Death valley is an amazing part of the California desert. It is located about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It takes almost 10 hours to get there from San Francisco, but the last 4 hours of the drive are beautiful.
Unless you are going to camp, you should plan well your visit to Death Valley because accomodations are scarce. There are 3 places to stay within the Death Valley national park: Panamint Springs, Stovepipe Wells, and Furnace Creek.
Map of the park
Official site of the national park services for death valley
Photo: Zabriskie Point