Death Valley National Park

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Death Valley is the land of extremes, it has the record for the hottest temperature in the world: 134˚F in 1913, and it’s the driest climate and the lowest elevation in North America.  The National Park has a page with some interesting facts about why it is so hot and dry.

Road into Death Valley National Park

We’re always up for something extreme, so we had to visit and we found that most of all it’s extremely beautiful.

Driving in Death Valley

We first stopped at Stovepipe Wells Village which is 10 feet above sea level and it was about 68 degrees.  Then we drove on to our campsite in Furnace Creek, 190 feet below sea level, and it lived up to its name.  It was 100˚F, nowhere near the world record, but hot for early March.

Curvy road in Death Valley National Park Badwater Basin in distance in Death Valley

We continued on to Badwater Basin, 282 feet below sea level and the lowest point in North America.  We hiked out a bit into the Salt Flats which cover 200 square miles in Death Valley.

Badwater Basin in Death Valley Textured salt crust in Badwater Basin Salt in Badwater Basin, Death Valley  Badwater Basin in Death Valley

Close up of salt crust in Badwater Basin

Close up of the salt crust of the Salt Flats in Badwater Basin

We hiked around the colorful volcanic formations in the Artist Palette, which were naturally created by the oxidation of different metals.

Artist Palate in Death ValleyArtist Palate in Death Valley   Artist Palate in Death Valley Sun in the sky in Death Valley

And we hiked through Golden Canyon at sunset.

Golden Canyon in Death Valley Golden Canyon in Death Valley Sunset in Golden Canyon in Death Valley Hiking out of golden canyon at dusk

As we left Golden Canyon at dusk a windstorm was whipping the sand at us and we were forced to eat and hang out in the car in Furnace Creek because the sand was blasting us.  All night long the car rocked in the wind and we couldn’t open the windows because we’d be covered in sand.

Moonrise in Furnace Creek, Death Valley Dawn at Furnace Creek in Death Valley

The next day we checked out Zabriskie point.

Zabriskie Point in Death Valley Zabriskie Point in Death Valley Zabriskie Point in Death Valley

Death Valley is an amazing place, but I can’t imagine trying to camp there or hike there in the summer.  Though now that I write that, I suppose I’ve made it an extreme challenge for another time.
RV Camper in Death Valley National Park Leaving Death Valley National Park

After spending an amazing month in California we drove east out of Death Valley and into Nevada.

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