwater Basin.
Golden colored hills and narrow canyons - Star Wars: A New Hope had a few scenes filmed here.
Artist's Drive/Artist's Palette
This drive is so pretty. The prettiest parts don't even have a turnout, so you'll just have to go see it yourself. Artist's Drive is a 9 mile loop winding through multicolored hills.
This is the lowest elevation in North America at -282 feet below sea level.
From the sign for the lowest elevation, you can turn and look about halfway up the mountain and see the sign showing sea level.
Devil's Golf Course
Signs here warn you to be careful, as a fall could result in cuts or broken bones.
The jagged formations are made with crystallized salt and on hot days you can hear them exploding.
The peak is 5,475 ft and the view is breathtaking. (The drive is white knuckling - at least the last 1/4 miles or so.) This viewpoint faces west with a view of the Panamint Mountains and Badwater Basin.
Ubehebe volcanic crater was caused by a steam and gas explosion when hot magma reached ground water. The intense heat flashed the water to steam and expanded until it released in an explosion. Ubehebe is the largest and youngest crater of Maar volcanoes.