the Mojave Desert
Death Valley - it means
what it says
Valley is for real.
The hottest, lowest point in the USA can live up to its name.
Temperatures in summer regularly reach 120°F or almost 50°C. While
do not occur every year,.they can happen, and several tourists have
lost their lives in Death Valley in recent years, after failing to take
the elementary precautions. Don't go hiking in temperatures above 95° F
(36°C), and certainly not alone. Stay on paved roads and
clearly marked trails. Carry plenty of water. Watch out for
rattlesnakes. Drive carefully.
in the Mojave Desert, some 4½ hours' drive from Los Angeles, and 2½
from Las Vegas, Death Valley provides some of the most awesomely
beautiful and unusual landscapes in the USA – colored mineral
landscapes sculped over the centuries by wind water and
As with any area of desert, the Mojave Desert enjoys a dry
climate for most of the year, protected by the Sierra Nevada from the
rains that can blow in off the Pacific ocean. Death Valley is
particularly dry, and average annual rainfall at its driest spot,
Badwater, is only about 1.5 inches (less than 40 mm).
Vegetation finds it hard to grow - and in many parts quite
impossible to grow - in the heart of Death Valley, an area largely
without soil. The landscape is thus denuded, a patchwork of bare rocks,
sand dunes and salt pans, a stark picture painted in multiple shades of
grey, ochre, white and brown. On the fringes of the National Park area,
and higher up, Spring can temporarily bring a landscape of green shoots
and colored flowers; but generally it does not last.
From the nineteenth century until the late twentieth century, parts of
Death Valley were mined for minerals, notably borax and gold. All
mlining activity in the National Park area has now ceased.
an area of 5,269 square miles (13,647 sq km), the Death Valley National
Park is the largest National Park in the USA outside of Alaska.
Places to see in Death Valley
the lowest elevation in North America, 282 feet (86 m) below sea level .
The Devil's golf course
a large saltpan in Badwater Basin, formed from the evaporation of sea
water many millions of years ago.
Not quite the inferno, but spectacular views over the Badwater Basin
and the Devil's Golf Course. Parts of Star Wars
been filmed here.
Location of the Death Valley NP Visitor center, the Furnace
Creek golf course, and accommodation facilities, such as The Ranch
Hundred-year old neo-Mission style villa built by gold
prospector and millionnaire Albert Johnson.
Twenty Mule Team canyon
Dirt-track road 4 miles south of Furnace Creek. Spectacular
Dramatically eroded badlands, spectacular scenery. Features
in Antonioni's eponymous 1970s movie.