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Central California / Death Valley / USA / USA National Parks

5 Reasons to See Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point, along with most of Death Valley, looks like the surface of another planet. Situated in the middle of the National park near Furnace Creek, it’s a quick stop that can be added to any point in your trip. In case the landscape alone doesn’t draw you in, here are 5 reasons to see Zabriskie Point.

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1. Otherworldly Views

The thing that surprised me the most about Zabriskie Point were the layers of otherworldly views. Cliffs and curves of yellow, orange, and brown mesh together to form a dramatic landscape in all directions. I went there expecting to be impressed, but I was blown away by simply how much there was to see from standing up on the main viewing platform. Fun fact: the dramatic outline of the ridged peaks at Zabriskie Point was used as a filming location in episode 1 of The Mandalorian. Proof that this location really does look like the surface of another planet.

Otherworldly views in Death Valley
Otherworldly views in Death Valley

2. Great Location

One of the 5 reasons to see Zabriskie point is that is centrally located, making it a very convenient add on to your Death Valley itinerary. It’s just about 5 minutes away from Furnace Creek Visitor Center. I stayed at the nearby Ranch Hotel at Death Valley Oasis, so Zabriskie Point was the first sightseeing stop I made on the way to check in to my hotel. It was a wonderful introduction to Death Valley. I would estimate that making a stop at Zabriskie Point could easily be done in 30 minutes if you’re short on time.

Views and information on Borax Mining from the viewing platform at Zabriskie Point
Views and information from the viewing platform

3. Easy Access

Zabriskie Point is conveniently located off Highway 190 with easy signage leading the way. It has a large parking lot that is a close distance to the main viewing point. It is also one of the few locations in Death Valley that doesn’t require driving down a questionable and rocky dirt road. The walk up to the main viewing platform is quick and easy, requiring some light uphill walking along a paved pathway.

Paved walkway and parking lot. Easy access is one of the 5 reasons to see Zabriskie Point.
Heading down the paved walkway to the parking lot

4. Perfect for Sunrise or Sunset: One of the 5 Main Reasons to See Zabriskie Point

While Zabriskie Point is going to be amazing at any time of day, morning and afternoon light is definitely going to help you see it at its best when all the varying colors and tones are on display. If you want to take it up a notch, however, head to Zabriskie Point for sunrise or sunset. The convenient and easy location makes it very good for sunrise photography, because you won’t have to do much navigating in the dark, early hours to get there. It is definitely a popular spot for sunset as well. The reds and oranges that wash across the landscape at these magic hours is breathtaking, making it one of the 5 reasons to see Zabriskie Point.

Enjoying the otherworldly views, one of the 5 reasons to see Zabriskie Point
Enjoying the views

5. Trailhead for Badlands Loop Hike

If you want to see a bit more than what is offered at the main viewing platform, Zabriskie Point is where you will find the trailhead to the Badlands Loop Trail. A 2.5 mile loop, the Badlands Loop Trail allows you to more fully immerse yourself in the otherworldly colors and textures around you. The trail is on the easy side, with an elevation gain of only 400 feet. Most visitors finish the trail in 1.5- 2 hours.

Trailhead Sign. Golden canyon, Red Cathedral, and Badlands Loop Hike.
Trailhead for Badlands Loop Hike

Summary: 5 Reasons to See Zabriskie Point

Don’t let Zabriskie Point be a spot you pass up. The views are absolutely amazing and out of this world. Its convenient location and viewing platform make it really easy to visit. A perfect spot for sunrise and sunset, Zabriskie Point is wonderful for photography, hiking, and exploring.

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