Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park, located east of the Sierra Nevada, and on the border of the states of Nevada and California, was established in 1933 and declared an International Biosphere Reserve in 1984. It covers an area of over 3 million acres, characterized by salt-flats, badlands, sand dunes, valleys, mountains, and canyons. It is the hottest, driest and lowest national park in the United States, and is home to many species of animals and plants such as coyote, bighorn sheep, and Creosote bush that have adapted to the harsh desert environment.
Visit The Land Of Extremes
Death Valley National Park, despite its gloomy name, is a delight for tourist, with several enjoyable sites of attraction. It is referred to as the Land of Extremes because it has the hottest and driest climate in the U.S. and is also the lowest point below sea level basin in the U.S. The park has two major valleys, Death Valley and Panamint Valley, both of which are surrounded by mountain ranges that offer numerous hiking and bike riding opportunities.
When visiting the Death Valley National Park, Furnace Creek should be your first go-to site. You can learn all about the park and book for guided tours at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, as well as explore the ruins of town sites and the Death Valley history walking the paved paths of Harmony Borax Works. If your vehicle is less than 25 feet in length, take a drive through the scenic Artists Drive, which loops through multi-hued sedimentary and volcanic hills. You can also drive through the winding badlands of Twenty Mule Team Canyon.
An area of rock salt which is constantly eroded by rain and wind to form jagged spires, named the Devils Golf Course, is an amazing attraction site to visit. When standing in Devils Golf Course, you can hear billions of salt crystals as they burst apart due to expansion and contraction in the heat. Another enjoyable tourist site is Badwater Basin, a landscape of vast salt flats, which is the lowest point in the park and in North America, sitting 282 feet below sea level. You may be opportune to see a temporary lake in it, which forms after a heavy rainstorm.
Also, make sure to visit Zabriskie Point, the most famous viewpoint in the park, which overlooks the golden colored Furnace Creek badlands formation. You can simply enjoy the view or start a hike that leads to Gower Gulch, Golden Canyon, and Red Cathedral. There are also paved roads to drive up 5,000 feet to the most breathtaking viewpoint in the park, Dante’s View, from where you can enjoy the best sunrise view and see the Sierra Nevada. The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, which has three types of dunes (crescent, star-shaped, and linear dunes), a floor formed from ancient lakebeds and large hummocks created by mesquite trees, is also a delight for tourists.
If you are staying a few days to explore everything the land of extremes have to offer, accommodation is available in the hotels and motels located within and outside the park. There are also nine campgrounds situated within the park if you will rather camp out.