Inside the Park

There aren't many restaurants inside the park, or much variety (most of them serve basic American fare), but here's a rundown.

There are four dining options at the Ranch at Furnace Creek, all relatively informal. The best and most economical is the Forty Niner Cafe, a diner with better-than-average food and a widely varied menu. It's open daily from 7am to 9pm October to May and from 4 to 9pm the rest of the year. The adjacent Wrangler Steakhouse offers an all-you-can-eat buffet for breakfast (6-9am) and lunch (11am-2pm). The prices are higher than average, but the buffet is a good choice for families with hearty eaters. From 5:30 to 9:30pm from October to May (and 6:30-10pm the rest of the year), the Wrangler offers table service, grilling steaks, ribs, and other satisfying specialties; the servings are generous, but the dinners are pricey. The most casual option is the Corkscrew Saloon, serving pizza, bar fare, and libations from 11am to midnight. At the golf course, the 19th Hole Bar & Grill serves sandwiches and pub fare from October to May. All of these places accept all major credit cards.

At the elegant dining room at the Inn at Furnace Creek (tel. 760/786-3385), the menu highlights several Continental and regional cuisines. The peaceful setting and attentive service can be a welcome (though pricey) treat during exhausting travels through the park. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served. The Sunday buffet brunch is truly decadent; reservations are necessary. The dining room closes from 2:30 to 5:30pm daily and closes with the hotel from mid-May to mid-October. All major credit cards are accepted. T-shirts and tank tops are not allowed.

The Toll Road Cafe, the restaurant at Stovepipe Wells (tel. 760/786-2604) is kind of a cross between a camp dining room and a casual cafe. It's open daily for breakfast and dinner (lunch is available at the Badwater Saloon), and accepts major credit cards. Other choices are a snack bar at Scotty's Castle and a rustic (and affordable) burgers-and-beer cafe at Panamint Springs.

Helpful hint: Meals and groceries are costly inside the park because of its remote location. If possible, consider bringing a cooler with some snacks, sandwiches, and beverages. Ice is easy to find, and you'll also be able to keep water chilled.

Near the Park

Too far away for a round-trip excursion once you're in Death Valley, The Mad Greek (tel. 760/733-4354) in Baker is a restaurant you must stop at on the way in or out. At the junction of I-15 and Calif. 127, this roadside treasure is an ethnic surprise beloved by many. White tiles, Aegean-blue accents, and plenty of Athenian kitsch complement a menu of Greek specialties such as souvlaki, spinach-and-feta spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves, green salad with tangy feta, exquisite pastries, and even Greek beer. The mile-long menu also includes traditional road fare, such as hamburgers and hot sandwiches, and killer strawberry shakes.

Picnic & Camping Supplies

Within park boundaries, the Ranch at Furnace Creek has a market carrying a fairly wide selection of groceries and ice; propane is available at the adjacent service station. Stovepipe Wells offers ice, limited groceries, propane, and white gas.

Outside the park, if you want to stock up before entering, groceries and supplies are available in the towns of Baker, Beatty, Shoshone, Pahrump, and Ridgecrest. For visitors approaching on U.S. 395 from the south, Ridgecrest is the best choice -- it's a sizable city with chain grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, and a selection of gas stations. If you're coming from Las Vegas, booming Pahrump is the place to stop; it has a pair of good-size grocery stores to fill most travelers' needs.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.