things to do in death valley national park

Death Valley National Park is the hottest, driest, lowest place in the nation. The best time to visit is winter or spring when the. 11 Fun Things To Do In Death Valley National Park · Zabriskie Point Death Valley- Sunrise · Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, and Badlands Loop Hike · Artists Drive. How to Spend One Day in Death Valley · Badwater Basin · Artists Palette Drive · Devils Golf Course · Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes · Zabriskie Point.
things to do in death valley national park

Things to do in death valley national park -

13 things to see and do in Death Valley National Park

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I wasn’t expecting much when it came to Death Valley National Park. Given its name, I assumed it was basically a bit of wasteland with not much going for it. So it came as a bit of a surprise when we visited during our three-month cross USA road trip and discovered it was absolutely stunning.

Despite being one of the hottest places in America, it poured with rain, hail and we were treated to an almighty thunderstorm during our night in Death Valley. Just as well there were some spaces at one of the Death Valley campsites so we could hunker down for the evening and try and avoid getting struck by lightning! If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley National Park (and you absolutely should!), then here are some of the best things to see in Death Valley, California. Oh, and be sure to check out this guide to Death Valley National Park and these awesome Death Valley hikes!

death valley what to see

Where is Death Valley National Park?

what to do in death valley national park
Death Valley National Park is in eastern California and is just west of the Nevada – California State border. It’s 123 miles from Las Vegas to Death Valley (2 hours), and roughly 3.5 hours drive away from Los Angeles. 

If you’re driving to Death Valley National Park and need to rent a car, definitely check out RentalCars.com. They make it super easy to compare rental prices so that you can be sure you’re getting a good deal! 

Death Valley National Park map

death valley national park map[Click the link to see an enlarged Death Valley map]. Here’s a map of Death Valley National Park that shows the roads and main sites some of which are mentioned below or in other posts. 

Entrance fees to Death Valley

The Death Valley entrance fees are $30 per car, this lasts for 7 consecutive days.

If you’re entering by foot, bike then the entrance fee is $15 per person.

If you’re visiting a few US National Parks over the course of a year then you’ll be better off buying the “America is Beautiful National Parks Pass” from REI for $80.

You can also buy a pass from the Death Valley Visitor Centre. 

Where to stay near Death Valley National Park

There is some limited accommodation within Death Valley National Park but you’ll get more options for lodging at Death Valley if you’re willing to sleep over the state line in Nevada. Here are some of the top options for accommodation in Death Valley and it’s surroundings. 

Hotels near Death Valley National Park

Death Valley Camping

It’s unusual for all the Death Valley campgrounds to fill up but if you’re hoping to stay at Furnace Creek campground you may want to reserve prior to your visit. All other campgrounds are first come, first served. 

  • Furnace Creek: Reservations required from October 15 – April 15. Costs $22 per night, $36 per night for electric hookup
  • Sunset: Open October 15 – May 2, costs $14 per night
  • Texas Springs: Open October 15 – April 24th, costs $16 per night
  • Stovepipe Wells: Open October to May 10th and costs $14 per night
  • Emigrant (tents only): Open all year round with no reservations needed and is free
  • Wildrose (where we stayed): Free, open all year

RV resorts & campsites near Death Valley

Death Valley tours

Prefer to travel as a tour or are you short on time? Check out these tours to Death Valley tours from Las Vegas:

What to see in Death Valley National Park

death valley national park

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Right in the middle of Death Valley, there’s a desert complete with sand dunes! You’re free to walk in amongst and over the sand dunes but, again, don’t forget your water as you’ll most definitely need it.

Visit Dante’s View

I think this should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Death Valley. It was easily one of my favourites from our visit.

Since we entered Death Valley National Park from the east, one of the first things we came to was Dante’s View. The drive up there is quite far from the main road which cuts through the National Park but the view is so worth it!

If you have a trailer you’ll have to leave it in one of the car parks as the drive is very, very steep up to the top.

From here you get a fantastic view of Death Valley National Park and Badwater Basin in Death Valley. We arrived just as the sun was starting to peek through the clouds and the rays came through – highly recommended.

Artist’s Drive and Artist’s Palette, Death Valley

Taking Artist’s Drive to Artists Palette is very scenic and you won’t believe the colours in the rocks. It’s no wonder this is one of the top Death Valley attractions; it’s just like an artist has come along and started to mix his colours up right there on the rocks!

The 9-mile road is one-way and is only drivable with vehicles less than 25 feet in total length. If you have a trailer you’ll have to leave it at the bottom of the road. 

death valley national park

Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Winding through otherworldly badlands, the Twenty Mule Team Canyon is a 2.7 mile, one-way loop drive. It’s unpaved but generally drivable without a four-wheel drive assuming it hasn’t rained recently.

See Zabriskie Point

The colours of the rocks at Zabriskie Point are amazing, I really didn’t expect it! It’s particularly good at sunset that’s for sure and it’s one of my must sees in Death Valley. Be sure to stop here as you’re driving through Death Valley National Park and get out your car – you won’t regret it! 

Gaze at Badwater Basin

Badwater Basin is the lowest elevation in the US. It’s actually 282ft below sea level and it gets extremely hot down there. You should probably try and avoid Badwater, Death Valley at midday, but definitely take a drive over, or get out and have a quick walk in the morning or evening. It’s a pretty cool place to see.

death valley national park

Devil’s Golf Course

This is such a weird rock formation but it’s one of the most interesting places to visit in Death Valley thanks to that.

This huge area of rock salt eroded by wind and rain into jagged spires. Apparently, if you listen carefully you’ll hear sounds like tiny pops and pings. It’s the sound of billions of tiny salt crystals bursting apart as they expand and contract in the heat.

death valley national park

Natural Bridge

If you’re a fan of arches then don’t miss this natural bridge in Death Valley National Park. It’s just a short walk from somewhere you can park your car and it’s a pretty cool spot.

Wildrose Campsite

There are a few spaces here where you can camp for free; even in a car or a tent. We pulled up in the evening and the places were all taken but we managed to squeeze in next to a car camper and settled in for the night.

We didn’t fancy trying to drive any further what with all the lightning and rain – it was the biggest storm we had during our entire trip – I hadn’t expected it to happen in Death Valley National Park!

death valley national park

Go for a hike!

If you’re still wondering what to do in Death Valley then put on those hiking boots and go exploring. This post covers some of the best hikes in Death Valley as well as a few important things you should know before you go hiking in this massive area!

Death Valley wildflowers

Every now and again Death Valley National Park becomes full of life when the wildflowers go into bloom. Whilst Death Valley didn’t get enough rain in the 2018/2019 season, you can find out whether blooms are expected in coming years here.

True you’ll only see a desert full of gold, pink, purple and white flowers when there have been the perfect conditions for a Death Valley bloom, but even when there isn’t much rain you can still find pockets of Death Valley flowers.

Discover Borax Mine in Death Valley

The Harmony Borax Works was the central feature in the opening of Death Valley and played an important role in Death Valley history. The plant began processing ore around 1883-1884 and produced three tonnes daily before going out of operation in 188. It’s been on the National Register of Historic Places since December 31st 1974, and can be visited during your trip to Death Valley.

Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley

*Currently closed due to flood damage – expected to reopen in 2020*

Yes, there’s an actual castle in Death Valley National Park! Also known as the Death Valley Ranch, Scotty’s Castle is a window into the life and times of the Roaring ’20s and Depression ’30s. This castle was an engineer’s dream home, a wealthy matron’s vacation home and a man of mystery’s hideout and getaway. When it’s open you can take walking tours to learn more about the history and people who’ve lived here. 

More USA National Parks posts

 

Источник: https://thatadventurer.co.uk/what-to-see-in-death-valley-national-park/

With a name like that, Death Valley National Park may not lure the crowds as one of the lowest, hottest and driest places on earth. Its harsh climate is challenging, but the land itself delivers one of a kind diverse scenery.  If you are into surreal landscape, this park is for you. Take your time to see different sections of the park for its own unique character and beauty in this desert. See what awaits you at this seemingly unforgiving land with these 9 best things to do in Death Valley National Park.

You can easily access Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park., 1 of the Best Things to In Death Valley National Park

9 Best Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

1. Stop at Death Valley National Park Visitors Center
2. Experience Zabriskie Point
3. Visit Badwater Basin
4. Take a ride along Artist Drive
5. Hike Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
6. Pay a visit to Devil’s Golf Course
7. Drive Twenty Mule Team Canyon
8. Welcome the day at Dante’s View
9. Take a hike or a drive of the beaten path

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While there are plenty of things to do in Death Valley National Park, you must be prepared. I did not know HOT until I visited this park! Day temperatures during my visit, at the end of September, were unbearable – up to 115 F. At night, it would not get much better. The grounds were giving back the heat accumulated during the day, which stayed trapped in the basin. Only early mornings brought lower temperatures. With some adjustment to my sleeping routine, I still very much enjoyed my visit. Read on for my top 9 best things to do in Death Valley National Park.

One of the Best Things to In Death Valley National Park includes this Early morning beauty at Death Valley National Park.

1. Stop at Death Valley National Park Visitors Center

The visitor center is located in the Furnace Creek resort area on California Highway 190.  Operating hours are 8 AM to 5 PM daily. A 20-minute park film is shown throughout the day. During the winter season, November to April, rangers present a wide variety of walks, talks, and slide presentations about Death Valley’s cultural and natural history.

2. Experience Zabriskie Point

The most photographed attraction in Death Valley,  Zabriskie Point, is a sunrise and sunset destination. During that times is overtaken by photographers. I witnessed the sunrise. During the earth’s waking, a beautiful picture was painted with light right in front of my eyes. Spectacular experience!

Get up early to witness the spectacular sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.

3. Visit Badwater Basin

Find the second lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. From the parking lot, view the sea level sign located 280 feet above you on the adjacent mountain. It really puts in perspective how low you stand.

Badwater Basin In Death Valley National Park - second lowest point in the Western Hemisphere.

4. Take a ride along Artist Drive

There are some parts of the park to be enjoyed even during the heat of summer. One of them is Artist Drive. This one-way loop cuts through colorful mountain scenery. Take advantage of the many pullovers to shoot photos or take a short hike.

Artist Drive -one of a few attractions of Death Valley National Park that can be enjoyed from the car.

5. Hike Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Located in Stovepipe Wells Village, 30 minutes (24 mi/39 km) west of Furnace Creek, this is not your usual hike. There is no formal trail. You will be walking in deep sand with an elevation gain of 185 ft (65 m).

The summit of the high dune is 1 mile (1.6 km) away. Of the seven sets of sand dunes in Death Valley, these are the most famous and easily accessible. For spectacular views, visit at sunrise.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park come alive at sunrise.

6. Pay a visit to Devil’s Golf Course

Devil’s Golf Course is accessible via a half-mile dirt road that you should be able to drive with most cars. It is made up of large salt formations creating the barren landscape for as far as the eye can see, so incredibly serrated that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links.” Do not wear flip-flops!

Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley National Park. Watch your step!

7. Drive Twenty Mule Team Canyon

This 2.7 mi (4.3 km) one-way loop drive, located 15 minutes east (5.5 mi / 8.8 km) of Furnace Creek off of CA 190, is unpaved but typically passable to a sedan.  You will be winding through space-like scenery.

8. Welcome the day at Dante’s View

At 5,475 ft (1,669 m), it is the most breathtaking view point in the park. Facing west, the view of the Panamint Mountains towering over the lowest point (-282ft / 86m) in North America (Badwater Basin) offers one of the best sunrises in the park.

9. Take a hike or a drive of the beaten path

There is a lot to do in Death Valley National Park but chose your off the beaten path adventures wisely. Tell someone where you are going. Think of what your body is capable of and always carry a lot of water, food and extra clothes.

My personal experience in Death Valley National Park

I was traveling with a person who would let himself get killed for a good photo. He was determined to take a sunset photo of some remote dunes. That required taking a dirt road to get the trailhead, eight miles one way.

The road was easy to navigate, but soon it became a little scary. We spotted two rusted cars with multiple bullet holes in them. My imagination went wild. We did not meet a single soul on that road.

Things happen at Death Valley National Park.

The path ended at the so-called trailhead. Nothing even remotely looked like a trail. Just dirt, few anemic shrubs, and the dunes far in a distant, at least two miles away. The thermometer was showing 106 F.

Against my better judgment, I agreed to the hike. After a while on the “trail,” I turned around and realized that we could no longer see the car or any other marker which would help us navigate back.

Death Valley National Park is not a playground. Know your limits!

It was so hot I could not breathe. I felt like my heart was going to explode. No one knew where we went. No phone reception and no trail. I knew I could not make it alive if I continued. I quit! Somehow we returned to the car before it got dark.

Diverse spectacular scenery awaits at Death Valley National Park.

When to visit Death Valley

Death Valley National Park offers things to do all year but if possible try to avoid May through September due to extreme heat. Springtime, with its warm and sunny days, is the most popular time to visit. If you are lucky, the basin may burst into a beautiful carpet of wildflowers.

Fall arrives in late October, with pleasant temperatures and generally clear skies. Winter has cool days, chilly nights and rarely rainstorms. With snow capping the high peaks, this season is especially picturesque.

Where to stay in Death Valley

I stayed at Furnace Creek Resort situated in a lush oasis where everything is in one place to serve visitors. Choose from restaurants, pool, playground, and two types of lodging – one on a budget and one more upscale.

My accommodation was basic, but honestly, all I cared about was properly functioning air conditioning. I strongly recommend to make a reservation any time of year, simply because with the park’s remote location, there is no plan B.

Other spectacular desert destinations in the Southwest

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park 

Bryce Canyon National Park 

Tuweep Area – the Best Kept Secret of the Grand Canyon National Park 

Moab, Utah – for the Love of Adventure 

The Wave – a Hike of a Lifetime in Arizona 

Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area, Utah

Colorado National Monument 

Источник: https://www.travelingmom.com/best-things-to-in-death-valley-national-park/

Death Valley National Park

National park in California and Nevada, United States

Death Valley National Park
Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park.jpg

Sand dunes in Death Valley National Park

Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park
Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park

Death Valley

Location in California

Show map of California
Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park
Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park

Death Valley

Location in the United States

Show map of the United States
LocationCalifornia and Nevada, United States
Nearest cityLone Pine, California
Beatty, Nevada
Coordinates36°14′31″N116°49′33″W / 36.24194°N 116.82583°W / 36.24194; -116.82583Coordinates: 36°14′31″N116°49′33″W / 36.24194°N 116.82583°W / 36.24194; -116.82583
Area3,373,063 acres (13,650.30 km2)[2]
EstablishedFeb. 11, 1933 (national monument)
Oct. 31, 1994 (national park)[3]
Visitors1,678,660 (in 2018)[4]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
WebsiteDeath Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California–Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada. The park boundaries include Death Valley, the northern section of Panamint Valley, the southern section of Eureka Valley and most of Saline Valley. The park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons and mountains. Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States, as well as the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States.[5] It contains Badwater Basin, the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. More than 93% of the park is a designated wilderness area.[6] The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment including creosote bush, Joshua tree, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984.[7]

A series of Native American groups inhabited the area from as early as 7000 BC, most recently the Timbisha around 1000 AD who migrated between winter camps in the valleys and summer grounds in the mountains. A group of European Americans, trapped in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California, gave the valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The valley later became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies. Tourism expanded in the 1920s when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994.[3]

The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology. The valley is actually a graben with the oldest rocks being extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old.[8] Ancient, warm, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. The subduction uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes. Later the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly.

In 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association.[9]

Geographic setting[edit]

There are two major valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years and both are bounded by north–south-trending mountain ranges.[10] These and adjacent valleys follow the general trend of Basin and Range topography with one modification: there are parallel strike-slip faults that perpendicularly bound the central extent of Death Valley. The result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.

Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the valley floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the alluvial fans (fan-shaped deposits at the mouth of canyons) there are small and steep compared to the huge alluvial fans coming off the Panamint Range. Fast uplift of a mountain range in an arid environment often does not allow its canyons enough time to cut a classic V-shape all the way down to the stream bed. Instead, a V-shape ends at a slot canyon halfway down, forming a 'wine glass canyon.' Sediment is deposited on a small and steep alluvial fan.

At 282 feet (86 m) below sea level at its lowest point,[11] Badwater Basin on Death Valley's floor is the second-lowest depression in the Western Hemisphere (behind Laguna del Carbón in Argentina), while Mount Whitney, only 85 miles (137 km) to the west, rises to 14,505 feet (4,421 m) and is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.[10] This topographic relief is the greatest elevation gradient in the contiguous United States and is the terminus point of the Great Basin's southwestern drainage.[8] Although the extreme lack of water in the Great Basin makes this distinction of little current practical use, it does mean that in wetter times the lake that once filled Death Valley (Lake Manly) was the last stop for water flowing in the region, meaning the water there was saturated in dissolved materials. Thus, the salt pans in Death Valley are among the largest in the world and are rich in minerals, such as borax and various salts and hydrates.[12] The largest salt pan in the park extends 40 miles (64 km) from the Ashford Mill Site to the Salt Creek Hills, covering some 200 square miles (520 km2) of the valley floor.[12][note 1] The best known playa in the park is the Racetrack, known for its moving rocks.

Climate[edit]

A cross section through the highest and lowest points in Death Valley National Park

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Death Valley National Park has a hot desert climate (BWh). The plant hardiness zone at Badwater Basin is 9b with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of 27.3 °F (-2.6 °C).[13]

Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America due to its lack of surface water and low relief. It is so frequently the hottest spot in the United States that many tabulations of the highest daily temperatures in the country omit Death Valley as a matter of course.[14][15]

On the afternoon of July 10, 1913, the United States Weather Bureau recorded a high temperature of 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Greenland Ranch (now Furnace Creek) in Death Valley.[16] This temperature stands as the highest ambient air temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth. (A report of a temperature of 58 °C (136.4 °F) recorded in Libya in 1922 was later determined to be inaccurate.)[17] Daily summer temperatures of 120 °F (49 °C) or greater are common, as well as below freezing nightly temperatures in the winter.[8] July is the hottest month, with an average high of 117 °F (47 °C) and an average low of 91 °F (33 °C). December is the coldest month, with an average high of 66 °F (19 °C) and an average low of 41 °F (5 °C). The record low is 15 °F (−9.4 °C). There are an average of 197.3 days annually with highs of 90 °F (32.2 °C) or higher and 146.9 days annually with highs of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or higher. Freezing temperatures of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower occur on an average of 8.6 days annually.

Several of the larger Death Valley springs derive their water from a regional aquifer, which extends as far east as southern Nevada and Utah. Much of the water in this aquifer has been there for many thousands of years, since the Pleistocene ice ages, when the climate was cooler and wetter. Today's drier climate does not provide enough precipitation to recharge the aquifer at the rate at which water is being withdrawn.[18]

The highest range within the park is the Panamint Range, with Telescope Peak being its highest point at 11,049 feet (3,368 m).[8] The Death Valley region is a transitional zone in the northernmost part of the Mojave Desert and consists of five mountain ranges removed from the Pacific Ocean. Three of these are significant barriers: the Sierra Nevada, the Argus Range, and the Panamint Range. Air masses tend to lose moisture as they are forced up over mountain ranges, in what climatologists call a rainshadow effect.

The exaggerated rain shadow effect for the Death Valley area makes it North America's driest spot, receiving about 1.5 inches (38 mm) of rainfall annually at Badwater, and some years fail to register any measurable rainfall.[19] Annual average precipitation varies from 1.92 inches (49 mm) overall below sea level to over 15 inches (380 mm) in the higher mountains that surround the valley.[20] When rain does arrive it often does so in intense storms that cause flash floods which remodel the landscape and sometimes create very shallow ephemeral lakes.[21]

The hot, dry climate makes it difficult for soil to form. Mass wasting, the down-slope movement of loose rock, is therefore the dominant erosive force in mountainous areas, resulting in "skeletonized" ranges (mountains with very little soil on them). Sand dunes in the park, while famous, are not nearly as widespread as their fame or the dryness of the area may suggest. The Mesquite Flat dune field is the most easily accessible from the paved road just east of Stovepipe Wells in the north-central part of the valley and is primarily made of quartz sand. Another dune field is just 10 miles (16 km) to the north but is instead mostly composed of travertine sand.[22] The highest dunes in the park, and some of the highest in North America, are located in the Eureka Valley about 50 miles (80 km) to the north of Stovepipe Wells, while the Panamint Valley dunes and the Saline Valley dunes are located west and northwest of the town, respectively. The Ibex dune field is near the seldom-visited Ibex Hill in the southernmost part of the park, just south of the Saratoga Springs marshland. All the latter four dune fields are accessible only via unpaved roads. Prevailing winds in the winter come from the north, and prevailing winds in the summer come from the south. Thus, the overall position of the dune fields remains more or less fixed.

There are rare exceptions to the dry nature of the area. In 2005, an unusually wet winter created a 'lake' in the Badwater Basin and led to the greatest wildflower season in the park's history.[23] In October 2015, a "1000 year flood event" with over three inches of rain caused major damage in Death Valley National Park.[24]

Climate data for Death Valley National Park, California, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1911–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 90
(32)
97
(36)
103
(39)
113
(45)
122
(50)
128
(53)
134
(57)
130
(54)
125
(52)
113
(45)
98
(37)
89
(32)
134
(57)
Average high °F (°C) 67.2
(19.6)
73.7
(23.2)
82.6
(28.1)
91.0
(32.8)
100.7
(38.2)
111.1
(43.9)
117.4
(47.4)
115.9
(46.6)
107.7
(42.1)
93.3
(34.1)
77.4
(25.2)
65.6
(18.7)
92.0
(33.3)
Daily mean °F (°C) 54.9
(12.7)
61.3
(16.3)
69.8
(21.0)
77.9
(25.5)
87.8
(31.0)
97.5
(36.4)
104.2
(40.1)
102.3
(39.1)
93.4
(34.1)
78.9
(26.1)
64.0
(17.8)
53.4
(11.9)
78.8
(26.0)
Average low °F (°C) 42.5
(5.8)
49.0
(9.4)
57.1
(13.9)
64.8
(18.2)
75.0
(23.9)
84.0
(28.9)
91.0
(32.8)
88.7
(31.5)
79.1
(26.2)
64.4
(18.0)
50.5
(10.3)
41.1
(5.1)
65.6
(18.7)
Record low °F (°C) 15
(−9)
20
(−7)
26
(−3)
35
(2)
42
(6)
49
(9)
62
(17)
65
(18)
41
(5)
32
(0)
24
(−4)
19
(−7)
15
(−9)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.37
(9.4)
0.52
(13)
0.25
(6.4)
0.10
(2.5)
0.03
(0.76)
0.05
(1.3)
0.10
(2.5)
0.10
(2.5)
0.20
(5.1)
0.12
(3.0)
0.10
(2.5)
0.26
(6.6)
2.20
(56)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)2.4 2.9 2.0 1.1 0.9 0.3 1.1 0.9 0.8 1.1 0.9 1.6 16.0
Source: NOAA[25][26]
Climate data for Death Valley (Cow Creek Station)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 84
(29)
89
(32)
100
(38)
110
(43)
120
(49)
125
(52)
126
(52)
125
(52)
123
(51)
111
(44)
95
(35)
84
(29)
126
(52)
Average high °F (°C) 64.4
(18.0)
71.6
(22.0)
80.6
(27.0)
90.9
(32.7)
100.0
(37.8)
109.3
(42.9)
116.0
(46.7)
113.8
(45.4)
106.9
(41.6)
92.1
(33.4)
75.4
(24.1)
65.9
(18.8)
90.6
(32.6)
Daily mean °F (°C) 52.5
(11.4)
59.1
(15.1)
67.4
(19.7)
77.5
(25.3)
86.4
(30.2)
95.3
(35.2)
102.1
(38.9)
99.9
(37.7)
92.1
(33.4)
78.1
(25.6)
62.3
(16.8)
54.1
(12.3)
77.2
(25.1)
Average low °F (°C) 40.6
(4.8)
46.6
(8.1)
54.3
(12.4)
64.1
(17.8)
72.7
(22.6)
81.2
(27.3)
88.4
(31.3)
86.0
(30.0)
77.4
(25.2)
64.0
(17.8)
49.3
(9.6)
42.4
(5.8)
63.9
(17.7)
Record low °F (°C) 19
(−7)
30
(−1)
33
(1)
45
(7)
52
(11)
54
(12)
69
(21)
69
(21)
57
(14)
40
(4)
32
(0)
27
(−3)
19
(−7)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.24
(6.1)
0.32
(8.1)
0.20
(5.1)
0.20
(5.1)
0.10
(2.5)
0.02
(0.51)
0.10
(2.5)
0.11
(2.8)
0.12
(3.0)
0.11
(2.8)
0.20
(5.1)
0.29
(7.4)
2.00
(51)
Source: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu[27]

History[edit]

Geologic history[edit]

Era Rock Units/Formations Principal Geologic Events
Cenozoic Alluvial fans, stream, and playa deposits, dunes, numerous sedimentary, volcanic, and plutonic units in separate and interconnected basins and igneous fields (includes Artist Drive, Furnace Creek, Funeral, and Nova Formations). Major unconformity, continued deposition in modern Death Valley, opening of modern Death Valley, continuing development of present ranges and basins, onset of major extension.
Mesozoic Granitic plutons, Butte Valley Thrust faulting and intrusion of plutons related to Sierra Nevada batholith; shallow marine deposition; unconformity.
Paleozoic Resting spring Shale, Tin Mountain Limestone, Lost Burro, Hidden Valley Dolomite, Eureka Quartzite, Nopah, Bonanza King, Carrara, Zabriskie Quartzite, Wood Canyon. Development of a long-continuing carbonate bank on a passive continental margin; numerous intervals of emergence, interrupted by deposition of a blanket of sandstone in Middle Ordovician time. Deposition of a wedge of silliciclastic sediment during and immediately following the rifting along a new continental margin.
Proterozoic Crystalline basement, Pahrump, Stirling Quartzite, Johnnie, Ibex, Noonday Dolomite, Kingston Peak, Beck Spring, Crystal Spring. Regional metamorphism, Major unconformity, rapid uplift and erosion, shallow marine deposition, glacio-marine deposition, unconformity. Shallow to deep marine deposition along an incipient continental margin.
The Death Valley basin is filled with sediment (light yellow) eroded from the surrounding mountains. Black lines show some of the major faults that created the valley.

Main article: Geology of the Death Valley area

The park has a diverse and complex geologic history. Since its formation, the area that comprises the park has experienced at least four major periods of extensive volcanism, three or four periods of major sedimentation, and several intervals of major tectonic deformation where the crust has been reshaped. Two periods of glaciation (a series of ice ages) have also had effects on the area, although no glaciers ever existed in the ranges now in the park.[citation needed]

Basement and Pahrump Group[edit]

Little is known about the history of the oldest exposed rocks in the area due to extensive metamorphism (alteration of rock by heat and pressure). Radiometric dating gives an age of 1,700 million years for the metamorphism during the Proterozoic.[8] About 1,400 million years ago a mass of granite now in the Panamint Range intruded this complex.[28] Uplift later exposed these rocks to nearly 500 million years of erosion.[28]

The Proterozoic sedimentary formations of the Pahrump Group were deposited on these basement rocks. This occurred following uplift and erosion of any earlier sediments from the Proterozoic basement rocks. The Pahrump is composed of arkose conglomerate (quartz clasts in a concrete-like matrix) and mudstone in its lower part, followed by dolomite from carbonate banks topped by algal mats as stromatolites, and finished with basin-filling sediment derived from the above, including possible glacial till from the hypothesized Snowball Earth glaciation.[29] The very youngest rocks in the Pahrump Group are basaltic lava flows.

Rifting and deposition[edit]

The Noonday Dolomite was formed as a carbonate shelf after the break-up of Rodinia.

A rift opened and subsequently flooded the region as part of the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia in the Neoproterozoic (by about 755 million years ago) and the creation of the Pacific Ocean. A shoreline similar to the present Atlantic Ocean margin of the United States lay to the east. An algal mat-covered carbonate bank was deposited, forming the Noonday Dolomite.[30] Subsidence of the region occurred as the continental crust thinned and the newly formed Pacific widened, forming the Ibex Formation. An angular unconformity (an uneven gap in the geologic record) followed.

A true ocean basin developed to the west, breaking all the earlier formations along a steep front. A wedge of clastic sediment then began to accumulate at the base of the two underwater precipices, starting the formation of opposing continental shelves.[31] Three formations developed from sediment that accumulated on the wedge. The region's first known fossils of complex life are found in the resulting formations.[31] Notable among these are the Ediacara fauna and trilobites, the evolution of the latter being part of the Cambrian Explosion of life.

The sandy mudflats gave way about 550 million years ago to a carbonate platform (similar to the one around the present-day Bahamas), which lasted for the next 300 million years of Paleozoic time (refer to the middle of the timescale image). Death Valley's position was then within ten or twenty degrees of the Paleozoic equator. Thick beds of carbonate-rich sediments were periodically interrupted by periods of emergence. Although details of geography varied during this immense interval of time, a north-northeastern coastline trend generally ran from Arizona up through Utah. The resulting eight formations and one group are 20,000 feet (6 km) thick and underlay much of the Cottonwood, Funeral, Grapevine, and Panamint ranges.[31]

Compression and uplift[edit]

The Lake Manlylake system as it might have looked during its last maximum extent 22,000 years ago[32](USGS image)

In the early-to-mid- Mesozoic the western edge of the North American continent was pushed against the oceanic plate under the Pacific Ocean, creating a subduction zone.[31] A subduction zone is a type of contact between different crustal plates where heavier crust slides below lighter crust. Erupting volcanoes and uplifting mountains were created as a result, and the coastline was pushed to the west. The Sierran Arc started to form to the northwest from heat and pressure generated from subduction, and compressive forces caused thrust faults to develop.[citation needed]

A long period of uplift and erosion was concurrent with and followed the above events, creating a major unconformity, which is a large gap in the geologic record. Sediments worn off the Death Valley region were carried both east and west by wind and water.[33] No Jurassic- to Eocene-aged sedimentary formations exist in the area, except for some possibly Jurassic-age volcanic rocks (see the top of the timescale image).[33]

Stretching and lakes[edit]

During very wet periods, the Amargosa Rivercan flow at the surface, as it did in February 2005.

Basin and Range-associated stretching of large parts of crust below southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico started around 16 million years ago and the region is still spreading.[8] This stretching began to affect the Death and Panamint valleys area by 3 million years ago.[34] Before this, rocks now in the Panamint Range were on top of rocks that would become the Black Mountains and the Cottonwood Mountains. Lateral and vertical transport of these blocks was accomplished by movement on normal faults. Right-lateral movement along strike-slip faults that run parallel to and at the base of the ranges also helped to develop the area.[35] Torsional forces, probably associated with northwesterly movement of the Pacific Plate along the San Andreas Fault (west of the region), is responsible for the lateral movement.[34]

Igneous activity associated with this stretching occurred from 12 million to 4 million years ago.[35] Sedimentation is concentrated in valleys (basins) from material eroded from adjacent ranges. The amount of sediment deposited has roughly kept up with this subsidence, resulting in the retention of more or less the same valley floor elevation over time.[citation needed]

Pleistocene ice ages started 2 million years ago, and melt from alpine glaciers on the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains fed a series of lakes that filled Death and Panamint valleys and surrounding basins (see the top of the timescale image). The lake that filled Death Valley was the last of a chain of lakes fed by the Amargosa and Mojave Rivers, and possibly also the Owens River. The large lake that covered much of Death Valley's floor, which geologists call Lake Manly, started to dry up 10,500 years ago.[36]Salt pans and playas were created as ice age glaciers retreated, thus drastically reducing the lakes' water source. Only faint shorelines are left.

Human history[edit]

Early inhabitants and transient populations[edit]

Four Native American cultures are known to have lived in the area during the last 10,000 years.[8] The first known group, the Nevares Spring People, were hunters and gatherers who arrived in the area perhaps 9,000 years ago (7000 BC) when there were still small lakes in Death Valley and neighboring Panamint Valley.[37] A much milder climate persisted at that time, and large game animals were still plentiful. By 5,000 years ago (3000 BC) the Mesquite Flat People displaced the Nevares Spring People.[37] Around 2,000 years ago the Saratoga Spring People moved into the area, which by then was probably already a hot, dry desert.[37][note 2] This culture was more advanced at hunting and gathering and was skillful at handcrafts. They also left mysterious stone patterns in the valley.

One thousand years ago, the nomadic Timbisha (formerly called Shoshone and also known as Panamint or Koso) moved into the area and hunted game and gathered mesquite beans along with pinyon pine nuts.[8][37] Because of the wide altitude differential between the valley bottom and the mountain ridges, especially on the west, the Timbisha practiced a vertical migration pattern.[8] Their winter camps were located near water sources in the valley bottoms. As the spring and summer progressed and the weather warmed, grasses and other plant food sources ripened at progressively higher altitudes. November found them at the very top of the mountain ridges where they harvested pine nuts before moving back to the valley bottom for winter.

The California Gold Rush brought the first people of European descent known to visit the immediate area. In December 1849 two groups of California Gold Country-bound travelers with perhaps 100 wagons total stumbled into Death Valley after getting lost on what they thought was a shortcut off the Old Spanish Trail.[38] Called the Bennett-Arcane Party, they were unable to find a pass out of the valley for weeks; they were able to find fresh water at various springs in the area, but were forced to eat several of their oxen to survive. They used the wood of their wagons to cook the meat and make jerky. The place where they did this is today referred to as "Burnt Wagons Camp" and is located near Stovepipe Wells.

After abandoning their wagons, they eventually were able to hike out of the valley. Just after leaving the valley, one of the women in the group turned and said, "Goodbye Death Valley," giving the valley they endured its name.[38] Included in the party was William Lewis Manly whose autobiographical book Death Valley in '49 detailed this trek and popularized the area (geologists later named the prehistoric lake that once filled the valley after him).

Boom and bust[edit]

Historical locomotive for transporting boraxin Death Valley

The ores that are most famously associated with the area were also the easiest to collect and the most profitable: evaporite deposits such as salts, borate, and talc. Borax was found by Rosie and Aaron Winters near The Ranch at Death Valley (then called Greenland) in 1881.[39] Later that same year, the Eagle Borax Works became Death Valley's first commercial borax operation. William Tell Coleman built the Harmony Borax Works plant and began to process ore in late 1883 or early 1884, continuing until 1888.[40] This mining and smelting company produced borax to make soap and for industrial uses.[41] The end product was shipped out of the valley 165 miles (266 km) to the Mojave railhead in 10-ton-capacity wagons pulled by "twenty-mule teams" that were actually teams of 18 mules and two horses each.[41]

A twenty-mule team in Death Valley

The teams averaged two miles (3 km) an hour and required about 30 days to complete a round trip.[39] The trade name 20-Mule Team Borax was established by Francis Marion Smith's Pacific Coast Borax Company after Smith acquired Coleman's borax holdings in 1890. A memorable advertising campaign used the wagon's image to promote the Boraxo brand of granular hand soap and the Death Valley Days radio and television programs. In 1914, the Death Valley Railroad was built to serve mining operations on the east side of the valley. Mining continued after the collapse of Coleman's empire, and by the late 1920s the area was the world's number one source of borax.[8] Some four to six million years old, the Furnace Creek Formation is the primary source of borate minerals gathered from Death Valley's playas.[39]

Other visitors stayed to prospect for and mine deposits of copper, gold, lead, and silver.[8] These sporadic mining ventures were hampered by their remote location and the harsh desert environment. In December 1903, two men from Ballarat were prospecting for silver.[42] One was an out-of-work Irish miner named Jack Keane and the other was a one-eyed Basque butcher named Domingo Etcharren. Quite by accident, Keane discovered an immense ledge of free-milling gold by the duo's work site and named the claim the Keane Wonder Mine. This started a minor and short-lived gold rush into the area.[42] The Keane Wonder Mine, along with mines at Rhyolite, Skidoo and Harrisburg, were the only ones to extract enough metal ore to make them worthwhile. Outright shams such as Leadfield also occurred, but most ventures quickly ended after a short series of prospecting mines failed to yield evidence of significant ore (these mines now dot the entire area and are a significant hazard to anyone who enters them). The boom towns which sprang up around these mines flourished during the first decade of the 1900s, but soon declined after the Panic of 1907.[40]

Early tourism[edit]

The first documented tourist facilities in Death Valley were a set of tent houses built in the 1920s where Stovepipe Wells is now located. People flocked to resorts built around natural springs thought to have curative and restorative properties. In 1927, Pacific Coast Borax turned the crew quarters of its Furnace Creek Ranch into a resort, creating the Furnace Creek Inn and resort.[43] The spring at Furnace Creek was harnessed to develop the resort, and as the water was diverted, the surrounding marshes and wetlands started to shrink.[18]

Soon the valley was a popular winter destination. Other facilities started off as private getaways but were later opened to the public. Most notable among these was Death Valley Ranch, better known as Scotty's Castle. This large ranch home built in the Spanish Revival style became a hotel in the late 1930s and, largely because of the fame of Death Valley Scotty, a tourist attraction. Death Valley Scotty, whose real name was Walter Scott, was a gold miner who pretended to be the owner of "his castle", which he claimed to have built with profits from his gold mine. Neither claim was true, but the real owner, Chicago millionaire Albert Mussey Johnson, encouraged the myth. When asked by reporters what his connection was to Walter Scott's castle, Johnson replied that he was Mr. Scott's banker.[44]

Protection and later history[edit]

President Herbert Hoover proclaimed a national monument in and around Death Valley on February 11, 1933, setting aside almost two million acres (8,000 km2) of southeastern California and small parts of Nevada.[45]

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed infrastructure in Death Valley National Monument during the Great Depression and on into the early 1940s. The CCC built barracks, graded 500 miles (800 km) of roads, installed water and telephone lines, and a total of 76 buildings. Trails in the Panamint Range were built to points of scenic interest, and an adobe village, laundry and trading post were constructed for the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. Five campgrounds, restrooms, an airplane landing field and picnic facilities were also built.[46]

The creation of the monument resulted in a temporary closing of the lands to prospecting and mining. However, Death Valley was quickly reopened to mining by Congressional action in June 1933. As improvements in mining technology allowed lower grades of ore to be processed, and new heavy equipment allowed greater amounts of rock to be moved, mining in Death Valley changed. Gone were the days of the "single-blanket, jackass prospector" long associated with the romantic west. Open pit and strip mines scarred the landscape as international mining corporations bought claims in highly visible areas of the national monument. The public outcry that ensued led to greater protection for all national park and monument areas in the United States.[40] In 1976, Congress passed the Mining in the Parks Act, which closed Death Valley National Monument to the filing of new mining claims, banned open-pit mining and required the National Park Service to examine the validity of tens of thousands of pre-1976 mining claims. Mining was allowed to resume on a limited basis in 1980 with stricter environmental standards.[40] The last mine in the park, Billie Mine, closed in 2005.[47]

Death Valley National Monument was designated a biosphere reserve in 1984.[3] On October 31, 1994, the monument was expanded by 1.3 million acres (5,300 km2) and re-designated as a national park, via congressional passage of the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103–433).[3] Consequently, the elevated status for Death Valley made it the largest national park in the contiguous United States. On March 12, 2019, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act added 35,292 acres (55 sq mi; 143 km2) to the park.[48]

Many of the larger cities and towns within the boundary of the regional groundwater flow system that the park and its plants and animals rely upon are experiencing some of the fastest growth rates of any place in the United States. Notable examples within a 100-mile (160 km) radius of Death Valley National Park include Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. In the case of Las Vegas, the local Chamber of Commerce estimates that 6,000 people are moving to the city every month. Between 1985 and 1995, the population of the Las Vegas Valley increased from 550,700 to 1,138,800.[18]

In 1977, parts of Death Valley were used by director George Lucas as a filming location for Star Wars, providing the setting for the fictional planet Tatooine.[49][50]

Telescopeand Wildrose Peaks from Emigrant Canyon Road

Biology[edit]

Habitat varies from salt pan at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level to the sub-alpine conditions found on the summit of Telescope Peak, which rises to 11,049 feet (3,368 m).[51] Vegetation zones include creosote bush, desert holly, and mesquite at the lower elevations and sage up through shadscale, blackbrush, Joshua tree, pinyon-juniper, to limber pine and bristlecone pine woodlands.[51] The salt pan is devoid of vegetation, and the rest of the valley floor and lower slopes have sparse cover, although where water is available, an abundance of vegetation is usually present. These zones and the adjacent desert support a variety of wildlife species, including 51 species of native mammals, 307 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, and 2 species of native fish.[52]

Small mammals are more numerous than large mammals, such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats, kit foxes, cougars, and mule deer.[52] Mule deer are present in the pinyon/juniper associations of the Grapevine, Cottonwood, and Panamint ranges.[52] Bighorn sheep are a rare species of mountain-dwelling sheep that exist in isolated bands in the Sierra and in Death Valley. These are highly adaptable animals and can eat almost any plant. They have no known predators, but humans and burros compete for habitat.

The ancestors of the Death Valley pupfish swam to the area from the Colorado River via a long-since dried-up system of rivers and lakes (see Lake Manly). They now live in two separate populations: one in Salt Creek and another in Cottonball Marsh. Death Valley is one of the hottest and driest places in North America, yet it is home to over 1,000 species of plants; 23 of which, including the very rare rock lady (Holmgrenanthe), are not found anywhere else.[51]

Adaptation to the dry environment is key. For example, creosote bush and mesquite have tap-root systems that can extend 50 feet (15 m) down in order to take advantage of a year-round supply of ground water. The diversity of Death Valley's plant communities results partly from the region's location in a transition zone between the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert and the Sonoran Desert. This location, combined with the great relief found within the park, supports vegetation typical of three biotic life zones: the lower Sonoran, the Canadian, and the arctic/alpine in portions of the Panamint Range. Based on the Munz and Keck (1968) classifications, seven plant communities can be categorized within these life zones, each characterized by dominant vegetation and representative of three vegetation types: scrub, desert woodland, and coniferous forest. Microhabitats further subdivide some communities into zones, especially on the valley floor.[citation needed]

Unlike more typical locations across the Mojave Desert, many of the water-dependent Death Valley habitats possess a diversity of plant and animal species that are not found anywhere else in the world.[18] The existence of these species is due largely to a unique geologic history and the process of evolution that has progressed in habitats that have been isolated from one another since the Pleistocene epoch.[citation needed]

Activities[edit]

See also: Places of interest in the Death Valley area

Sightseeing is available by personal automobile, four-wheel drive, bicycle, mountain bike (on established roadways only), and hiking.[53] Riding through the park on motorcycle is also a popular pastime.[54]State Route 190, the Badwater Road, the Scotty's Castle Road, and paved roads to Dante's View and Wildrose provide access to the major scenic viewpoints and historic points of interest. More than 350 miles (560 km) of unpaved and four-wheel-drive roads provide access to wilderness hiking, camping, and historical sites.[55] All vehicles must be licensed and street legal. There are hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, but most backcountry areas are accessible only by cross-country hiking. There are thousands of hiking possibilities. The normal season for visiting the park is from October 15 to May 15, avoiding summer extremes in temperature. Costumed living history tours of the historic Death Valley Scotty's Castle were conducted for a fee, but were suspended in October 2015 due to flood damage to the buildings and grounds. It is not expected to re-open until 2020.[56][needs update]

A tourist sliding down Star Dune in the Mesquite Flat dune field

There are nine designated campgrounds within the park, and overnight backcountry camping permits are available at the Visitor Center.[57]Xanterra Parks & Resorts owns and operates a private resort, the Oasis at Death Valley,[45] which comprises two separate and distinct hotels: the Inn at Death Valley is a four-star historic hotel, and the Ranch at Death Valley is a three-star ranch-style property reminiscent of the mining and prospecting days. Panamint Springs Resort is in the western part of the park. Death Valley Lodging Company operates the Stovepipe Wells Resort under a concession permit. There are a few motels near entrances to the park, in Shoshone, Death Valley Junction, Beatty, and Pahrump.

Furnace Creek Visitor Center is located on CA-190. A 22-minute introductory slide program is shown every 30 minutes.[58] During the winter season—November through April—rangers offer interpretive tours and a wide variety of walks, talks, and slide presentations about Death Valley cultural and natural history. The visitor center has displays dealing with the park's geology, climate, wildlife and natural history. There are also specific sections dealing with the human history and pioneer experience. The Death Valley Natural History Association maintains a bookstore specifically geared to the natural and cultural history of the park.

The northeast corner of Saline Valley has several developed hot spring pools. The pools can be accessed by driving on the unpaved Saline Valley Road for several hours, or by flying a personal aircraft to the Chicken Strip—an uncharted airstrip a short walk from the springs.[59]

Death Valley National Park is a popular location for stargazing as it has one of the darkest night skies in the United States. Despite its remote location, air quality and night visibility are threatened by civilization. In particular, light pollution is introduced by nearby Las Vegas.[60] The darkest skies are, in general, located in the northwest of the park.[61] The northwestern area of the park, including sites such as Ubehebe Crater, is a Bortle class 1 or "excellent dark sky" site.[62] The Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy are visible to the unaided eye under these conditions, and the Milky Way casts shadows; optical phenomena such as zodiacal light or "false dawn" and gegenschein are also visible to the unaided eye under these conditions.[63][64] Most southern regions of the park are Bortle class 2 or "average dark sky" sites.[65]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^Badwater, the Devils Golf Course, and Salt Creek are all part of the Death Valley Saltpan.
  2. ^The last known lake to exist in Death Valley likely dried up 3,000 years ago.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^"Death Valley". protectedplanet.net. Protected Planet. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  2. ^"Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2012"(PDF). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  3. ^ abcdNational Park Index (2001–2003), p. 26
  4. ^"NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  5. ^"Death Valley National Park (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Archived from the original on 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  6. ^"Backcountry Roads – Death Valley National Park". nps.gov. National Park Service. August 25, 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  7. ^"Biosphere Reserve Information – United States of America – Mojave and Colorado Deserts". unesco.org. UNESCO. November 3, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  8. ^ abcdefghijkWright and Miller 1997, p. 611
  9. ^"Death Valley National Park (U.S.)". darksky.org. International Dark-Sky Association. n.d. Archived from the original on 2020-10-27. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  10. ^ abSharp 1997, p. 1
  11. ^"USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED) 1 meter Downloadable Data Collection from The National Map 3D Elevation Program (3DEP)". United States Geological Survey. September 21, 2015. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  12. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 625
  13. ^"USDA Interactive Plant Hardiness Map". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  14. ^Hickcox, David H., "Temperature extremes. (United States)(1996 Weather)", Weatherwise, February 1, 1997. Abstract at Highbeam.com
  15. ^Hickcox, David, "Temperature extremes. (daily maximum and minimum temperatures in the US)", Weatherwise, March 1, 1999; abstract at Encyclopedia.com
  16. ^"World Meteorological Organization World Weather/Climate Extremes Archive". Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  17. ^El Fadli, KI; et al. (September 2012). "World Meteorological Organization Assessment of the Purported World Record 58°C Temperature Extreme at El Azizia, Libya (13 September 1922)". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 94 (2): 199. Bibcode:2013BAMS...94..199E. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00093.1.
  18. ^ abcdUSGS 2004, p. "Furnace Creek"
  19. ^Wright and Miller 1997, pp. 610–611
  20. ^USGS weather
  21. ^"Flash Floods of 2015 – Death Valley National Park (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  22. ^Kiver 1999, p. 283
  23. ^"Death Valles Alive with Wildflowers". NBC News. AP. March 14, 2005. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  24. ^"After historic flooding, Death Valley gears up for 'a long, hard recovery'". LA Times. 2015-11-10. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  25. ^"NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  26. ^"Summary of Monthly Normals 1991-2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  27. ^WRCC. "Western U.S. Climate Historical Summaries Weather". Desert Research Institute. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
  28. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 631
  29. ^Wright and Miller 1997, pp. 631–632
  30. ^Wright and Miller 1997, p. 632
  31. ^ abcdWright and Miller 1997, p. 634
  32. ^Kiver 1999, p. 281
  33. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 635
  34. ^ abKiver 1999, p. 278
  35. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 616
  36. ^Sharp 1997, p. 41
  37. ^ abcdWallace 1978
  38. ^ abKiver 1999, p. 277
  39. ^ abcUSGS 2004, p. "Harmony Borax Works"
  40. ^ abcdNPS website, "Mining"
  41. ^ abNPS website, "Twenty Mule Teams"
  42. ^ abNPS website, "People"
  43. ^NPS website, "Furnace Creek Inn"
  44. ^NPS website, "Johnson and Scotty Build a Castle"
  45. ^ abNPS Visitor Guide
  46. ^NPS website, "Civilian Conservation Corps"
  47. ^"Mining in Death Valley - Death Valley National Park". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  48. ^"S.47 – John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act; Part III—National Park System additions; Sec. 1431. Death Valley National Park boundary revision". congress.gov. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  49. ^Howard, Marcus Hearn ; foreword by Ron (2005). The Cinema of George Lucas. New York: Abrams. p. 109. ISBN .
  50. ^"Star Wars trek: Death Valley – April 2001". Star Wars Locations. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  51. ^ abcNPS website, "Plants"
  52. ^ abcNPS website, "Animals"
  53. ^"Outdoor Activities". nps.gov. National Park Service. 2019-04-21. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  54. ^Joe Berk (September–October 2008). "Death Valley by motorcycle". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  55. ^NPS 2002, p. 55
  56. ^Death Valley National Park – Flash Floods of 2015, National Park Service
  57. ^NPS website, "Campgrounds"
  58. ^NPS website, "Ranger Programs"
  59. ^"Chicken Strip Reopens

    Snow-capped mountain peaks, vast salt pans and tickling salt creeks, tall sand dunes, multicolored canyons and ocher badlands make up the impressively varied landscapes of Death Valley National Park, California.

    This immense variety results in a wealth of Death Valley National Park attractions. In this post, you’ll find the best things to do in Death Valley.

    Lower, Drier, Hotter – A Place of Extremes

    Contents

    Desert road in Death Valley National Park, California

    This top things to do in Death Valley National Park post contains affiliate links. You can read more about our Terms of Use / Disclosure here.


    Not your typical desert, Death Valley is a place where the use of superlatives is appropriate, necessary even.

    Its sheer vastness is mind-boggling, the number Death Valley National Park highlights extensive. This is where Mother Nature is at its mightiest, showcasing what she’s capable of.

    In addition to encompassing North America’s lowest point (282 feet or 86 meters below sea level), Death Valley is officially the hottest place in America (134°F or 57°C) and is the largest American national park outside of Alaska (5,219 sq. miles or 13,517 km²).

    Give or take a square mile or two, it’s literally as big as Flanders, which, in case you don’t know, is where I’m from. That fact alone blows my mind.

    If that’s not enough, Death Valley is also one of the driest places on the continent!

    Best Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

    Below, you’ll find my favorite Death Valley attractions. These activities should be the cornerstones of your itinerary, whether you spend one day in Death Valley or an entire week.

    This overview of what to do in Death Valley National Park will send you on your way toward one of the best national park experiences in America.

    1. See Spectacular Zabriskie Point, Death Valley’s Most Famous Landscape

    Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California

    The golden sun rays of the early morning or late afternoon paint the badlands underneath Zabriskie Point all kinds of yellow, ocher and orange.

    This is one of the best Death Valley sunrise spots, if not the single best. (Dante’s View is a strong competitor, though. See number three below.)

    Zabriskie Point lies a short drive southeast of Furnace Creek. Named after Christian Brevoort Zabriskie, the general manager of the early-1900s Pacific Coast Borax Company, the overlook offers spectacular panoramic views of the eroded landscape below.

    Ocher-colored badlands stretch out before you in a sun-scorched maze of waves, canyons and gullies, while the Sierra Nevada mountains tower their way toward the sky in the far distance.

    Although the panoramic view from Zabriskie Point is one of the major Death Valley National Park highlights, you’ll appreciate this remarkable landscape a lot more if you actually walk through it. We’ll get to that later in this list.

    2. Visit the Lowest Point in North America in Badwater Basin

    Badwater Basin, what to see in Death Valley National Park, California

    Badwater Basin is home to the lowest point in North America, one of the many things that make Death Valley National Park so extraordinary.

    That lowest point lies 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level and is reached after a short walk across the salt pans from the parking lot. From Furnace Creek, you can get there in about 25 minutes.

    Badwater Basin got its name from a small pool near the parking lot, named by a pioneer whose horse refused to drink the water. Although the water is extremely salty and undrinkable, there is some life in the pool, including water insects, pickleweed and the endemic Badwater snail.

    This is arguably the most well-known of all things to see in Death Valley National Park. It’s one of those places you really shouldn’t skip.

    When you walk across the salt pan to the lowest point, absolutely make sure to wear a hat and put some sunscreen on. It gets scorching hot and the white salt reflects the sun rays, doubling your chances to get sunburned.

    3. Enjoy a Glorious Dante’s View Sunset

    Sunset at Dante's View, Death Valley National Park, California

    If things get too hot in the valley—and they will—during the day, you can escape to the surrounding mountains. One of my favorite places to do that is Dante’s View.

    With an elevation of 5,476 feet (1,669 meters) above the valley, it’s much, much cooler up there. From Dante’s View, you’ll have a truly phenomenal view of Death Valley below and the Sierra Nevada in the distance.

    What’s unique about this particular spot is that you can see both the lowest (Badwater – 282 feet or 86 meters below sea level) and highest (Mount Whitney – 14,505 feet or 4,421 meters) points in the contiguous United States at the same time.

    As far as Death Valley sunset spots go, they don’t get any better than the panorama at Dante’s View.

    You can get there from Furnace Creek in less than an hour, a drive that also passes by Zabriskie Point.

    4. Learn About the Park’s Mining History at Harmony Borax Works

    Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley National Park, California

    A rich borax mine in the late-19th century, Harmony Borax Works was instrumental in opening up Death Valley to pioneers, traders, workers and, later, tourists. In its heyday, Harmony Borax Works employed 40 men.

    One of the biggest challenges, besides sustaining a team of miners in such a hot and arid place, of operating a mine in the middle of a vast desert was getting your product out to the market.

    Harmony Borax Works figured it out and became renowned for its large mule teams and double wagons. These hardy animals and men traveled the long overland road to Mojave, the location of the nearest railroad station.

    Harmony Borax Works’ “twenty-mule teams” became a symbol of the mining operations in Death Valley.

    Nowadays, you can visit the remains of the Harmony Borax Works plant, situated just outside of Furnace Creek. There’s a short interpretative trail that takes you around the mine and past an old mule wagon.

    This important site in Death Valley’s history is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    5. Explore the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

    Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley, California

    Sand dunes cover less than 1% of the park’s surface area, but they are definitely among the best places to visit in Death Valley National Park. This one percent is spread across five different dune areas, of which the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are the most well-known.

    These also the most accessible sand dunes in the national park, situated just off of Highway 190, a couple of miles east of Stovepipe Wells.

    The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are not the tallest dunes in Death Valley National Park, though. The tallest are the Eureka Dunes in the far north of the park, which are more than six times higher than the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

    Mesquite Flat does, however, encompass the largest and most easily accessible dune field in the park.


    If you’re interested in seeing and exploring North America’s tallest sand dunes, you should definitely spend 24 hours in Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.


    Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunset, Death Valley attractions

    Consisting of three dune types—star, crescent and linear dunes—, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are a super-fun outdoor playground. Children and adults alike will have a blast exploring these hills of soft sand.

    They are no official hiking trails here. You’re allowed to explore as you please. Climbing the dunes, jumping, running and rolling down,… it’s all allowed and it’s so much fun. In terms of footwear, consider wearing closed hiking boots or simply going barefoot.

    The dunes are at their most photogenic around sunrise and sunset. Under a full moon, they’re absolutely magical. If you want to go for a couple-hour dune hike, I recommend doing that early in the morning.

    It gets hot in the desert during the day, up to a point that the sand’s temperature is so high that’s unbearable to walk on it. If you want to go barefoot, the only time of day that’s possible is in the morning.

    I had a blast exploring these dunes and if you’re wondering what to do in Death Valley National Park, this is the first thing I’d recommend.

    6. See Thousands of Salt Rocks at Devil’s Golf Course

    Devil's Golf Course, Death Valley National Park, California

    Even though this is by no means the most spectacular of all Death Valley sights, I do consider Devil’s Golf Course to have its place among these other Death Valley National Park attractions.

    I liked it a lot because it looks incredible in the late afternoon. With the sun low in the sky, the remarkable halite salt crystal formations in this huge salt pan cast countless wonderful shadows across the desert floor.

    The remarkable landscape is made up of literally thousands of serrated salt rocks, eroded away by water and wind, some as sharp as a knife. You can walk over and among them, but make sure to wear sturdy shoes and be careful. If you trip, you’re certain to get hurt—those rocks can cut.

    These extraordinary features are the reason behind this area’s interesting name. It was said that “only the devil could play golf” there.

    7. Cruise Through Colorful Canyons on Artist’s Drive

    Artist's Drive, top things to do in Death Valley National Park, California

    One of the greatest short drives in Death Valley National Park, Artist’s Drive meanders through brightly colored hills and canyons.

    The result of the oxidation of various chemical elements such as iron, manganese and mica, a process that took many millennia, this landscape contains all kinds of red, yellow, pink, purple and green.

    Nine-mile (14.5-kilometer) Artist’s Drive is a one-way road that runs from south to north off of Badwater Road. The drive’s most scenic spot, Artist’s Palette, lies about midway.

    There, you’ll have great views of both the valley below and of a colorful hillside above.

    8. See Rare Pupfish in Salt Creek

    Salt Creek boardwalk, attractions in Death Valley National Park

    Salt Creek, on Highway 190 between Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek, is home to Cyprinodon salinus salinus, commonly known as Salt Creek pupfish. In fact, it’s the only home of these fish in the entire world.

    In prehistoric times, Death Valley used to be a massive lake. After that lake dried up about 10,000 years ago, only small streams, springs and trickles were left. Salt Creek is one of those, the last habitat of the evolutionary descendants of fish that once lived in that large lake.

    Pupfish are exceptional in the sense that they adapted from living in freshwater to surviving in saltwater.

    That’s a truly remarkable feat in itself, but these rare pupfish are also able to survive in water that ranges in temperature from almost freezing to 108°F (42°C).

    They’re one of the hardiest fish species in the world.

    A half-mile (800-meter) boardwalk loops around and over Salt Creek and its pools, wetlands, pickleweeds and salt grasses. The best time of year to see pupfish frolicking in the water is spring. (They go dormant in summer.)

    9. Hike the Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch and Badlands Loop

    Hiker in the Zabriskie Point Badlands, Death Valley California

    At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that the badlands at Zabriskie Point can only be fully appreciated by walking through them.

    It’s always great to get a new perspective of a landscape by actually walking through, in addition to overlooking, it.

    You’re encouraged to strap on your hiking boots and explore the ocher-colored badlands that you see below you. This is one of the best hikes in Death Valley.

    There are a few options. You can hike the 2.7-mile (4.3-kilometer) Badlands Loop for a nice introduction, but I recommend making it a much more challenging loop by combining the Badlands Loop and the Gower Gulch and Golden Canyon Trails.

    One of my favorite Death Valley activities, this three-trail loop hike takes you through the heart of these golden badlands, to places such as Red Cathedral and Zabriskie Point, and through barren canyons and gullies.

    The entire circuit is about 8 miles (13 kilometers) long and takes at least four hours.

    Hiking trail in the badlands, Death Valley National Park

    You can start the hike at either Zabriskie Point or at the parking lot off Badwater Road. I suggest starting at the parking lot. This way, you’ll save the (more or less) downhill part of the hike for the way back.

    It’s a challenging hike in a sun-soaked, shadeless and hot desert landscape. Saving the most strenuous section, back up to Zabriskie Point, for last isn’t an option I would recommend.

    This strenuous hike is one of the best day hikes I’ve ever done and one of the greatest things to do in Death Valley National Park. In fact, if you do anything in the park, let it be this hike.

    It’s definitely challenging, not so much because of the trails’ steepness, but because it’s an environment that isn’t too kind on the human body.

    Start this hike as early in the morning as you can, bring lots and lots of water, put on a hat and bring sunscreen.

    It’s worth the effort. This is one of the most popular hikes in Death Valley National Park for a reason. And the view from Zabriskie Point alone is to die for…

    10. Go Wildlife Watching

    Coyote in Death Valley National Park, California

    Besides its enormous diversity in landscapes and its seemingly unforgiving environment, Death Valley isn’t “dead” at all.

    Similar to other desert parks in Southern California, like Joshua Tree National Park, the abundance of plant and animal life in this park is actually pretty astonishing.

    It’s not because people find the heat uncomfortable that animals do, too.

    Wildlife ranges from coyotes, kangaroo rats and bighorn sheep to roadrunners and ravens to sidewinder rattlesnakes, scorpions and tarantulas.

    Perhaps surprisingly, Death Valley is also one of the best national parks for birding during the short spring and fall migrations.

    Some animals are endemic to Death Valley, with the most well-known example being the endemic pupfish that live in the park’s salt creeks.

    11. Spend the Night and See the Milky Way

    Milky Way

    Due to its enormity and emptiness, Death Valley National Park is one of the greatest national parks for stargazing in America. It’s an official International Dark Sky Park.

    There are no towns within this gigantic park, only campgrounds and a couple of tourist areas with accommodations and other services. The rest is just empty desert flats, mountain ranges and sand dunes.

    Nights in Death Valley are pitch-black, except for the moon and hundreds of twinkling stars above.

    The National Park Service has improved outdoor lighting at the main hubs of Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek in order to reduce both sky glow and energy consumption.

    You can enjoy a phenomenal Death Valley night sky right from your campsite or, for example, go for a night hike in places like Badwater Basin, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes or Harmony Borax Works.

    In terms of what to see in Death Valley National Park, the Milky Way is without question in the top 3.


    Death Valley National Park FAQs

    Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, CA

    When to Visit Death Valley National Park?

    The best time to visit Death Valley is winter and spring, with spring receiving most of the visitors.

    The spring wildflower bloom attracts thousands of people, so if you’re planning on visiting Death Valley National Park between late February and mid-April, make sure to book accommodation and a rental car ahead.

    If you’re camping, you’ll probably be able to find a spot, though, as many campgrounds are first-come first-served. The key to scoring a site is simply arriving early in the morning.

    Visiting in summer is only suitable for masochists. If you like suffering in ridiculous heat, visit the park in July or August. If you’re a sane person, go there in early spring.

    Where to Stay in Death Valley?

    There’s plenty of accommodation inside this massive park, from lodges to primitive campgrounds. Most of those campgrounds will have open spots every day even in the peak tourist seasons.

    Remember that they’re first-come first-served, though, so make sure to arrive early in the morning and just wait until someone leaves.

    I stayed at the Stovepipe Wells campground, which lies right next to a bunch of great facilities, including a grocery store, saloon and gas station.

    For a small fee, you can also use the resort’s pool and showers just across the road. (The campground itself has no showers.)

    Before you start exploring, make sure to visit one of the park’s visitor centers. There’s a kiosk in Stovepipe Wells.

    The main visitor center is in Furnace Creek, which also has a campground as well as other accommodations. Pick up a map and a newspaper, which is always chock-full with useful up-to-date information and suggestions.

    If, somehow, all places to stay in Death Valley National Park are fully booked, you can resort to staying just outside the park.

    How Many Days Do You Need in Death Valley?

    It’s a huge park, though, so take your time. To really appreciate all these attractions Death Valley National Park, you’ll need three full days.

    Some people “do” Death Valley National Park in just one day, but that’s almost unacceptable. Do this enormous park justice and spend at least three days there.

    I really recommend camping because the night skies in Death Valley are sensational. This is an International Dark Sky Park for a reason.

    If you spend 72 hours in Death Valley, you’ll have sufficient time to see all the highlights mentioned above. You’re there anyway, so why not take some more time to explore the park more in-depth?

    Looking for more information to plan your trip? Head on over to the park’s official website.


    Other National Parks to Explore


    Have You Ever Been to Death Valley? Which of These Death Valley National Park Attractions Was Your Favorite?
    Источник: https://www.travel-experience-live.com/death-valley-national-park-highlights/

    16 Top Attractions & Things to Do in Death Valley, CA

    Written by Lana Law
    Jun 8, 2020

    We may earn a commission from affiliate links ()

    Despite the forbidding name, Death Valley is a beautiful area of desert wonders and one of the top national parks in the United States. Sand dunes, salt flats, mountains, craters, and the lowest lake in North America make for some of the most spectacular and dramatic scenery in the Southwest.

    The valley, protected as a national park, covers 3,000 square miles and is known for being the hottest, driest, and lowest point in North America. Roadside lookouts offer stunning panoramas, and hiking trails allow easy access to the terrain.

    The main service center in the park is the centrally located Furnace Creek, where you'll find the park visitor center, campgrounds, restaurants, a store, gas station, and the Furnace Creek Resort.

    On the west side of the park, is Panamint Springs, with a restaurant, gas station, and some limited accommodation. This is a convenient stop if you are entering the park from the west side and a good lunch option if you are visiting Father Crowley Point and Darwin Falls, the two main attractions on this side of the valley.

    Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

    Driving Routes through Death Valley National Park

    Driving through Death Valley National Park

    Most visitors come either from California, entering from the west off highway 395 onto highway 190, through Panamint Springs, or from Las Vegas, where there are a couple of routing options.

    You can easily visit Death Valley on a day trip from Las Vegas. The best way to do this is to head out on highway 160 (leaving from the south end of Las Vegas) to Death Valley Junction, where the road becomes highway 190, entering the park. This road runs past the turnoff for Dante's View, Twenty Mule Canyon, and Zabriskie Point, and on to Furnace Creek with a park visitor center and some amenities.

    From Furnace Creek, you can head south to Badwater, passing the pullouts for Desolation Canyon, Artist's Drive (Artist's Palette), Devil's Golf Course, and Natural Bridge. When you have visited Badwater, backtrack via Furnace Creek and beyond to the Harmony Borax Interpretive Trail, Mustard Canyon, and the Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells.

    If you started early in the day and still have plenty of time, you may want to continue on. It's a little over a half-hour to Panamint Springs and another 20 minutes to Father Crowley Point. After this, you can turn around and head back to Stovepipe Wells, and out of the park on the Daylight Pass Road (374) that leads to Beatty.

    Before getting to Beatty, stop at the Rhyolite ghost town to see the ruins of this old mining town and some creative art installations. From Beatty take Highway 95 back to Las Vegas.

    If you have time for a second day in Death Valley, you can spend the night in the park or in Beatty. With two days, you'll be able to add on a visit to the Race Track and a few more stops for hiking and sightseeing.

    Determine where you want to stop and what you want to see with this list of attractions and things to do in Death Valley.

    1. Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells

    Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells

    One of the most beautiful sites and most photographed landscapes in Death Valley is the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, just east of Stovepipe Wells. In the morning and late afternoon, when the sun hits the sculpted dunes, creating long curving shadows, the views are fantastic. Mountains rise up on the horizon providing the perfect backdrop. For photographers, it's pure magic.

    You can walk in the dunes, climb to the highest points, or set up a lawn chair and soak up the desert scenery. On busy days in the spring, there is rarely a dune without a person climbing up or running down, but on quiet days, particularly in January or February, you will likely have the dunes to yourself. If you arrive at the dunes after a windy spell, they will be untracked.

    2. Badwater Basin

    Badwater Basin

    At the south end of Death Valley National Park, Badwater Basin is the lowest point of land in the western hemisphere, at 277 feet below sea level. Needless to say, this area is very hot, even in the winter.

    Badwater Lake is a shallow lake surrounded by mountains and rimmed with salt, but you may not always see water here. Depending on the conditions or the time of year, Badwater may be quite full or have very little water. In either case, the area is interesting and there are a number of things to do.

    When there is almost no visible water from the shore, you can walk out, seemingly endlessly, across the white salt flat. When there is water, and if the air is still, which it often is in the morning and early evening, the mountains across the valley reflect in the water, and the scene is stunning. This can be a wonderful area for photography. If there is enough water, it's even possible to paddle out on the lake.

    3. The Racetrack

    The Racetrack

    With a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can take a rugged road that leads to one of Death Valley's most mysterious sights, known as The Racetrack. This area is a huge dried mud bed, where stones of various sizes can be seen with long tracks trailing behind them, as if they have been pushed through the mud.

    Speculation existed for years about how the stones were moved. Many thought the stones were pushed along by the wind after rains. However, more recently, with the help of time-lapse photography, it is thought that the stones are actually moved by floating ice pushing the rocks. Regardless of the method, the result is a most interesting sight.

    4. Zabriskie Point

    Zabriskie Point

    Zabriskie Point looks out over a surreal landscape of undulating, hard-packed ridges of gold, orange, and brown earth. Sweeping views from the lookout extend over this unique formation and beyond to the valley behind and the Panamint Mountains in the distance. The colors are particularly spectacular in the morning or late afternoon.

    A 7.8-mile hiking trail leads out from Zabriskie point, but if you want to get out on the ridges and immerse yourself in the scenery without undertaking a long hike, just wander out a short distance and return on the same track.

    You can reach Zabriskie Point by heading east from Furnace Creek on highway 190 for four miles. If you are coming into the park from Las Vegas on the route described above, this is one of the stops on your way to Furnace Creek.

    5. Dantes View

    Dantes View

    Dante's View offers one of the best overall perspectives of Death Valley. The view from the top looks out over the valley floor, as far as the eye can see, and across to the mountains that line the far side of the valley.

    This lookout is a little out of the way but worth the effort. From Zabriskie Point head east on highway 190 to the sign-posted turn for Dante's View. From the highway, it is a 16-mile drive along a twisty, paved road to the top, which stands at 5,478 feet above sea level. Vehicles on this road must be less than 25 feet in length.

    The temperature up here is much cooler than the valley floor, which can be a refreshing treat on hot days.

    6. Artist's Drive and Artist's Palette

    Artist's Drive and Artist's Palette

    Artist's Palette is an area located along Artist's Drive, a short scenic road that takes you up close to a section of the Black Mountains. Artist's Palette is a colorful section of hillside, with shades that range from orange, pink, and brown to green and turquoise, created by metals in the rock.

    Artist's Drive is a one-way, nine-mile paved loop, accessible to vehicles under 25 feet in length. This is a worthwhile side trip and popular thing to do on the way from Furnace Creek to Badwater, located right off Badwater Road. If possible, try to do this drive in the late afternoon, when the colors are at their best.

    7. Devil's Golf Course and Artist's Drive

    Devil's Golf Course and Artist's Drive

    Devil's Golf Course is a flat expanse of sharp salt crystals that form a huge field of jagged salt boulders. Located south of Furnace Creek, just off the main road heading towards Badwater (Badwater Road) this is an easy stop. From the parking area, you can walk right out onto the field, if you choose. It may seem like there isn't much to see here, but the vastness, solitude, and quietness, along with the unusual sight, creates a unique experience.

    8. Harmony Borax Works and the Sand Dunes near Stove Pipe Wells

    Harmony Borax Works and the Sand Dunes near Stove Pipe Wells

    Aaron Winters found borax in Death Valley in 1881. He soon sold his claims to William T. Coleman, builder of the Harmony Borax Works, where borate-bearing muds were refined until 1888. The site of the former operation is located just north of Furnace Creek.

    You can wander around the crumbling adobe walls and see the old broiler and some of the vats. Also located here are wagons once used for transporting goods out of the valley. Closed in 1888, this was the first successful borax works in the history of borax mining in Death Valley.

    9. Twenty Mule Team Canyon

    Twenty Mule Team Canyon

    Twenty Mule Team Canyon is a 2.7-mile one-way dirt road that runs through some fantastic scenery. The road is bounded in some areas by rock walls on either side, barren flats, and colorful hills, similar to those found just down the road at Zabriskie Point. The terrain here is different from other parts of the park and reveals the ruggedness of the region.

    During the borax days, twenty mule teams were used to haul the borax-filled wagons out of Death Valley, and this road offers some perspective on the type of landscape these vehicles were forced to contend with in the 1880s. However, there is no indication that this specific route was used in this fashion.

    10. Keane Wonder Mine

    Aerial Tram of the Keane Wonder Mine

    The remains of this historic gold mine can be difficult to get to but worth the effort if you are interested in this type of attraction. You can see the old aerial tramway, which is still intact, along with other structures. The mine is set on a hillside, and views extend across the valley.

    Getting to the site involves a drive down a rough dirt road, which is usually passable in a regular vehicle, and a short but moderately strenuous hike from the parking area. The road is just under three miles, and the hike is a quarter of a mile to the lowest section of the tram.

    11. Father Crowley Point

    Father Crowley Point

    Father Crowley Point is a high lookout on the west side of the park that offers a different perspective than viewing areas on the busier east side of the park. If you are entering Death Valley from the west, Father Crowley Point should be your first stop before the long descent towards Panamint Springs.

    There are two parking areas: one right at the overlook and another further back, closer to the highway. The first parking lot is easily accessed right off the main highway, and many people choose to walk the short distance out to the lookout point. The road to the lookout is not paved, quite bumpy, and may require high clearance.

    12. Ubehebe Crater

    Ubehebe Crater

    The Ubehebe Crater measures about a half-mile wide and 400 feet deep, and it is the only crater in the area that resulted from a volcanic explosion. It is located at the north end of Death Valley, in the general vicinity of Scotty's Castle, which is closed due to flooding.

    The landscape here is different from other areas of the park. The ground is dark, with lava flows and cinders. If you are feeling up for a walk, trails lead down into the crater.

    13. Rhyolite Ghost Town

    Rhyolite Ghost Town

    Rhyolite is an abandoned mining town, with remnants of its glory days visible in the crumbling and decaying old buildings. One of the highlights of this ghost town is a unique art installation of ghostly figures erected on the edge of the town. One large piece, standing before a vast expanse of desert, displays ghosts arranged in the form of The Last Supper.

    Other pieces are also found here, in what is now called the Goldwell Open Air Museum, including a giant pink lady made of blocks, called "Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada."

    Rhyolite is a good stop on your way out of the park. It is located off Daylight Pass Road (highway 374) just outside the park boundary, on the way to Beatty.

    14. Natural Bridge

    Natural Bridge

    Natural Bridge is, as the name suggests, a large natural bridge set in a canyon, not far from Badwater. An easy two-mile round-trip hike leads to the end of the canyon, but if you only want to see the bridge, it is located about half a mile from the parking area. In the midday heat, this can still feel like quite a journey, and it may be something you want to tackle earlier in the day. The parking area is located 1.5 miles along a dirt road off the Badwater Road.

    15. Spring Wildflowers

    Spring Wildflowers

    One of the park's biggest attractions is the spring wildflower bloom, which usually peaks in March. Depending on the year, the conditions, and the extent of the bloom, this event can draw thousands of people to the park. To anyone unfamiliar with deserts, it might seem amazing that anything can grow in these hot dry conditions.

    On weekends during the bloom, it's not uncommon to see people pulled off to the side of the road all over the park, picnicking on the bare ground, meditating among the flowers, or walking through the fields. Despite the fact that people do this, you should not walk out in the fields and trample the flowers.

    One of the best places to see this beautiful display is in the south part of the park around Badwater and up towards Furnace Creek, where a carpet of yellow spreads across the valley floor. Areas further north also see a good display of flowers, usually with a mix of colors that range from white and yellow to orange and purple.

    The park visitor center can point you in the right direction and offer information on what is blooming while you are in the park.

    16. Devil's Cornfield

    Devil's Cornfield

    Compared to the rest of the sights in Death Valley, Devil's Cornfield is not necessarily worth going out of your way to see, but it's a sight you will pass if you are driving from the east to Stovepipe Wells and the sand dunes.

    Clumps of vegetation that look like tumble weeds dot the landscape as it stretches out to the distant hills and mountains. Depending on the time of year, the shrubs may be green or dried out to an amber color. Photographers can have some fun in this area, particularly in the late afternoon.

    Tour of Death Valley

    If you don't want to be bothered navigating your way through the park, the Death Valley National Park Small-Group Day Trip from Las Vegas is an organized full-day tour that takes you to a number of the main attractions and gives a good overview of the park. This trip includes pickup and drop-off from your hotel, breakfast, lunch, transportation, and a guide.

    Источник: https://www.planetware.com/california/death-valley-us-ca-dv.htm

    9 things I wish I’d known before visiting Death Valley

    1. Death Valley is big

    It’s obvious if you look at a map, but I didn’t really grasp just how big Death Valley was until I got there. For example, I was at Stovepipe Wells, in the middle of the park, and thought I might pop over and check out Lone Pine, the town just outside the park on the California side. This would have been a 90-minute drive each way. I dropped that idea. For comparison, Death Valley is a little smaller than Wales.

    2. Death Valley is really, really hot

    Badwater Basin, Death Valley

    Badwater Basin, Death Valley

    The similarities with Wales end there. Death Valley is really hot – even when it isn’t summer. I visited in early April, when it was around 22-23 degrees Celsius (73 Fahrenheit) in Las Vegas. I arrived at the park entrance at about 9:30am and my car showed a temperature of 69F/20C, but 45 minutes later when I got down to Badwater Basin (the lowest point in the park) it was already up to 90F/32C. With the sun reflecting off the white salt flats, it felt even hotter. I cannot imagine what I must feel like to be there in the summer.

    3. Stay in, or near Death Valley Park

    Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley

    Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley

    It means you can start your walk early and finish it before 10am! On my trip, I did a day trip from Las Vegas (about 2 hours away) and in hindsight I wish I’d stayed overnight either in the park itself (Stovepipe Wells is a great option) or in one of the nearby towns like Lone Pine (California) or Beatty (Nevada). The early morning and evening light is great for pictures, especially around the Mesquite Sand Dunes, which are also spectacular by moonlight if you happen to be there on a clear night with a full-ish moon. Death Valley is also an International Dark Sky Park.

    4. Take a real, old-fashioned paper map

    There’s basically no mobile phone coverage in the park so you don’t want to rely on Google Maps. I picked up a map of the park at the entrance, which was fine for navigating around the park, but when it came time to leave and head back to Las Vegas, my phone still didn’t work and I spent about 10 minutes driving along the wrong highway before I came to a sign showing that I was headed for Reno, (that’s the wrong direction, by the way).

    5. Take a hat or your brain will cook

    I don’t care if you’re not a ‘hat person’ or don’t look good in hats. Please just take one. I don’t usually wear hats either, but at Badwater Basin I could feel my brain being scrambled by the sun. Also: slap on the sunscreen.

    6. Take A LOT of water and your own food

    You can refill water bottles at the visitor centre in Furnace Creek and the ranger station in Stovepipe Wells, but these are in the middle of the park and there are no refill stations at the trailheads or park entrances. I took two litres with me and was pretty much out by the time I got to Furnace Creek where I could refill. There are restaurants and grocery stores in Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells, but who wants to waste precious time indoors? Options for vegetarians or people with dietary requirements were also pretty basic.

    7. Allow time for Rhyolite ghost town

    Abandoned railway car in Rhyolite

    Abandoned railway car in Rhyolite

    This is just outside the park, on the Nevada side near the exit to Beatty. I’d planned on making a quick stop there on my way back to Las Vegas, but found it really interesting, and ended up staying about half an hour. Seeing the ruins of this old mining town sticking up in the middle of the desert was strangely beautiful. You can pick up a pamphlet at the Bottle House which shows you what each of the buildings was, and what it used to look like in about 1905 when it was a flourishing gold mining town.

    8. Get someone else to drive

    Zabriskie Point View, Death Valley

    Zabriskie Point View, Death Valley

    I missed a lot by self-driving and having to concentrate on the road, rather than being able to stare out the window. There aren’t many places to pull over along the road, and when there are designated pullouts for taking photos, I kept missing them as I was driving too fast to be able to stop at short notice. There were also a couple of roads I didn’t take as they were unpaved and I was worried about taking a rental car down there. This is a definite advantage of taking an Intrepid tour to Death Valley.

    9. It’s more beautiful than I expected in my wildest dreams

    I was prepared for dry and desolate and vast, but I hadn’t expected Death Valley to be so beautiful. Pictures don’t do it justice. I admit it: half a day was not enough.

    All images c/o Claire Baxter.

    Visit Death Valley on our San Francisco to Las Vegas tour >

    Feeling inspired?

    Источник: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/death-valley-facts/

    13 things to see and do in Death Valley National Park

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    I wasn’t expecting much when it came to Death Valley National Park. Given its name, I assumed it was basically a bit of wasteland with not much going for it. So it came as a bit of a surprise when we visited during our three-month cross USA road trip and discovered it was absolutely stunning.

    Despite being one of the hottest places in America, it poured with rain, hail and we were treated to an almighty thunderstorm during our night in Death Valley. Just as well there were some spaces at one of the Death Valley campsites so we could hunker down for the evening and try and avoid getting struck by lightning! If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley National Park (and you absolutely should!), then here are some of the best things to see in Death Valley, California. Oh, and be sure to check out this guide to Death Valley National Park and these awesome Death Valley hikes!

    death valley what to see

    Where is Death Valley National Park?

    what to do in death valley national park
    Death Valley National Park is in eastern California and is just west of the Nevada – California State border. It’s 123 miles from Las Vegas to Death Valley (2 hours), and roughly 3.5 hours drive away from Los Angeles. 

    If you’re driving to Death Valley National Park and need to rent a car, definitely check out RentalCars.com. They make it super easy to compare rental prices so that you can be sure you’re getting a good deal! 

    Death Valley National Park map

    death valley national park map[Click the link to see an enlarged Death Valley map]. Here’s what holiday is it in france today map of Death Valley National Park that shows the roads and main sites some of which are mentioned below or in other posts. 

    Entrance fees to Death Valley

    The Death Valley entrance fees are $30 per car, this lasts for 7 consecutive days.

    If you’re entering by foot, bike then the entrance fee is $15 per person.

    If you’re visiting a few US National Parks over the course of a year then you’ll be better off buying the “America is Beautiful National Parks Pass” from REI for $80.

    You can also buy a pass from the Death Valley Visitor Centre. 

    Where to stay near Death Valley National Park

    There is some limited accommodation within Death Valley National Park but you’ll get more options for lodging at Death Valley if you’re willing to sleep over the state line in Nevada. Here are some of the top options for accommodation in Death Valley and it’s surroundings. 

    Hotels near Death Valley National Park

    Death Valley Camping

    It’s unusual for all the Death Valley campgrounds to fill up but if you’re hoping to stay at Furnace Creek campground you may want to reserve prior to your visit. All other campgrounds are first come, first served. 

    • Furnace Creek: Reservations required from October 15 – April 15. Costs $22 per night, $36 per night for electric hookup
    • Sunset: Open October 15 – May 2, costs $14 per night
    • Texas Springs: Open October 15 – April 24th, costs $16 per night
    • Stovepipe Wells: Open October to May 10th and costs $14 per night
    • Emigrant (tents only): Open all year round with no reservations needed and is free
    • Wildrose (where we stayed): Free, open all year

    RV resorts & campsites near Death Valley

    Death Valley tours

    Prefer to travel as a tour or are you short on time? Check out these tours to Death Valley tours from Las Vegas:

    What to see in Death Valley National Park

    death valley national park

    Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

    Right in the middle of Death Valley, there’s a desert complete with sand dunes! You’re free to walk in amongst and over the sand dunes but, again, don’t forget your water as you’ll most definitely need it.

    Visit Dante’s View

    I think this should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Death Valley. It was easily one of my favourites from our visit.

    Since we entered Death Valley National Park from the east, one of the first things we came to was Dante’s View. The drive up there is quite far from the main road which cuts through the National Park but the view is so worth it!

    If you have a trailer you’ll have to leave it in one of the car parks as the drive is very, very steep up to the top.

    From here you get a fantastic view of Death Valley National Park and Badwater Basin in Death Valley. We arrived just as the sun was starting to peek through the clouds and the rays came through – highly recommended.

    Artist’s Drive and Artist’s Palette, Death Valley

    Taking Artist’s Drive to Artists Palette is very scenic and you won’t believe the colours in the rocks. It’s no wonder this is one of the top Death Valley attractions; it’s just like an artist has come along and started to mix his colours up right there on the rocks!

    The 9-mile road is one-way and is only drivable with vehicles less than 25 feet in total length. If you have a trailer you’ll have to leave it at the bottom of the road. 

    death valley national park

    Twenty Mule Team Canyon

    Winding through otherworldly badlands, the Twenty Mule Team Canyon is a 2.7 mile, one-way loop drive. It’s unpaved but generally drivable without a four-wheel drive assuming it hasn’t rained recently.

    See Zabriskie Point

    The colours of the rocks at Zabriskie Point are amazing, I really didn’t expect it! It’s particularly good at sunset that’s for sure and it’s one of my must sees in Death Valley. How to pay your amazon store card sure to stop here as you’re driving through Death Valley National Park and get out your car – you won’t regret it! 

    Gaze at Badwater Basin

    Badwater Basin is the lowest elevation in the US. It’s actually 282ft below sea level and it gets extremely hot down there. You should probably try and avoid Badwater, Death Valley at midday, but definitely take dare county airport manteo nc drive over, or get out and have a quick walk in the morning or evening. It’s a pretty cool place to see.

    death valley national park

    Devil’s Golf Course

    This is such a weird rock formation but it’s one of the most interesting places to visit in Death Valley thanks to that.

    This huge area of rock salt eroded by wind and rain into jagged spires. Apparently, if you listen carefully you’ll hear sounds like tiny pops and pings. It’s the sound of billions of tiny salt crystals bursting apart as they expand and contract in the heat.

    death valley national park

    Natural Bridge

    If you’re a fan of arches then don’t miss this natural bridge in Death Valley National Park. It’s just a short walk from somewhere you can park your car and it’s a pretty cool spot.

    Wildrose Campsite

    There are a few spaces here where you can camp for free; even in a car or a tent. We pulled up in the evening and the places were all taken but we managed to squeeze in next to a car camper and settled in for the night.

    We didn’t fancy trying to drive any further what with all the lightning and rain – it was the biggest storm we had during our entire trip – I hadn’t expected it to happen in Death Valley National Park!

    death valley national park

    Go for a hike!

    If you’re still wondering what to do in Death Valley then put on those hiking boots and go exploring. This post covers some of the best hikes in Death Valley as well as a few important things you should know before you go hiking in this massive area!

    Death Valley wildflowers

    Every now and again Death Valley National Park becomes full of life when the wildflowers go into bloom. Whilst Death Valley didn’t get enough rain in the 2018/2019 season, you can find out whether blooms are expected in coming years here.

    True you’ll only see a desert full of gold, pink, purple and white flowers when there have been the perfect conditions for a Death Valley bloom, but even when there isn’t much rain you can still find pockets of Death Valley flowers.

    Discover Borax Mine in Death Valley

    The Harmony Borax Works was the central feature in the opening of Death Valley and played an important role in Death Valley history. The plant began processing ore around 1883-1884 and produced three tonnes daily before going out of operation in 188. It’s been on the National Register of Historic Places since December 31st 1974, and can be visited during your trip to Death Valley.

    Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley

    *Currently closed due to flood damage – expected to reopen in 2020*

    Yes, there’s an actual castle in Death Valley National Park! Also known as the Death Valley Ranch, Scotty’s Castle is a window into the life and times of the Roaring ’20s and Depression ’30s. This castle was an engineer’s dream home, a wealthy matron’s vacation home and a man of mystery’s hideout and getaway. When it’s open you can take walking tours to learn more about the history and people who’ve lived here. 

    More USA National Parks posts

     

    Источник: https://thatadventurer.co.uk/what-to-see-in-death-valley-national-park/

    With a name like that, Death Valley National Park may not lure the crowds as one of the lowest, hottest and driest places on earth. Its harsh climate is challenging, but the land itself delivers one of a kind diverse scenery.  If you are into surreal landscape, this park is for you. Take your time to see different sections of the park for its own unique character and beauty in this desert. See what awaits union savings bank com at this seemingly unforgiving land with these 9 best things to do in Death Valley National Park.

    You can easily access Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park., 1 of the Best Things to In Death Valley National Park

    9 Best Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

    1. Stop at Death Valley National Park Visitors Center
    2. Experience Zabriskie Point
    3. Visit Badwater Basin
    4. Take a ride along Artist Drive
    5. Hike Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
    6. Pay a visit to Devil’s Golf Course
    7. Drive Twenty Mule Team Canyon
    8. Welcome the day at Dante’s View
    9. Take a hike or a drive of the beaten path

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, TravelingMom may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

    While there are plenty of things to do in Death Valley National Park, you must be prepared. I did not know HOT until I visited this park! Day temperatures during my visit, at the end of September, were unbearable – up to 115 F. At night, it would not get much better. The grounds were giving back the heat accumulated during the day, which stayed trapped in the basin. Only early mornings brought lower temperatures. With some adjustment to my sleeping routine, I still very much enjoyed my visit. Read on for my top 9 best things to do in Death Valley National Park.

    One of the Best Things to In Death Valley National Park includes this Early morning beauty at Death Valley National Park.

    1. Stop at Death Valley National Park Visitors Center

    The visitor center is located in the Furnace Creek resort area on California Highway 190.  Operating hours are 8 AM to 5 PM daily. A 20-minute park film is shown throughout the day. During the winter season, November to April, rangers present a wide variety of walks, talks, and capital one bank account sign up presentations about Death Valley’s cultural and natural history.

    2. Experience Zabriskie Point

    The most photographed attraction in Death Valley,  Zabriskie Point, is a sunrise and sunset destination. During that times is overtaken by photographers. I witnessed the sunrise. During the earth’s waking, a beautiful picture was painted with light right in front of my eyes. Spectacular experience!

    Get up early to witness the spectacular sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.

    3. Visit Badwater Basin

    Find the second lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. From the parking lot, view the sea level sign located 280 feet above you on the adjacent mountain. It really puts in perspective how low you stand.

    Badwater Basin In Death Valley National Park - second lowest point in the Western Hemisphere.

    4. Take a ride along Artist Drive

    There are some parts of the park to be enjoyed even during the heat of summer. One of them is Artist Drive. This one-way loop cuts through colorful mountain scenery. Take advantage of the many pullovers to shoot photos or take a short hike.

    Artist Drive -one of a few attractions of Death Valley National Park that can be enjoyed from the car.

    5. Hike Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

    Located in Stovepipe Wells Village, 30 minutes (24 mi/39 km) west of Furnace Creek, this is not your usual hike. There is no formal trail. You will be walking in deep sand with an elevation gain of 185 ft (65 m).

    The summit of the high dune is 1 mile (1.6 km) away. Of the seven sets of sand dunes in Death Valley, these are the most famous and easily accessible. For spectacular views, visit at sunrise.

    Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park come alive at sunrise.

    6. Pay a visit to Devil’s Golf Course

    Devil’s Golf Course is accessible via a half-mile dirt road that you should be able to drive with most cars. It is made up of large salt formations creating the barren landscape for as far as the eye can see, so incredibly serrated that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links.” Do not wear flip-flops!

    Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley National Park. Watch your step!

    7. Drive Twenty Mule Team Canyon

    This 2.7 mi (4.3 km) one-way loop drive, located 15 minutes east (5.5 mi / 8.8 km) of Furnace Creek off of CA 190, is unpaved but typically passable to a sedan.  You will be winding through space-like scenery.

    8. Welcome the day at Dante’s View

    At 5,475 ft (1,669 m), it is the most breathtaking view point in the park. Facing west, the view of the Panamint Mountains towering over the lowest point (-282ft / 86m) in North America (Badwater Basin) offers one of the best sunrises in the park.

    9. Take a hike or a drive of the beaten path

    There is a lot to do in Death Valley National Park but chose your off the beaten path adventures wisely. Tell someone where you are going. Think of what your body is capable of and always carry a lot of water, food and extra clothes.

    My personal experience in Death Valley National Park

    I was traveling with a person who would let himself get killed for a good photo. He was determined to take a sunset photo of some remote dunes. That required taking a dirt road to get the trailhead, eight miles one way.

    The road was easy to navigate, but soon it became a little scary. We spotted two rusted cars with multiple bullet holes in them. My imagination went wild. We did not meet a single soul on that road.

    Things happen at Death Valley National Park.

    The path ended at the so-called trailhead. Nothing even remotely looked like a trail. Just dirt, few anemic shrubs, and the dunes far in a distant, at least two miles away. The thermometer was showing 106 F.

    Against my better judgment, I agreed to the hike. After a while on the “trail,” I turned around and realized that we could no longer see the car or any other marker which would help us navigate back.

    Death Valley National Park is not a playground. Know your limits!

    It was so hot I could not breathe. I felt like my heart was going to explode. No one knew where we went. No phone reception and no trail. I knew I could not make it alive if I continued. I quit! Somehow we returned to the car before it got dark.

    Diverse spectacular scenery awaits at Death Valley National Park.

    When to visit Death Valley

    Death Valley National Park offers things to do all year but if possible try to avoid May through September due to extreme heat. Springtime, with its warm and sunny days, is the most popular time to visit. If you are lucky, the basin may burst into a beautiful carpet of wildflowers.

    Fall arrives in late October, with pleasant temperatures and generally clear skies. Winter has cool days, chilly nights and rarely rainstorms. With snow capping the high peaks, this season is especially picturesque.

    Where to stay in Death Valley

    I stayed at Furnace Creek Resort situated in a lush oasis where everything is in one place to serve visitors. Choose from restaurants, pool, playground, and two types of lodging – one on a budget and one more upscale.

    My accommodation was basic, but honestly, all I cared about was properly functioning air conditioning. I strongly recommend to make a reservation any time of year, simply because with the park’s remote location, there is no plan B.

    Other spectacular desert destinations in the Southwest

    Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park 

    Bryce Canyon National Park 

    Tuweep Area – the Best Kept Secret of the Grand Canyon National Park 

    Moab, Utah – for the Love of Adventure 

    The Wave – a Hike of a Lifetime in Arizona 

    Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area, Utah

    Colorado National Monument 

    Источник: https://www.travelingmom.com/best-things-to-in-death-valley-national-park/

    Overview

    Death Valley is a land of extremes and is considered one of the hottest, driest and lowest places in the world. Summer temperatures average well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it quite warm. The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is located within park boundaries at 282 feet below the sea level. With an average rainfall of only 1.96 inches a year it is also the driest place in North America. Subtle beauties will entrance a visitor while at Death Valley. You can watch the morning light as it creeps across the eroded badlands of Zabriskie Point to strike Manly Beacon. During the evening make sure to watch the sunset on the Sand Dunes at Stovepipe Wells. During springtime, the colors of the golden hills above Harmony Borax draw crowds of patient wildflower hunters.

    Death Valley is a treasure trove of scientific information about the ancient Earth and about the forces still working to shape the modern world. It is home to plants, animals, and human beings that have adapted themselves to take advantage of its rare and hard won bounty. It is a story of western expansion, wealth, greed, suffering and triumph.

    Two visitor centers will help you experience one of America's most amazing natural parks. Furnace Creek Visitor Center, the main park visitor, is open year-round and has a bookstore and rangers on hand to answer questions. Scotty's Castle and visitor center is an elaborate, Spanish-style mansion built in the 1920s and '30s. A ranger-guided tour of the castle interior or the system of underground tunnels make a day trip to the northern reaches of the park worth your while. A snack bar, museum and bookstore are available at Scotty's Castle year-round.

    Activities

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      Bicycling

      Death Valley has more than 785 miles of roads including hundreds of miles suitable for Mountain Biking. Bicycles can be used on all park roads that are open to public vehicular traffic. They can also be used on routes that have been designated for bicycle use in developed areas such as the path between the visitor center and the Harmony Borax Works. They are not allowed on closed roads, service roads, off roadways, in the wilderness, or on any trails. This is a great way to explore Death Valley National Park.

    • Auto/Motorcycle

      Death Valley has more miles of roads than any other national park. Though 91% of the park's 3.4 million acres are protected in roadless wilderness areas, nearly one thousand miles of paved and dirt roads provide ample opportunities for recreation and exploration. Road conditions can change quickly. Current road condition information is available at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or on the Morning Report (updated daily) posted throughout the park.

    • Camping

      Backcountry camping is allowed in the variety of rugged things to do in death valley national park and desert terrain found at Death Valley. More than three million acres of wilderness and over 400 miles of backcountry dirt roads are open to camping under a few regulations. Out here you start by parking your car and traveling more than two miles away from any developed area, paved road, or "day use only" area. To minimize impact, the park urges that visitors camp only in previously disturbed areas and park your vehicle close to the roadway. Free voluntary permits for backcountry camping may be obtained at the visitor center or any ranger station. Solo hikers may want to provide additional information about plans and emergency contacts.

    • Hiking

      Hiking is a highly sought after activity at Death Valley, particularly during the winter months. A variety of trails are available, ranging from easy walks to moderate hikes. The Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail is a great way to get your "feet wet" at Death Valley. It is an easy one mile trail (one-way), which starts Golden Canyon parking area, two miles south of Hwy 190 on Badwater Road. Along this route a trail guide will interpret the natural history of the site. Other hikes such as the Wildrose Peak Trail can only be navigated in the summer. This trail is 4.2 miles, one-way. It starts at Charcoal Kilns parking area on upper Wildrose Canyon Road. Wildrose Peak Trail is a high peak to climb (9,064 ft.); it also exhibits a spectacular view beyond two mile point of the park. It is generally wise to talk to a ranger or read about the area before entering. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen on your hikes and plan wisely for the quick change in temperature when the sun retires.

    • Horseback Riding

      From the corral at Furnace Creek Ranch, a guide can lead you through the desert on a real horse. Both one- and two-hour horseback rides are available. For those who savor a truly romantic treat, you can even ride in a horse-drawn carriage while sipping champagne!

      Horses and pack animals are allowed on dirt roads, in wilderness areas, in other natural areas, on designated horse trails in the Furnace Creek area, and non-paved trails and areas that are not closed to stock. For more information about horse and pack animal regulations, contact the park.

    • Off Highway Vehicles

      Death Valley has more miles of roads than any other national park. Though 91% of the park's 3.4 million acres are protected in roadless wilderness areas, nearly one thousand miles of paved and dirt roads provide ample opportunities for recreation and exploration. Road conditions can change quickly. Current road condition information is available at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or on the Morning Report (updated daily) posted throughout the park.

      Farabee's Jeep Rentals offer in-park jeeps outfitted for rugged backcountry road use. Call (760) 786-9872 or visit http://www.farabeesjeeprentals.com.

      Pink Jeep Tours provide tours for those who want to leave the driving to someone else. Call (800) 873-3662 or visit http://www.pinkjeep.com.

    • Picnicking

      Picnic areas are located throughout the park.

    • Water Sports

      Guests at the Furnace Creek Inn can enjoy a warm spring-fed swimming pool. There is also a swimming pool at Stovepipe Wells Village.

    Seasonality/Weather

    Springtime is the most popular time to visit Death Valley. Besides warm and sunny days, the possibility of spring wildflowers is a big attraction. If the previous winter brought rain, the desert can put on an impressive floral display, usually peaking in late March to early April. Spring break for schools throughout the west brings families and students to the park from the last week of March through the things to do in death valley national park after Easter. Campgrounds and lodging are usually busy at that time, so reservations are recommended.

    Park Partners

    The Death Valley Natural History Association

    The Death Valley Natural History Association (DVNHA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality educational products to the public and services to Death Valley National Park. DVNHA functions as: a part of the interpretive arm of the National Park Service, a business that acquires or produces and sells materials to enhance the enjoyment of park visitors, and a philanthropic organization that disperses its net income to the National Park Service for research and education programs. The DVNHA operates sales outlets at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, the Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station, and the Scotty's Castle Visitor Center and Museum. Purchases can also be made through the DVNHA Online Bookstore, by telephone and by mail. All purchases benefit Death Valley National Park.

    There are two other park partners, including the Death Valley Fund and The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. The Death Valley Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide support and private funding for projects that preserve, protect or enhance Death Valley National Park by improving the Death Valley area's natural, cultural and historic resources as well as the visitor experience. They can be contacted at http://deathvalleyfund.org. The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe are the native people of Death Valley. Western Shoshone and Paiute people once occupied several villages scattered throughout the region, but today only the village of Timbisha at Furnace Creek remains within what is now Death Valley National Park. Their official website is http://www.timbisha.org.

    (800) 478-8564

    Xanterra Parks & Resorts

    Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates Furnace Creek Resort, situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park. This is one resort with two hotels -- the historic Inn at Furnace Creek and the more family-oriented Ranch at Furnace Creek. The Inn at Furnace Creek is available to guests from mid-October through mid-May. From mid-May through mid-October all operations are consolidated at the Ranch at Furnace Creek.

    Both the Inn and the Ranch offer outdoor swimming pools that are naturally beach house rentals in avon north carolina by warm springs that keep the pool's temperature at a comfortable 82 ºF. In addition to the pool, guests can enjoy a game of tennis on the lighted tennis courts, or take in an early morning walk, jog or hike. The Furnace Creek Stables, located at the Ranch at Furnace Creek, offers one and two hour guided trail rides and evening carriage and hay wagon rides.

    Xanterra also offers a wide range of dining options, from the elegance of the Inn Dining Room to the more casual atmosphere of the Ranch dining facilities, including the Forty-Niner Cafe, Corkscrew Saloon and the Wrangler Steakhouse. Golfers also enjoy the 19th Hole (October - June), a unique, veranda-style bar and grill adjacent to the golf pro shop.

    Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel is operated by Ortega Family Enterprises an additional park concessioner. Many Stovepipe Wells Village rooms provide breathtaking views of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and of the surrounding mountain ranges, while other rooms adjoin an historic inner courtyard. Amenities include the Toll Road Restaurant & Badwater Saloon, a heated swimming pool, complimentary WiFi, television in select rooms and an onsite library. Ortega Family Enterprises also operates the Nugget Gift Shop and a general store, and an historic gas station. For more information, call (760) 786-2387 or visit http://www.escapetodeathvalley.com.

    The private Panamint Springs Resort offers resort accommodations and camping year-round. For more information, call (775) 482-7680 or visit http://www.deathvalley.com/psr.

    (760) 786-2345

    Directions

    Driving

    The main road transecting Death Valley National Park from east to west is California Highway 190. On the east in Nevada, U.S. Route 95 parallels the park from north to south with connecting highways at Scotty's Junction (State Route 267), Beatty (State Route 374), and Lathrop Wells (State Route 373).

    Coming from the west, State Route 14 and U.S. Route 395 lead to Ridgecrest, CA where State Route 178 heads east into the park. Further north on Hwy 395 at Olancha, CA you can join Hwy 190 to the park, or north of that at Lone Pine, CA, Hwy 136 will also join Hwy 190 heading east into the park.

    South of the park, Interstate 15 passes through Baker, California on its way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. State Route 127 travels north from Baker to Shoshone and Death Valley Junction with connections to the park on State Route 178 from Shoshone and connection with California Highway 190 at Death Valley Junction.

    GPS Navigation to sites to remote locations like Death Valley are notoriously unreliable. Numerous travelers have been directed to the wrong location or even dead-end or closed roads. Travelers should always carry up-to-date road maps to check the accuracy of GPS directions. DO NOT DEPEND ONLY ON YOUR VEHICLE GPS NAVIGATION SYSTEM. There is no specific street address for the park or the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Many GPS users have had success using the street address for the Death Valley Post Office which is located about 400 meters south of the visitor center. The post office address is: 328 Greenland Blvd., Death Valley, CA 92328. Map coordinates for the visitor center are: (N 36°27.70, W 116°52.00).

    Flying

    There is a small public airport at Furnace Creek. Fuel is available by calling the Furnace Creek Chevron Station at (760) 786-2343.

    Public Transportation

    There is no public transportation available to Death Valley National Park.

    Phone Numbers

    Primary

    (760) 786-3200

    Campground reservations

    (877) 444-6777

    Links

    Official URL

    http://www.nps.gov/deva

    Event URL

    http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/events.htm

    Источник: http://www.ohranger.com/death-valley

    Death Valley National Park

    National park in California and Nevada, United States

    Death Valley National Park
    Sand <a href=Tyra sanchez song in Death Valley National Park.jpg" src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b2/Sand_Dunes_in_Death_Valley_National_Park.jpg/284px-Sand_Dunes_in_Death_Valley_National_Park.jpg" width="284" height="184">

    Sand dunes in Death Valley National Park

    Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park
    Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park

    Death Valley

    Location in California

    Show map of California
    Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park
    Map showing the location of Death Valley National Park

    Death Valley

    Location in the United States

    Show map of the United States
    LocationCalifornia and Nevada, United States
    Nearest cityLone Pine, California
    Beatty, Nevada
    Coordinates36°14′31″N116°49′33″W / 36.24194°N 116.82583°W / 36.24194; -116.82583Coordinates: 36°14′31″N116°49′33″W / 36.24194°N 116.82583°W / 36.24194; -116.82583
    Area3,373,063 acres (13,650.30 km2)[2]
    EstablishedFeb. 11, 1933 (national monument)
    Oct. 31, 1994 (national park)[3]
    Visitors1,678,660 (in 2018)[4]
    Governing bodyNational Park Service
    WebsiteDeath Valley National Park

    Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California–Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada. The park boundaries include Death Valley, the northern section of Panamint Valley, the southern section of Eureka Valley and most of Saline Valley. The park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons and mountains. Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States, as well as the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States.[5] It contains Badwater Basin, the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. More than 93% of the park is a designated wilderness area.[6] The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment including creosote bush, Joshua tree, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984.[7]

    A series of Native American groups inhabited the area from as early as 7000 BC, most recently the Timbisha around 1000 AD who migrated between winter camps in the valleys and summer grounds in the mountains. A group of European Americans, trapped in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California, gave the valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The valley later became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies. Tourism expanded in the 1920s when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994.[3]

    The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology. The valley is actually a graben with the oldest rocks being extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old.[8] Ancient, warm, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. The subduction uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes. Later the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly.

    In 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association.[9]

    Geographic setting[edit]

    There are two major valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years and both are bounded by north–south-trending mountain ranges.[10] These and adjacent valleys follow the general trend of Basin and Range topography with one modification: there are parallel strike-slip faults that perpendicularly bound the central extent of Death Valley. The result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.

    Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the valley floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the alluvial fans (fan-shaped deposits at the mouth of canyons) there are small and steep compared to the huge alluvial fans coming off the Panamint Range. Fast uplift of a mountain range in an arid environment often does not allow its canyons enough time to cut a classic V-shape all the way down to the stream bed. Instead, a V-shape ends at a slot canyon halfway down, forming a 'wine glass canyon.' Sediment is deposited on a small and steep alluvial fan.

    At 282 feet (86 m) below sea level at its lowest point,[11] Badwater Basin on Death Valley's floor is the second-lowest depression in the Western Hemisphere (behind Laguna del Carbón in Argentina), while Mount Whitney, only 85 miles (137 km) to the west, rises to 14,505 feet (4,421 m) and is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.[10] This topographic relief is the greatest elevation gradient in the contiguous United States and is the terminus point of the Great Basin's southwestern drainage.[8] Although the extreme lack of water in the Great Basin makes this distinction of little current practical use, it does mean that in wetter times the lake that once filled Death Valley (Lake Manly) was the last stop for water flowing in the region, meaning the water there was saturated in dissolved materials. Thus, the salt pans in Death Valley are among the largest in the world and are rich in minerals, such as borax and various salts and hydrates.[12] The largest salt pan in the park extends 40 miles (64 km) from the Ashford Mill Site to the Salt Creek Hills, covering some 200 square miles (520 km2) of the valley floor.[12][note 1] The best known playa in the park is the Racetrack, known fnb first national bank of omaha its moving rocks.

    Climate[edit]

    A cross section through the highest and lowest points in Death Valley National Park

    According to the Köppen climate classification system, Death Valley National Park has a hot desert climate (BWh). The plant hardiness zone at Badwater Basin is 9b with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of 27.3 °F (-2.6 °C).[13]

    Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America due to its lack of surface water and low relief. It is so frequently the hottest spot in the United States that many tabulations of the highest daily temperatures in the country omit Death Valley as a matter of course.[14][15]

    On the afternoon of July 10, 1913, the United States Weather Bureau recorded a high temperature of 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Greenland Ranch (now Furnace Creek) in Death Valley.[16] This temperature stands as the highest ambient air temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth. (A report of a temperature of 58 °C (136.4 °F) recorded in Libya in 1922 was later determined to be inaccurate.)[17] Daily summer temperatures of 120 °F (49 °C) or greater are common, as well as below freezing nightly temperatures in the winter.[8] July is the hottest month, with an average high of 117 °F (47 °C) and an average low of 91 °F (33 °C). December is the coldest month, with an average high of 66 °F (19 °C) and an average low of 41 °F (5 °C). The record low is 15 °F (−9.4 °C). There are an average of 197.3 days annually with highs of 90 °F (32.2 °C) or higher and 146.9 days annually with highs of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or higher. Freezing temperatures of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower occur on an average of 8.6 days annually.

    Several of the larger Death Valley springs derive their water from a regional aquifer, which extends as far east as southern Nevada and Utah. Much of the water in this aquifer has been there for many thousands of years, since the Pleistocene ice ages, when the climate was cooler and wetter. Today's drier climate does not provide enough precipitation to recharge the aquifer at the rate at which water is being withdrawn.[18]

    The highest range within the park is the Panamint Range, with Telescope Peak being its highest point at 11,049 feet (3,368 m).[8] The Death Valley region is a transitional zone in the northernmost part of the Mojave Desert and consists of five mountain ranges removed from the Pacific Ocean. Three of these are significant barriers: the Sierra Nevada, the Argus Range, and the Panamint Range. Air masses tend to lose moisture as they are forced up over mountain ranges, in what climatologists call a rainshadow effect.

    The exaggerated rain shadow effect for the Death Valley area makes it North America's driest spot, receiving about 1.5 inches (38 mm) of rainfall annually at Badwater, and some years fail to register any measurable rainfall.[19] Annual average precipitation varies from 1.92 inches (49 mm) overall below sea level to over 15 inches (380 mm) in the higher mountains that surround the valley.[20] When rain does arrive it often does so in intense storms that cause flash floods which remodel the landscape and sometimes create very shallow ephemeral lakes.[21]

    The hot, dry climate makes it difficult for soil to form. Mass wasting, the down-slope movement of loose rock, is therefore the dominant erosive force in mountainous areas, resulting in "skeletonized" ranges (mountains with very little soil on them). Sand dunes in the park, while famous, are not nearly as widespread as their fame or the dryness of the area may suggest. The Mesquite Flat dune field is the most easily accessible from the paved road just east of Stovepipe Wells in the north-central part of the valley and is primarily made of quartz sand. Another dune field is just 10 miles (16 km) to the north but is instead mostly composed of travertine sand.[22] The highest dunes in the park, and some of the highest in North America, are located in the Eureka Valley about 50 miles (80 km) to the north of Stovepipe Wells, while the Panamint Valley dunes and the Saline Valley dunes are located west and northwest of the town, respectively. The Ibex dune field is near the seldom-visited Ibex Hill in the southernmost part of the park, just south of the Saratoga Springs marshland. All the latter four dune fields are accessible only via unpaved roads. Prevailing winds in the winter come from the north, and prevailing winds in the summer come from the south. Thus, the overall position of the dune fields remains more or less fixed.

    There are rare exceptions to the dry nature of the area. In 2005, an unusually wet winter created a 'lake' in the Badwater Basin and led to the greatest wildflower season in the park's history.[23] In October 2015, a "1000 year flood event" with over three inches of rain caused major damage in Death Valley National Park.[24]

    Climate data for Death Valley National Park, California, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1911–present
    Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
    Record high °F (°C) 90
    (32)
    97
    (36)
    103
    (39)
    113
    (45)
    122
    (50)
    128
    (53)
    134
    (57) things to do in death valley national park
    125
    (52)
    113
    (45)
    98
    (37)
    89
    (32)
    134
    (57)
    Average high °F (°C) 67.2
    (19.6)
    73.7
    (23.2)
    82.6
    (28.1)
    91.0
    (32.8)
    100.7
    (38.2)
    111.1
    (43.9)
    117.4
    (47.4)
    115.9
    (46.6)
    107.7
    (42.1)
    93.3
    (34.1)
    77.4
    (25.2)
    65.6
    (18.7)
    92.0
    (33.3)
    Daily mean °F (°C) 54.9
    (12.7)
    61.3
    (16.3)
    69.8
    (21.0)
    77.9
    (25.5)
    87.8
    (31.0)
    97.5
    (36.4)
    104.2
    (40.1)
    102.3
    (39.1)
    93.4
    (34.1)
    78.9
    (26.1)
    64.0
    (17.8)
    53.4
    (11.9)
    78.8
    (26.0)
    Average low °F east san jose zip code 42.5
    (5.8)
    49.0
    (9.4)
    57.1
    (13.9)
    64.8
    (18.2)
    75.0
    (23.9)
    84.0
    (28.9)
    91.0
    (32.8)
    88.7
    (31.5)
    79.1
    (26.2)
    64.4
    (18.0)
    50.5
    (10.3)
    41.1
    (5.1)
    65.6
    (18.7)
    Record low °F (°C) 15
    (−9)
    20
    (−7) things to do in death valley national park
    35
    (2)
    42
    (6)
    49
    (9)
    62
    (17)
    65
    (18)
    41
    (5)
    32
    (0)
    24
    (−4)
    19
    (−7)
    15
    (−9)
    Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.37
    (9.4)
    0.52
    (13)
    0.25
    (6.4)
    0.10
    (2.5)
    0.03
    (0.76)
    0.05
    (1.3)
    0.10
    (2.5)
    0.10
    (2.5)
    0.20
    (5.1) us bank 24 hour
    0.10
    (2.5)
    0.26
    (6.6)
    2.20
    (56)
    Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)2.4 2.9 2.0 1.1 0.9 0.3 1.1 0.9 0.8 1.1 0.9 1.6 16.0
    Source: NOAA[25][26]
    Climate data for Death Valley (Cow Creek Station)
    Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
    Record high °F (°C) 84
    (29)
    89
    (32)
    100
    (38)
    110
    (43)
    120
    (49)
    125
    (52)
    126
    (52)
    125
    (52)
    123
    (51)
    111
    (44)
    95
    (35)
    84
    (29)
    126
    (52)
    Average high °F (°C) 64.4
    (18.0)
    71.6
    (22.0)
    80.6
    (27.0)
    90.9
    (32.7)
    100.0
    (37.8)
    109.3
    (42.9)
    116.0
    (46.7)
    113.8
    (45.4)
    106.9
    (41.6)
    92.1
    (33.4)
    75.4
    (24.1)
    65.9
    (18.8)
    90.6
    (32.6)
    Daily mean °F (°C) 52.5
    (11.4)
    59.1
    (15.1)
    67.4
    (19.7)
    77.5
    (25.3)
    86.4
    (30.2)
    95.3
    (35.2)
    102.1
    (38.9)
    99.9
    (37.7)
    92.1
    (33.4)
    78.1
    (25.6)
    62.3
    (16.8)
    54.1
    (12.3)
    77.2
    (25.1)
    Average low °F (°C) 40.6
    (4.8)
    46.6
    (8.1)
    54.3
    (12.4)
    64.1
    (17.8)
    72.7
    (22.6)
    81.2
    (27.3)
    88.4
    (31.3)
    86.0
    (30.0)
    77.4
    (25.2)
    64.0
    (17.8)
    49.3
    (9.6)
    42.4
    (5.8)
    63.9
    (17.7)
    Record low °F (°C) 19
    (−7)
    30
    (−1)
    33
    (1)
    45
    (7)
    52
    (11)
    54
    (12)
    69
    (21)
    69
    (21)
    57
    (14) south florida state college panther central
    32
    (0)
    27
    (−3)
    19
    (−7)
    Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.24
    (6.1)
    0.32
    (8.1)
    0.20
    (5.1)
    0.20
    (5.1)
    0.10
    (2.5)
    0.02
    (0.51)
    0.10
    (2.5)
    0.11
    (2.8)
    0.12
    (3.0)
    0.11
    (2.8)
    0.20
    (5.1)
    0.29
    (7.4)
    2.00
    (51)
    Source: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu[27]

    History[edit]

    Geologic history[edit]

    Era Rock Units/Formations Principal Geologic Events
    Cenozoic Alluvial fans, stream, and playa deposits, dunes, numerous sedimentary, volcanic, and plutonic units in separate and interconnected basins and igneous fields (includes Artist Drive, Furnace Creek, Funeral, and Nova Formations). Major unconformity, continued deposition in modern Death Valley, opening of modern Death Valley, continuing development of present ranges and basins, onset of major extension.
    Mesozoic Granitic plutons, Butte Valley Thrust faulting and intrusion of plutons related to Sierra Nevada batholith; shallow marine deposition; unconformity.
    Paleozoic Resting spring Shale, Tin Mountain Limestone, Lost Burro, Hidden Valley Dolomite, Eureka Quartzite, Nopah, Bonanza King, Carrara, Zabriskie Quartzite, Wood Canyon. Development of a long-continuing carbonate bank on a passive continental margin; numerous intervals of emergence, interrupted by deposition of a blanket of sandstone in Middle Ordovician time. Deposition of a wedge of silliciclastic sediment during and immediately following the rifting along a new continental margin.
    Proterozoic Crystalline basement, Pahrump, Stirling Quartzite, Johnnie, Ibex, Noonday Dolomite, Kingston Peak, Beck Spring, Crystal Spring. Regional metamorphism, Major unconformity, rapid uplift and erosion, shallow marine deposition, glacio-marine deposition, unconformity. Shallow to deep marine deposition along an incipient continental margin.
    The Death Valley basin is filled with sediment (light yellow) eroded from the surrounding mountains. Black lines show some of the major faults that created the valley.

    Main article: Geology of the Walmart money card number Valley area

    The park has a diverse and complex geologic history. Since its formation, the area that comprises the park has experienced at least four major periods of extensive volcanism, three or four periods of major sedimentation, and several intervals of major tectonic deformation where the crust has been reshaped. Two periods of glaciation (a series of ice ages) have also had effects on the area, although no glaciers ever existed in the ranges now in the park.[citation needed]

    Basement and Pahrump Group[edit]

    Little is known about the history of the oldest exposed rocks in the area due to extensive metamorphism (alteration of rock by heat and pressure). Radiometric dating gives an age of 1,700 million years for the metamorphism during the Proterozoic.[8] About 1,400 million years ago a mass of granite now in the Panamint Range intruded this complex.[28] Uplift later exposed these rocks to nearly 500 million years of erosion.[28]

    The Proterozoic sedimentary formations of the Pahrump Group were deposited on these basement rocks. This occurred following uplift and erosion of any earlier sediments from the Proterozoic basement rocks. The Pahrump is composed of arkose conglomerate (quartz clasts in a concrete-like matrix) and mudstone in its lower part, followed by dolomite from carbonate banks topped by algal mats as stromatolites, and finished with basin-filling sediment derived from the above, including possible glacial till from the hypothesized Snowball Earth glaciation.[29] The very youngest rocks in the Pahrump Group are basaltic lava flows.

    Rifting and deposition[edit]

    The Noonday Dolomite was formed as a carbonate shelf after the break-up of Rodinia.

    A rift opened and subsequently flooded the region as part of the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia in the Neoproterozoic (by about 755 million years ago) and the creation of the Pacific Ocean. A shoreline similar to the present Atlantic Ocean margin of the United States lay to the east. An algal mat-covered carbonate bank was deposited, forming the Noonday Dolomite.[30] Subsidence of the region occurred as the continental crust thinned and the newly formed Pacific widened, forming the Ibex Formation. An angular unconformity (an uneven gap in the geologic record) followed.

    A true ocean basin developed to the west, breaking all the earlier formations along a steep front. A wedge of clastic sediment then began to accumulate at the base of the two underwater precipices, starting the formation of opposing continental shelves.[31] Three formations developed from sediment that accumulated on the wedge. The region's first known fossils of complex life are found in the resulting formations.[31] Notable among these are the Ediacara fauna and trilobites, the evolution of the latter being part of the Cambrian Explosion of life.

    The sandy mudflats gave way about 550 million years ago to a carbonate platform (similar to the one around the present-day Bahamas), which lasted for the next 300 million years of Paleozoic time (refer to the middle of the timescale image). Death Valley's position was then within ten or twenty degrees of the Paleozoic equator. Thick beds of carbonate-rich sediments were periodically interrupted by periods of emergence. Although details of geography varied during this immense interval of time, a north-northeastern coastline trend generally ran from Arizona up through Utah. The resulting eight formations and one group are 20,000 feet (6 km) thick and underlay much of the Cottonwood, Funeral, Grapevine, and Panamint ranges.[31]

    Compression and uplift[edit]

    The Lake Manlylake system as it might have looked during its last maximum extent 22,000 years ago[32](USGS image)

    In the early-to-mid- Mesozoic the western edge of the North American continent was pushed against the oceanic plate under the Pacific Ocean, creating a subduction zone.[31] A subduction zone is a type of contact between different crustal plates where heavier crust slides below lighter crust. Erupting volcanoes and uplifting mountains were created as a result, and the coastline was pushed to the west. The Sierran Arc started to form to the northwest from heat and pressure generated america ferrera husband subduction, and compressive forces caused thrust faults to develop.[citation needed]

    A long period of uplift and erosion was concurrent with and followed the above events, creating a major unconformity, which is a large gap in the geologic record. Sediments worn off the Death Valley region were carried is there holiday today in sbi bank east and west by wind and water.[33] No Jurassic- to Eocene-aged sedimentary formations exist in the area, except for some possibly Jurassic-age volcanic rocks (see the top of the timescale image).[33]

    Stretching and lakes[edit]

    During very wet periods, the Amargosa Rivercan flow at the surface, as it did in February 2005.

    Basin and Range-associated stretching of large parts of crust below southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico started around 16 million years ago and the region is still spreading.[8] This stretching began to affect the Death and Panamint valleys area by 3 million years ago.[34] Before this, rocks now in the Panamint Range were on top of rocks that would become the Black Mountains and the Cottonwood Mountains. Lateral and vertical transport of these blocks was accomplished by movement on normal faults. Right-lateral movement along strike-slip faults that run parallel to and at the base of the ranges also helped to develop the area.[35] Torsional forces, probably associated with northwesterly movement of the Pacific Plate along the San Andreas Fault (west of the region), is responsible for the lateral movement.[34]

    Igneous activity associated with this stretching occurred from 12 million to 4 million years ago.[35] Sedimentation is concentrated in valleys (basins) from material eroded from adjacent ranges. The amount of sediment deposited has roughly kept up with this subsidence, resulting in the retention of more or less the same valley floor elevation over time.[citation needed]

    Pleistocene ice ages started 2 million years ago, and melt from alpine glaciers on the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains fed a series of lakes that filled Death and Panamint valleys and surrounding basins (see the top of the timescale image). The lake that filled Death Valley was the last of a chain of lakes fed by the Amargosa and Mojave Rivers, and possibly also the Owens River. The large lake that covered much of Death Valley's floor, which geologists call Lake Manly, started to dry up 10,500 years ago.[36]Salt pans and playas were created as ice age glaciers retreated, thus drastically reducing the lakes' water source. Only faint shorelines are left.

    Human history[edit]

    Early inhabitants and transient populations[edit]

    Four Native American cultures are known to have lived in the area during the last 10,000 years.[8] The first known group, the Nevares Spring People, were hunters and gatherers who arrived in the area perhaps 9,000 years ago (7000 BC) when there were still small lakes in Death Valley and neighboring Panamint Valley.[37] A much milder climate persisted at that time, and large game animals were still plentiful. By 5,000 years ago (3000 BC) the Mesquite Flat People displaced the Nevares Spring People.[37] Around 2,000 years ago the Saratoga Spring People moved into the area, which by then was probably already a hot, dry desert.[37][note 2] This culture was more advanced at hunting and credit score needed for chase disney card and was skillful at handcrafts. They also left mysterious stone patterns in the valley.

    One thousand years ago, the nomadic Timbisha (formerly called Shoshone and also known as Panamint or Koso) moved into the area and hunted game and gathered mesquite beans along with pinyon pine nuts.[8][37] Because of the wide altitude differential between the valley things to do in death valley national park and the mountain ridges, especially on the west, the Timbisha practiced a vertical migration pattern.[8] Their winter camps were located near water sources bankofozark the valley bottoms. As the spring and summer progressed and the weather warmed, grasses and other plant food sources ripened at progressively higher altitudes. November found them at the very top of the mountain ridges where they harvested pine nuts before moving back to the valley bottom for winter.

    The California Gold Rush brought the first people of European descent known to visit the immediate area. In December 1849 two groups of California Gold Country-bound travelers with perhaps 100 wagons total stumbled into Death Valley after getting lost on what they thought was a shortcut off the Old Spanish Trail.[38] Called the Bennett-Arcane Party, they were unable to find a pass out of the valley for weeks; they were able to find fresh water at various springs in the area, but were forced to eat several of their oxen to survive. They used the wood of their wagons to cook the meat and make jerky. The place where they did this is today referred to as "Burnt Wagons Camp" and is located near Stovepipe Wells.

    After abandoning their wagons, they eventually were able to hike out of the valley. Just after leaving the valley, one of the women in the group turned and said, "Goodbye Death Valley," giving the valley they endured its name.[38] Included in the party was William Lewis Manly whose autobiographical book Death Valley in '49 detailed this trek and popularized the area (geologists later named the prehistoric lake that once filled the valley after him).

    Boom and bust[edit]

    Historical locomotive for transporting boraxin Death Valley

    The ores that are most famously associated with the area were also the easiest to collect and the most profitable: evaporite deposits such as salts, borate, and talc. Borax was found by Rosie and Aaron Winters near The Ranch at Death Valley (then called Greenland) in 1881.[39] Later that same year, the Eagle Borax Works became Death Valley's first commercial borax operation. William Tell Coleman built the Harmony Borax Works plant and began to process ore in late 1883 or early 1884, continuing until 1888.[40] This mining and smelting company produced borax to make soap and for industrial uses.[41] The end product was shipped out of the valley 165 miles (266 km) to the Mojave railhead in 10-ton-capacity wagons pulled by "twenty-mule teams" that were actually teams of 18 mules and two horses each.[41]

    A twenty-mule team in Death Valley

    The teams averaged two miles (3 km) an hour and required about 30 days to complete a round trip.[39] The trade name 20-Mule Team Borax was established by Francis Marion Smith's Pacific Coast Borax Company after Smith acquired Coleman's borax holdings in 1890. A memorable advertising campaign used the wagon's image to promote the Boraxo brand of granular hand soap and the Death Valley Days radio and television programs. In 1914, the Death Valley Railroad was built to serve mining operations on the east side of the valley. Mining continued after the collapse of Coleman's empire, and by the late 1920s the area was the world's number one source of borax.[8] Some four to six million years old, the Furnace Creek Formation is the primary source of borate minerals gathered from Death Valley's playas.[39]

    Other visitors stayed to prospect for and mine deposits of copper, gold, lead, and silver.[8] These sporadic mining ventures were hampered by their remote location and the harsh desert environment. In December 1903, two men from Ballarat were prospecting for silver.[42] One was an out-of-work Irish miner named Jack Keane and the other was a one-eyed Basque butcher named Domingo Etcharren. Quite by accident, Keane discovered an immense ledge of free-milling gold by the duo's work site and named the claim the Keane Wonder Mine. This started a minor and short-lived gold rush into the area.[42] The Keane Wonder Mine, along with mines at Rhyolite, Skidoo and Harrisburg, were the only ones to extract enough metal ore to make them worthwhile. Outright shams such as Leadfield also occurred, but most ventures quickly ended after a short series of prospecting mines failed to yield evidence of significant ore (these mines now dot the entire area and are a significant hazard to anyone who enters them). The boom towns which sprang up around these mines flourished during the first decade of the 1900s, but soon declined after the Panic of 1907.[40]

    Early tourism[edit]

    The first documented tourist facilities in Death Valley were a set of tent houses built in the 1920s where Stovepipe Wells is now located. People flocked to resorts built around natural springs thought to have curative and restorative properties. In 1927, Pacific Coast Borax turned the crew quarters of its Furnace Creek Ranch into a resort, creating the Furnace Creek Inn and resort.[43] The spring at Furnace Creek was harnessed to develop the resort, and as the water was diverted, the surrounding marshes and wetlands started to shrink.[18]

    Soon the valley was a popular winter destination. Other facilities started off as private getaways but were later opened to the public. Most notable among these was Death Valley Ranch, better known as Scotty's Castle. This large ranch home built in the Spanish Revival style became a hotel in the late 1930s and, largely because of the fame of Death Valley Scotty, a tourist attraction. Death Valley Scotty, whose real name was Walter Scott, was a gold miner who pretended to be the owner of "his castle", which he claimed to have built with profits from his gold mine. Neither claim was true, but the real owner, Chicago millionaire Albert Mussey Johnson, encouraged the myth. When asked by reporters what his connection was to Walter Scott's castle, Johnson replied that he was Mr. Scott's banker.[44]

    Protection and later history[edit]

    President Herbert Hoover proclaimed a national monument in and around Death Valley on February 11, 1933, setting aside almost two million acres (8,000 km2) of southeastern California and small parts of Nevada.[45]

    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed infrastructure in Death Valley National Monument during the Great Depression and on into the early 1940s. The CCC built barracks, graded 500 miles (800 km) of roads, installed water and telephone lines, and a total of 76 buildings. Trails in the Panamint Range were built to points of scenic interest, and an adobe village, laundry and trading post were constructed for the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. Five campgrounds, restrooms, an airplane landing field and picnic facilities were also built.[46]

    The creation of the monument resulted in a temporary closing of the lands to prospecting and mining. However, Death Valley was quickly reopened to mining by Congressional action in June 1933. As improvements in mining technology allowed lower grades of ore to be processed, and new heavy equipment allowed greater amounts of rock to be moved, mining in Death Valley changed. Gone were the days of the "single-blanket, jackass prospector" long associated with the romantic west. Open pit and strip mines scarred the landscape as international mining corporations bought claims in highly visible areas of the national monument. The public outcry that ensued led to greater protection for all national park and monument areas in the United States.[40] In 1976, Congress passed the Mining in the Parks Act, which closed Death Valley National Monument to the filing of new mining claims, banned open-pit mining and required the National Park Service to examine the validity of tens of thousands of pre-1976 mining claims. Mining was allowed to resume on a limited basis in 1980 with stricter environmental standards.[40] The last mine in the park, Billie Mine, closed in 2005.[47]

    Death Valley National Monument was designated a biosphere reserve in 1984.[3] On October 31, 1994, the monument was expanded by 1.3 million acres (5,300 km2) and re-designated as a national park, via congressional passage of the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103–433).[3] Consequently, the elevated status for Death Valley made it the largest national park in the contiguous United States. On March 12, 2019, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act added 35,292 acres (55 sq mi; 143 km2) to the park.[48]

    Many of the larger cities and towns within the boundary of the regional groundwater flow system that the park and its plants and animals rely upon are experiencing some of the fastest growth rates of any place in the United States. Notable examples within a 100-mile (160 km) radius of Prefab shipping container homes for sale in north carolina Valley National Park include Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. In the case of Las Vegas, the local Chamber of Commerce estimates that 6,000 people are moving to the city every month. Between 1985 and 1995, the population of the Las Vegas Valley increased from 550,700 to 1,138,800.[18]

    In 1977, parts of Death Valley were used by director George Lucas as a filming location for Star Wars, providing the setting for the fictional planet Tatooine.[49][50]

    Telescopeand Wildrose Peaks from Emigrant Canyon Road

    Biology[edit]

    Habitat varies from salt pan at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level to the sub-alpine conditions found on the summit of Telescope Peak, which rises to 11,049 feet (3,368 m).[51] Vegetation zones include creosote bush, desert holly, and mesquite at the lower elevations and sage up through shadscale, blackbrush, Joshua tree, pinyon-juniper, to limber pine and bristlecone pine woodlands.[51] The salt pan is devoid of vegetation, and the rest of the valley floor and lower slopes have sparse cover, although where water is available, an abundance of vegetation is usually present. These zones and the adjacent desert support a variety of wildlife species, including 51 species of native mammals, 307 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, and 2 species of native fish.[52]

    Small mammals are more numerous than large mammals, such as bighorn sheep, heritage south credit union hours, bobcats, kit foxes, cougars, and mule deer.[52] Mule deer are present in the pinyon/juniper associations of the Grapevine, Cottonwood, and Panamint ranges.[52] Bighorn sheep are a rare species of mountain-dwelling sheep that exist in isolated bands in the Sierra and in Death Valley. These are highly adaptable animals and can eat almost any plant. They have no known predators, but humans and burros compete for habitat.

    The ancestors of the Death Valley pupfish swam to the area from the Colorado River via a long-since dried-up system of rivers and lakes (see Lake Manly). They now live in two separate populations: one in Salt Creek and another in Cottonball Marsh. Death Valley is one of the hottest and driest places in North America, yet it is home to over 1,000 species of plants; 23 of which, including the very rare rock lady (Holmgrenanthe), are not found anywhere else.[51]

    Adaptation to the dry environment is key. For example, creosote bush and mesquite have tap-root systems that can extend 50 how the west was won tv series streaming (15 m) down in order to take advantage of a year-round supply of ground water. The diversity of Death Valley's plant communities results partly from the region's location in a transition zone between things to do in death valley national park Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert and the Sonoran Desert. This location, combined with the great relief found within the park, supports vegetation typical of three biotic life zones: the lower Sonoran, the Canadian, and the arctic/alpine in portions of the Panamint Range. Based on the Munz and Keck (1968) classifications, seven plant communities can be categorized within these life zones, each characterized by dominant vegetation and representative of three vegetation types: scrub, desert woodland, and coniferous forest. Microhabitats further subdivide some communities into zones, especially on the valley floor.[citation needed]

    Unlike more typical locations across the Mojave Desert, many of the water-dependent Death Valley habitats possess a diversity of plant and animal species that are not found anywhere else in how to change accounting number format in excel world.[18] The existence of these species is due largely to a unique geologic history and the process of evolution that has progressed in habitats that have been isolated from one another since the Pleistocene epoch.[citation needed]

    Activities[edit]

    See also: Places of interest in the Death Valley area

    Sightseeing is available by personal automobile, four-wheel drive, bicycle, mountain bike (on established roadways only), and hiking.[53] Riding through the park on motorcycle is also a popular pastime.[54]State Route 190, the Badwater Road, the Scotty's Castle Road, and paved roads to Dante's View and Wildrose provide access to the major scenic viewpoints and historic points of interest. More than 350 miles (560 km) of unpaved and four-wheel-drive roads provide access to wilderness hiking, camping, and historical sites.[55] All manna food bank md must be licensed and street legal. There are hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, but most backcountry areas are accessible only by cross-country hiking. There are thousands of hiking possibilities. The normal season for visiting the park is from October 15 to May 15, avoiding summer extremes in temperature. Costumed living history tours of the historic Death Valley Scotty's Castle were conducted for a fee, but were suspended in October 2015 due to flood damage to the buildings and grounds. It is not expected to re-open until 2020.[56][needs update]

    A tourist sliding down Star Dune in the Mesquite Flat dune field

    There are nine designated campgrounds within the park, and overnight backcountry camping permits are available at the Visitor Center.[57]Xanterra Parks & Resorts owns and operates a private resort, the Oasis at Death Things to do in death valley national park which comprises two separate and distinct hotels: the Inn at Death Valley is a four-star historic hotel, and the Ranch at Death Valley is a three-star ranch-style property reminiscent of the mining and prospecting days. Panamint Springs Resort is in the western part of the park. Death Valley Lodging Company operates the Stovepipe Wells Resort under a concession permit. There are a few motels near entrances to the park, in Shoshone, Death Valley Junction, Beatty, and Pahrump.

    Furnace Creek Visitor Center is located on CA-190. A 22-minute introductory slide program is shown every 30 minutes.[58] During the winter season—November through April—rangers offer interpretive tours and a wide variety of walks, talks, and slide presentations about Death Valley cultural and natural history. The visitor center has displays dealing with the park's geology, climate, wildlife and natural history. There are also specific sections dealing with the human history and pioneer experience. The Death Valley Natural History Association maintains a bookstore specifically geared to the natural and cultural history of the park.

    The northeast corner of Saline Valley has several developed hot spring pools. The pools can be accessed by driving on the unpaved Saline Valley Road for several hours, or by flying a personal aircraft to the Chicken Strip—an uncharted airstrip a short walk from the springs.[59]

    Death Valley National Park is a popular location for stargazing as it has one of the darkest night skies in the United States. Despite its remote location, air quality and night visibility are threatened by civilization. In particular, light pollution is introduced by nearby Las Vegas.[60] The darkest skies are, in general, located in the northwest of the park.[61] The northwestern area of the park, including sites such as Ubehebe Crater, is a Bortle class 1 or "excellent dark sky" site.[62] The Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy are visible to the unaided eye under these conditions, and the Milky Way casts shadows; optical phenomena such as zodiacal light or "false dawn" and gegenschein are also visible to the unaided eye under these conditions.[63][64] Most southern regions of the park are Bortle class 2 or "average dark sky" sites.[65]

    See also[edit]

    References[edit]

    Explanatory notes[edit]

    1. ^Badwater, the Devils Golf Course, and Salt Creek are all part of the Death Valley Saltpan.
    2. ^The last known lake to exist in Death Valley likely dried up 3,000 years ago.

    Citations[edit]

    1. ^"Death Valley". protectedplanet.net. Protected Planet. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
    2. ^"Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2012"(PDF). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
    3. ^ abcdNational Park Index (2001–2003), p. 26
    4. ^"NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
    5. ^"Death Valley National Park (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Archived from the original on 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
    6. ^"Backcountry Roads – Death Valley National Park". nps.gov. National Park Service. August 25, 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
    7. ^"Biosphere Reserve Information – United States of America – Mojave and Colorado Deserts". unesco.org. UNESCO. November 3, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
    8. ^ abcdefghijkWright and Miller 1997, p. 611
    9. ^"Death Valley National Park (U.S.)". darksky.org. International Dark-Sky Association. n.d. Archived from the original on 2020-10-27. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
    10. ^ abSharp 1997, p. 1
    11. ^"USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED) 1 meter Downloadable Data Collection from The National Map 3D Elevation Program (3DEP)". United States Geological Survey. September 21, 2015. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
    12. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 625
    13. ^"USDA Interactive Plant Hardiness Map". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
    14. ^Hickcox, David H., "Temperature extremes. (United States)(1996 Weather)", Weatherwise, February 1, 1997. Abstract at Highbeam.com
    15. ^Hickcox, David, "Temperature extremes. (daily maximum and minimum temperatures in the US)", Weatherwise, March 1, 1999; abstract at Encyclopedia.com
    16. ^"World Meteorological Organization World Weather/Climate Extremes Archive". Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
    17. ^El Fadli, KI; et al. (September 2012). "World Meteorological Organization Assessment of the Purported World Record 58°C Temperature Extreme at El Azizia, Libya (13 September 1922)". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 94 (2): 199. Bibcode:2013BAMS.94.199E. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00093.1.
    18. ^ abcdUSGS 2004, p. "Furnace Creek"
    19. ^Wright and Miller 1997, pp. 610–611
    20. ^USGS weather
    21. ^"Flash Floods of 2015 – Death Valley National Park (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
    22. ^Kiver 1999, p. 283
    23. ^"Death Valles Alive with Wildflowers". NBC News. AP. March 14, things to do in death valley national park. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
    24. ^"After historic flooding, Death Valley gears up for 'a long, hard recovery'". LA Times. 2015-11-10. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
    25. ^"NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
    26. ^"Summary of Monthly Normals 1991-2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
    27. ^WRCC. "Western U.S. Climate Historical Summaries Weather". Desert Research Institute. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
    28. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 631
    29. ^Wright and Miller 1997, pp. 631–632
    30. ^Wright and Miller 1997, p. 632
    31. ^ abcdWright and Miller 1997, p. 634
    32. ^Kiver 1999, p. 281
    33. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 635
    34. ^ abKiver 1999, p. 278
    35. ^ abWright and Miller 1997, p. 616
    36. ^Sharp 1997, p. 41
    37. ^ abcdWallace 1978
    38. ^ abKiver 1999, p. 277
    39. ^ abcUSGS 2004, p. "Harmony Borax Works"
    40. ^ abcdNPS website, "Mining"
    41. ^ abNPS website, "Twenty Mule Teams"
    42. ^ abNPS website, "People"
    43. ^NPS website, "Furnace Creek Inn"
    44. ^NPS website, "Johnson and Scotty Build a Castle"
    45. ^ abNPS Visitor Guide
    46. ^NPS website, "Civilian Conservation Corps"
    47. ^"Mining in Death Valley - Death Valley National Park". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
    48. ^"S.47 – John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act; Part III—National Park System additions; Sec. 1431. Death Valley National Park boundary christmas tree in the park san jose. congress.gov. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
    49. ^Howard, Marcus Hearn ; foreword by Ron (2005). The Cinema of George Lucas. New York: Abrams. p. 109. ISBN .
    50. ^"Star Wars trek: Death Valley – April 2001". Star Wars Locations. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
    51. ^ abcNPS website, "Plants"
    52. ^ abcNPS website, "Animals"
    53. ^"Outdoor Activities". nps.gov. National Park Service. 2019-04-21. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
    54. ^Joe Berk (September–October 2008). "Death Valley by motorcycle". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
    55. ^NPS 2002, p. 55
    56. ^Death Valley National Park – Flash Floods of 2015, National Park Service
    57. ^NPS website, "Campgrounds"
    58. ^NPS website, "Ranger Programs"
    59. ^"Chicken Strip Reopens

      What to do in Death Valley National Park

      WHERE TO STAY IN DEATH VALLEY

      Although Death Valley is quite remote, there are several options for staying within the National Park. We highly recommend staying in the park if you want to catch sunrises and spend more than a couple of days exploring the area. There are not many accommodation options within a short drive outside of Death Valley, so if you chose to stay outside of the park, expect quite a bit of driving. Here are the accommodation options within the park itself:

      • The Inn at Death Valley: High-end hotel surrounded by palm trees with a pool and restaurant!

      • The Ranch at Death Valley: Affordable accommodation and very central to Death Valley.

      • Stovepipe Wells Village: Closer to the western entrance to Death Valley, Stovepipe Wells is an affordable place to stay near the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

      • Panamint Springs Resort: Further west than Stovepipe Wells Village, Panamint is an affordable option on captain america nerf shield western side of the park.

      • Camping

        • Furnace Creek Campground (takes reservations)

        • Sunset Campground

        • Stovepipe Wells Campground

        • Texas Springs Campground

      We chose to stay in an Airbnb just outside of Death Valley since we worked remotely while visiting the park.

      Book your stay in Death Valley today! Use this link to get $65 off of your first Airbnb stay

      STAYing SAFE IN DEATH VALLEY

      With extreme weather conditions and very limited cell phone service, it’s important to be prepared when visiting Death Valley National Park! In the summer it’s common for the highs to be well above 100 degrees. Here are some tips for staying safe in Death Valley:

      • Avoid strenuous activities (including hiking) in the summer months

      • Drink at least 1 gallon (4L) of water per day

      • Bring extra water in your vehicle

      • Bring a navigation device and don’t rely on your cell phone as service is limited

      Additionally, read more about our Day Hike Packing List for what to bring for day hikes and adventures.

      Источник: https://www.seekingoursomeday.com/blog/what-to-do-in-death-valley

      Snow-capped mountain peaks, vast salt pans and tickling salt creeks, tall sand dunes, multicolored canyons and ocher badlands make up the impressively varied landscapes of Death Valley National Park, California.

      This immense variety results in a wealth of Death Valley National Park attractions. In this post, you’ll find the best things to do in Death Valley.

      Lower, Drier, Hotter – A Place of Extremes

      Contents

      Desert road in Death Valley National Park, California

      This top things to do in Death Valley National Park post contains affiliate links. You can read more about our Terms of Use / Disclosure here.


      Not your typical desert, Death Valley is a place where the use of superlatives is appropriate, necessary even.

      Its sheer vastness is mind-boggling, the number Death Valley National Park highlights extensive. This is where Mother Nature is at its mightiest, showcasing what she’s capable of.

      In addition to encompassing North America’s lowest point (282 feet or 86 meters below sea level), Death Valley is officially the hottest place in America (134°F or 57°C) and is the largest American national park outside of Alaska (5,219 sq. miles or 13,517 km²).

      Give or take a square mile or two, it’s literally as big as Flanders, which, in case you don’t know, is where I’m from. That fact alone blows my mind.

      If that’s not enough, Death Valley is also one of the driest places on the continent!

      Best Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

      Below, you’ll find my favorite Death Valley attractions. These activities should be the cornerstones of your itinerary, whether you spend one day in Death Drainagen vlies or an entire week.

      This overview of what to do in Death Valley National Park will send you on your way toward one of the best national park experiences in America.

      1. See Spectacular Zabriskie Point, Death Valley’s Most Famous Landscape

      Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California

      The golden sun rays of the early morning or late afternoon paint the badlands underneath Zabriskie Point all kinds of yellow, ocher and orange.

      This is one of the best Death Valley sunrise spots, if not the single best. (Dante’s View is a strong competitor, though. See number three below.)

      Zabriskie Point lies a short drive southeast of Furnace Creek. Named after Christian Brevoort Zabriskie, the general manager of the early-1900s Pacific Coast Borax Company, the overlook offers spectacular panoramic views of the eroded landscape below.

      Ocher-colored badlands stretch out before you in a sun-scorched maze of waves, canyons and gullies, while the Sierra Nevada mountains tower their way toward the sky in the far distance.

      Although the panoramic view from Zabriskie Point is one of the major Death Valley National Park highlights, you’ll appreciate this remarkable landscape a lot more if you actually territorial savings bank saturday hours through it. We’ll get to that later in this list.

      2. Visit the Lowest Point in North America in Badwater Basin

      Badwater Basin, what to see in Death Valley National Park, California

      Badwater Basin is home to the lowest point in North America, one of the many things that make Death Valley National Park so extraordinary.

      That lowest point lies 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level and is reached after a short walk across the salt pans from the parking lot. From Things to do in death valley national park Creek, you can get there in about 25 minutes.

      Badwater Basin got its name from a small pool near the parking lot, named by a pioneer whose horse refused to drink the water. Although the water is extremely salty and undrinkable, there is some life in the pool, including water insects, pickleweed and the endemic Badwater snail.

      This is arguably the most well-known of all things to see in Death Valley National Park. It’s one of those independent bank of texas reviews you really shouldn’t skip.

      When you walk across the salt pan to the lowest point, absolutely make sure to wear a hat and put some sunscreen on. It gets scorching hot and the white salt reflects the sun rays, doubling your chances to get sunburned.

      3. Enjoy a Glorious Dante’s View Sunset

      Sunset at Dante's View, Death Valley National Park, California

      If things get too hot in the valley—and they will—during the day, you can escape to the surrounding mountains. One of my favorite places to do that is Dante’s View.

      With an elevation of 5,476 feet (1,669 meters) above the valley, it’s much, much cooler up there. From Dante’s View, you’ll have a truly phenomenal view is it hard to move to california Death Valley below and the Sierra Nevada in the distance.

      What’s unique about this particular spot is that you can see both the lowest (Badwater – 282 feet or 86 meters below sea level) and highest (Mount Whitney – 14,505 feet or 4,421 meters) points in the contiguous United States at the same time.

      As far as Death Valley sunset spots go, they don’t get any better than the panorama at Dante’s View.

      You can get there from Furnace Creek in less than an hour, a drive that also passes by Zabriskie Point.

      4. Learn About the Park’s Mining History at Harmony Borax Works

      Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley National Park, California

      A rich borax mine in the late-19th century, Harmony Borax Works was instrumental in opening up Death Valley to pioneers, traders, workers and, later, tourists. In its heyday, Harmony Borax Works employed 40 men.

      One of the biggest challenges, besides sustaining a team of miners in such a hot and arid place, of operating a mine in the middle of a vast desert was getting your product out to the market.

      Harmony Borax Works figured it out and became renowned for its large mule teams and double wagons. These hardy animals and men traveled the long overland road to Mojave, the location of the nearest railroad station.

      Harmony Borax Works’ “twenty-mule teams” became a symbol of the mining operations in Death Valley.

      Nowadays, you can visit the remains of the Harmony Borax Works plant, situated just outside of Furnace Creek. There’s a short interpretative trail that takes you around the mine and past an old mule wagon.

      This important site in Death Valley’s history is on the National Register of Historic Places.

      5. Explore the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

      Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley, California

      Sand dunes cover less than 1% of the park’s surface area, but how to embed a youtube video in a powerpoint slide are definitely among the best places to visit in Death Valley National Park. This one percent is spread across five different dune areas, of which the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are the most well-known.

      These also the most accessible sand dunes in the national park, situated just off of Highway 190, a couple of miles east of Stovepipe Wells.

      The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are not the tallest dunes in Death Valley National Park, though. The tallest are the Eureka Dunes in the far north of the park, which are more than six times higher than the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

      Mesquite Flat does, however, encompass the largest and most easily accessible dune field in the park.


      If you’re interested in seeing and exploring North America’s tallest sand dunes, you should definitely spend 24 hours in Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.


      Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunset, Death Valley attractions

      Consisting of three dune types—star, crescent and linear dunes—, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are a super-fun outdoor playground. Children and adults alike will have a blast exploring these hills of soft sand.

      They are no official hiking trails things to do in death valley national park. You’re allowed to explore as you please. Climbing the dunes, jumping, running and rolling down,… it’s all allowed and it’s so much fun. In terms of footwear, consider wearing closed hiking boots or simply going barefoot.

      The dunes are at their most photogenic around sunrise and sunset. Under a full moon, they’re absolutely magical. If you want to go for a couple-hour dune hike, I recommend doing that first financial bank texas customer service number in the morning.

      It gets hot in the desert during the day, up to a point that the sand’s temperature is so high that’s unbearable to walk on it. If you want to go barefoot, the only time of day that’s possible is in the morning.

      I had a blast exploring these dunes and if you’re wondering what to do in Death Valley National Park, this is the first thing I’d recommend.

      6. See Thousands of Salt Rocks at Devil’s Golf Course

      Devil's Golf Course, Death Valley National Park, California

      Even though this is by no means spirit airlines phone number usa most spectacular of all Death Valley sights, I do consider Devil’s Golf Course to have its place among these other Death Valley National Park attractions.

      I liked it a lot because it looks incredible in the late afternoon. With the sun low in the sky, the remarkable halite salt crystal formations in this huge salt pan cast countless wonderful shadows across the desert floor.

      The remarkable landscape is made up of literally thousands of serrated salt rocks, eroded away how to deposit cheque online in icici bank water and wind, some as sharp as a knife. You can walk over and among them, but make sure to wear sturdy shoes and be careful. If you trip, you’re certain to get hurt—those rocks can cut.

      These extraordinary features are the reason behind this area’s interesting name. It was said that “only the devil could play golf” there.

      7. Cruise Through Colorful Canyons on Artist’s Drive

      Artist's Drive, top things to do in Death Valley National Park, California

      One of the greatest short drives in Death Valley National Park, Artist’s Drive meanders through brightly colored hills and canyons.

      The result of the oxidation of various chemical elements such as iron, manganese and mica, a process things to do in death valley national park took many millennia, this landscape contains all kinds of red, yellow, pink, purple and green.

      Nine-mile (14.5-kilometer) Artist’s Drive is a one-way road that runs from south to north off of Badwater Road. The drive’s most scenic spot, Artist’s Palette, lies about midway.

      There, you’ll have great views of christmas tree in the park san jose the valley below and of a colorful hillside above.

      8. See Rare Pupfish in Salt Creek

      Salt Creek boardwalk, attractions in Death Valley National Park

      Salt Creek, on Highway 190 between Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek, is home to Cyprinodon salinus salinus, commonly known as Salt Creek pupfish. In fact, it’s the only home of these fish in the entire world.

      In prehistoric times, Death Valley used things to do in death valley national park be a massive lake. After that lake dried up about 10,000 years ago, only small streams, springs and trickles were left. Salt Creek is one of those, the last habitat of the evolutionary descendants of fish that once lived in that large lake.

      Pupfish are exceptional in the sense that they adapted from living in freshwater to surviving in saltwater.

      That’s a truly remarkable feat in itself, but these rare pupfish are also able to survive in water that ranges in temperature from almost freezing to 108°F (42°C).

      They’re one of the hardiest fish species in the world.

      A half-mile (800-meter) boardwalk loops around and over Salt Creek and its pools, wetlands, pickleweeds and salt grasses. The best time of year to see pupfish frolicking in the water is spring. (They go dormant in summer.)

      9. Hike the Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch and Badlands Loop

      ally bank locations pa in the Zabriskie Point Badlands, Death Valley California" src="https://www.travel-experience-live.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Hiker-in-the-Zabriskie-Point-Badlands-Death-Valley-California.jpg">

      At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that the badlands at Zabriskie Point can only be fully appreciated by walking through them.

      It’s always great to get a new perspective of a landscape by actually walking through, in addition to overlooking, it.

      You’re encouraged to strap on your hiking boots and explore the ocher-colored badlands that you christmas tree in the park san jose below you. This is one of the best hikes in Death Valley.

      There are a few options. You can hike the 2.7-mile (4.3-kilometer) Badlands Loop for a nice introduction, but I recommend making it a much more challenging loop by combining the Badlands Loop and the Gower Gulch and Golden Canyon Trails.

      One of my favorite Death Valley activities, this three-trail loop hike takes you through the heart of these golden badlands, to places such as Red Cathedral and Zabriskie Point, and through barren canyons and gullies.

      The entire circuit is about 8 miles (13 kilometers) long and takes at least four hours.

      Hiking trail in the badlands, Death Valley National Park

      You can start the hike at either Zabriskie Point or at the parking lot off Badwater Road. I suggest starting at the parking lot. This way, you’ll save the (more or less) downhill part of the hike for the way back.

      It’s a challenging hike in a sun-soaked, shadeless and hot desert landscape. Saving the most strenuous section, back up to Zabriskie Point, for last isn’t an option I would recommend.

      This strenuous hike is one of the best day hikes I’ve ever done and one of the greatest things to do in Death Valley National Park. In fact, if you do anything in the park, let it be this hike.

      It’s definitely challenging, not so much because of the trails’ steepness, but because it’s an environment that isn’t too kind on the human body.

      Start this hike as early in the morning as you can, bring lots and lots of water, put on a hat and bring sunscreen.

      It’s worth the effort. This is one of the most popular hikes in Death Valley National Park for a reason. And the view from Zabriskie Point alone is to die for…

      10. Go Wildlife Watching

      Coyote in Death Valley National Park, California

      Besides its enormous diversity in landscapes and its seemingly unforgiving environment, Death Valley isn’t “dead” at all.

      Similar to other desert parks in Southern California, like Joshua Tree National Park, the abundance of plant and animal life in this park is actually pretty astonishing.

      It’s not because people find the heat uncomfortable that animals do, too.

      Wildlife ranges from coyotes, kangaroo rats and bighorn sheep to roadrunners and ravens to sidewinder rattlesnakes, scorpions and tarantulas.

      Perhaps surprisingly, Death Valley is also one of the best national parks for birding during the short spring and fall migrations.

      Some animals are endemic to Death Valley, with the most well-known example being the endemic pupfish that live in the park’s salt creeks.

      11. Spend the Night and See the Milky Way

      Milky Way

      Due to its enormity and emptiness, Death Valley National Park is one of the greatest national parks for stargazing in America. It’s an official International Dark Sky Park.

      There are no towns within this gigantic park, only campgrounds and a couple of tourist areas with accommodations and other services. The rest is just empty desert flats, mountain ranges and sand dunes.

      Nights in Death Valley are pitch-black, except for the moon and hundreds of twinkling stars above.

      The National Park Service has improved outdoor lighting at the main hubs of Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek in order to reduce both sky glow and energy consumption.

      You can enjoy a phenomenal Death Valley night sky right from your campsite or, for example, go for a night hike in places like Badwater Basin, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes or Harmony Borax Works.

      In terms of what to see in Death Valley National Park, the Milky Way is without question in the top 3.


      Death Valley National Park FAQs

      Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, CA

      When to Visit Death Valley National Park?

      The best time to visit Death Valley is winter and spring, with spring receiving most of the visitors.

      The spring wildflower bloom attracts thousands of people, so if you’re planning on visiting Death Valley National Park between late February and mid-April, make sure to book accommodation and a rental car ahead.

      If you’re walmart money card number, you’ll probably be able to find a spot, though, as many campgrounds are first-come first-served. The key to scoring a site is simply arriving early in the morning.

      Visiting in summer is only suitable for masochists. If you like suffering in ridiculous heat, visit the park in July or August. If you’re a sane person, go there in early spring.

      Where to Stay in Death Valley?

      There’s plenty of accommodation inside this massive park, from lodges to primitive campgrounds. Most of those campgrounds will have open spots every day even in the peak tourist seasons.

      Remember that they’re first-come first-served, though, so make sure to arrive early in the morning and just wait until someone leaves.

      I stayed at the Stovepipe Wells campground, which lies right next to a bunch of great facilities, including a grocery store, saloon and gas station.

      For a small fee, you can also use the resort’s pool and showers just across the road. (The campground itself has no showers.)

      Before you start exploring, make sure to visit one of the park’s visitor centers. There’s a kiosk in Stovepipe Wells.

      The main visitor center is in Furnace Creek, which also has a campground as well as other accommodations. Pick up a map and a newspaper, which is always chock-full with useful up-to-date information and suggestions.

      If, somehow, all places to stay in Death Valley National Park are fully booked, you can resort to staying just outside the park.

      How Many Days Do You Need in Death Valley?

      It’s a huge park, though, so take your time. To really appreciate all these attractions Death Valley National Park, you’ll need three full days.

      Some people “do” Death Valley National Park in just one day, but that’s almost unacceptable. Do this enormous park justice and spend at least three days there.

      I really recommend camping because the night skies in Death Valley are sensational. This is an International Dark Sky Park for a reason.

      If you spend 72 hours in Death Valley, you’ll have sufficient time to see all the highlights mentioned above. You’re there anyway, so why not take some more time to explore the park more in-depth?

      Looking for more information to plan your trip? Head on over to the park’s official website.


      Other National Parks to Explore


      Have You Ever Been to Death Valley? Which of These Death Valley National Park Attractions Was Your Favorite?
      Источник: https://www.travel-experience-live.com/death-valley-national-park-highlights/

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