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Mojave Desert / Las Vegas (modified from National Park Service Map)

The Mojave Desert (moe-ha-vay) stretches over large parts of the Southwest, from California to Arizona and Nevada.

Death Valley, one of the hottest places on earth, is in the Mojave Desert in California.

In fact, huge areas of the western states are in one of 4 deserts, and that includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

Las Vegas, about 125 miles away from Death Valley, is also in the Mojave Desert in Nevada.

Elements and weather are more extreme in the desert. Whether it’s hot, cold, wet or dry, be prepared for the changing weather conditions when preparing for desert travel.

Traveling in the desert is best done in the spring and fall when the temperatures are cooler. Traveling in the early morning and evening hours is best to avoid hot weather.

Desert travel during July and August can be amazingly hot during the afternoons. Long lazy lunches in the shade and afternoon siestas are a must in desert adventures. There are really only a few places to get out of the intense sun and heat in Death Valley: Furnace Creek and Scotty’s Castle are two of them.

Try to schedule your desert journeys for the cooler times of day. Highway heat can be hard on cars – tires, batteries, cooling systems, belts and hoses – all work harder in the desert heat.

Temperatures get hotter through the day until they reach a peak somewhere between about 3pm and 5pm, and the highway retains heat for hours after the sun goes down.

Don’t take desert travel lightly… the desert can be brutal and unforgiving if you run out of a few basics such as water or gasoline. So even if you’re planning to just pass through a desert area, be prepared.

That being said, traveling in the desert is an incredibly rewarding experience. Interesting rock formations, stunning landscapes, refreshing oases, vibrant wildflowers, and solitude are a few of the remarkable benefits of desert travel.

With just a little planning, you can experience the magic and beauty of the desert, even in summer, in comfort and safety.

Tours From Las Vegas: Death Valley Travel Tips

Be Prepared for Desert Travel

Regarding Weather

Water and Hydration

Clothing for a Desert Adventure

Prepare Your Car For Desert Travel

DETOURS Platinum: Custom, Private Tours – One-Day and Multi-Day Tours of the American West.

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Desert Travel Tips: Death Valley Tours From Las Vegas