Death Valley National Park Kid Hikes

Death Valley National Parks has a lot of great hikes for families. Though it can be very hot and punishing, there are a few hikes with some shade. There are a lot of trails with a short enough distance that a hat, sunscreen, and some water can get you through. Here’s a list of our favorite kid hikes in Death Valley National Park.

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    Badwater Basin

    Badwater Basin can be just a quick stop where you look out in the distance and admire the pools near the parking area. Most people like to walk the 1.0 mile roundtrip trail out to see the salt flats and take some pictures. When we were there, Badwater Basin was full of water, which made it extra fun.

    We visited when Lake Manly covered the Badwater basin area.
    Badwater Basin in a normal year.

    Natural Bridge

    This hike runs up a narrow canyon and during most parts of the day, you can find some shade from the canyon walls. It’s only a third of a mile up to the arch, though it is a bit steep and the sand is soft.

    Golden Canyon

    This is our must do hike in the park. It’s a bit longer at around a mile each way, but it’s only a gentle climb. Star Wars fans will recognize scenes from Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, and there are tons of places to explore.

    Harmony Borax Works

    There is a short hike that runs about a third of a mile through the old borax factory. The hike is relatively flat and short, and though it is not paved, wheels would do okay on this hike. The displays and information signs are interesting.

    Mesquite Sand Dunes

    This stop doesn’t have to be much of a hike depending on how far you’d like to walk. If you hike to the highest peak, the roundtrip distance is 2.0 miles and there is not an official trail. We just walked around for a bit and took some Star Wars pictures. This would also be a super fun place to let young kids dig and play in the sand.

    Mosaic Canyon

    This is an amazing hike that can be done from 1 mile-3.5 miles. It’s just right for kids if you keep it short, and due to the narrow slot like canyon, you might be able to stay in the shade at the right time of day.

    Ubehebe Crater

    This hike is under two miles but has some major ups and down. It follows the rim of a massive volcanic crater for 1.75 miles. It was fun to say we walked around the crater. You definitely see it from different angles, but it is an easy one to skip if you don’t have time. Make sure to keep kids back from the edge if you do hike it.

    Death Valley National Park does have some surprisingly easy kid hikes. It does also has some amazing stops along the way. Make sure to check out our family guide so that you know all the good stops before you go!

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