When travelers think of Death Valley, they recall record summer temperatures hovering around 130 degrees and write the destination off their travel wish list. But this often misunderstood region is amazingly diverse and beautiful.
In fact, many consider a trip to Death Valley National Park well worth the effort to get there, but it does require curiosity to explore it fully.
The only real deterrent to enjoying an adventure in this Mojave Desert location is the cost of fuel needed to visit every corner of the park. We’d like to give you a heads-up so that you can plan and budget accordingly.
Where Can You Buy Gas in Death Valley National Park
There are currently three options for purchasing fuel in Death Valley National Park. They include (from west to east) Panamint Springs Gas Station, Stovepipe Wells, and Furnace Creek Gas Station.
Panamint Springs lies just west of the Panamint Valley Road junction with California Highway 190 on the park’s west side. The gas station has fuel of every variety and offers ice cream, souvenirs, maps, fountain drinks, and coffee. Currently, the gas station is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. but has pay-at-the-pump features.
Located at the Stovepipe General Store, about halfway through the national park on California Highway190, the Stovepipe Wells gas station offers fuel, souvenirs of Death Valley, and food for sale. Customers also brag about the cleanliness of its restrooms. It operates from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
The Furnace Creek Gas Station on the west side of Death Valley National Park on California Highway 190 provides diesel and unleaded fuels. For those with repair issues, it does have a mechanic on duty. But by all accounts, it has the most expensive gas in the park and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How Much Does Gas Cost in Death Valley?
Hang on to your pocketbook because Death Valley has gas prices almost as high as the heat. Stovepipe Wells Gas Station seems to routinely have the least expensive gas prices of the three stations within the park. Its current price is around $5.01 for unleaded.
Panamint Springs has regularly charged approximately $1.30 per gallon more than Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. It is also the only diesel offered in the park. Fuel here costs roughly $6.56 for unleaded and $7.64 for diesel. These are quite possibly the highest gasoline prices in the country right now.
Will soaring gas prices mean fewer RVers on the road?
The Best Place to Fill Up Before Entering the Park
Before venturing into Death Valley National Park, many travelers fill up in Pahrump or Beatty, Nevada. And with fuel prices much lower in The Silver State, travelers can save money and travel farther.
Even unleaded gas prices in Lone Pine, California, are more reasonable at $4.65 per gallon. It looks like it’s worth the time to fill your tank outside of the park to avoid sticker shock.
How Long Does It Take to Drive Through Death Valley?
Driving directly from one side of Death Valley National Park to the other should take approximately 2.5 hours. But the park has some spectacular vistas you won’t want to miss. So take your time and stop to see what the nation’s lowest national park has to offer.
It would be easy to spend several days discovering the variety of trails, geography, and flora and fauna that make Death Valley unique. Many do so by hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking through the park’s ever-changing terrain.
Campgrounds, lodges, ranches, and resorts all exist within the park’s boundaries. Guests can take their time exploring rocks that leave moving trails, explosions of wildflowers, and snow-capped mountain peaks in the nation’s hottest desert regions.
So plan on traveling for more time than that initial 2.5-hour drive from border to border and explore this fascinating national park.
Should You Carry Extra Gas on Your Next Trip to Death Valley National Park?
If you just drive through the park on California Highway 190, you won’t necessarily need to carry extra fuel with you, as it is only 131 miles. However, consider bringing along surplus fuel if you plan to explore the various backroads or trails far from the three gas stations within Death Valley National Park.
Additionally, getting stranded in this desolate landscape with extreme temperatures and rugged terrain can be dangerous. If you do find yourself in trouble, assistance is many miles away.
So plan for the worst by filling up before you enter the park. Then expect the best when venturing through Death Valley by carrying extra fuel for a longer visit. Carry a little extra cash if you fill your tank inside the park.
Fuel Up Before You Go
Death Valley National Park should be on every traveler’s destination list, but exploring it should not break the bank. You have three options for getting gas inside the park. But just outside, it costs significantly less.
A little preplanning will help you avoid the ghastly fuel prices. Fueling up before entering will allow you to explore much of this desert wonderland at more sensible costs to your travel budget.
If You Love RVing, You Need to Stay Informed
Don’t rely on biased RV industry news sources to keep you informed with RVing news.
Stick with Nomadic News. We publish daily articles and breaking stories that matter to your RV lifestyle.