Star Wars fans invited to visit a valley far, far away

With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens only about two weeks away, fans of the franchise are being invited to visit the location where many scenes in the original Star Wars were filmed: Death Valley National Park.

Although the 3.3 million square miles of arid terrain may seem an unlikely spot for a vacation – particularly during the summer months – late fall and winter are excellent times to visit. The daily high temperatures average 67 degrees in January, 73 degrees in February and 82 degree in March; perfectly civilized, if not typical “winter” weather.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Star Wars fans will want to visit movie locations including Dante's View, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Desolation Canyon, Artist's Drive and Golden Canyon while others may prefer to enjoy the activities the area has to offer.

Those activities include golfing on an 18-hole golf course that is the world’s lowest at 214 feet below sea level, visiting a Borax Museum, splashing in spring-fed swimming pools, playing tennis, horseback riding, taking horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

The center of all those activities is the man-made oasis in the midst of the natural wonder that is Death Valley: Furnace Creek Resort. The property includes upmarket accommodations in the historic AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Furnace Creek, more family- and budget-friendly options at the Ranch at Furnace Creek as well as an RV park and campground for those intent on roughing it.

A de facto command post when the 1977 movie was being made, past generations of employees have shared their stories with newer generations who are also pleased to share them with today’s guests.

Those wanting to observe a real galaxy far, far away could not pick a better location. Death Valley National Park is designated as the largest Dark Sky National Park in the country and as one of the only gold-tier International Dark Sky Parks in the United States. Furnace Creek Resort and the National Park Service have taken measures to greatly minimize light pollution, making it possible for stargazers to see the Milky Way Galaxy with the naked eye.

In celebration of the upcoming release of the new Star Wars movie, Furnace Creek Resort is offering special rates beginning at $339 per night at the Inn at Furnace Creek and $119 per night at the Ranch at Furnace Creek. The property has also prepared an exclusive map for guests leading them to the filming locations that are easily accessible via car. Those sites are within a 20- to 40-minute drive from the resort.

More information is available on the Resort’s web site,

Visit my main page at for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photo courtesy National Park Service
Click on photo to view larger image