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Solo Roadtripping to Death Valley

I hope that my naivete inspires other first time-solo campers to get out there and explore. You won't regret it.

By: Karin Victoria Peck + Save to a List

As a woman who grew up just outside NYC, road tripping and camping solo was super intimidating. Def not in my wheelhouse. I found myself wanting to visit Death Valley, just with no one to go with. So I channeled my inner Queen Bey, took a page out of Nike's book and just did it. And let me tell you, it was scary at first. But I am so incredibly glad I did it. Pro tip: tell your mom about the trip ONLY after, home girl is guaranteed to freak TF out.

I didn't have a campsite reserved. I just winged it. Thankfully, I found a spot at Stovepipe Wells CG. And wouldn't you know, there is a bar just across the street. I brought a book & drank till I wouldn't feel the night desert chills. Successes so far, amiright!

Well, it wasn't all roses I tell you. One cracked windshield in a dead cell area and a creepy man asking you to watch a movie in his one person tent was indeed unsettling. Pro tip: have your mace and taser in tow. In hindsight, the beers maybe made me a tad too friendly. I regret that. But anywho, that's not important. You live, you make mistakes, you learn. Moving on...

Here are the highlights from my trip, top 3 ranked by yours truly.

1. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

This is touristy, but if you go out far enough to where there aren't kids sledding down the dunes (supes tempting), you'll find yourself in an area untouched to any footprints. And well, that was pretty epic.

Party of 1 at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

2. Zabriskie Point

Badlands viewpoint does not disappoint. And liiiike not to toot my own horn here, but REI did like this pic on insta, so basically I can die happy now.

Badlands at Zabriskie Point.

3. Badwater Basin Salt Flats

At 282 feet below sea level, this is noted as the lowest point in North America. And yeah, it's super salty, kinda like that guy you negged at that party last week. 

Badwater Basin Salt Flats.

In all seriousness, I hope that my naivete inspires other first time-solo campers to get out there and explore. You won't regret it. And you will for sure have one or two comical stories from your adventure that will last you a lifetime.


We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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