Death Valley is the hottest, driest & lowest of all the National Parks. When I was looking into going to Death Valley, I read that it is a winter destination for travelers since it gets so hot in the summer. It was close to 100° when we visited in October.
Badwater Basin is 282 feet below sea level and the lowest place in North America. After rain falls in the mountains around Death Valley it runs off into this basin creating a temporary lake. The water has no where to go, so it stays at Badwater until it evaporates leaving behind salt and other minerals. We can’t drink this “bad water,” but a few plants, insects and a rare snail call it home.
DEVIL’S GOLF COURSE
One of the most beautiful sights in Death Valley was a hillside named Artists Palette. These photos just doesn’t portray effectively how colorful it really was. It was spectacular!
In the evening we drove to Dante’s View. A ranger told us this overlook is deeper than looking into the Grand Canyon, in part because the lower area is below sea level.
FURNACE CREEK INN
We stayed at Stovepipe Wells. It wasn’t fancy, but it suited our needs perfectly. And, I give them 2 thumbs up for keeping their restaurant open late. We were starving when we got there & I was pleasantly surprised they were still serving food.
We tried to arrive early enough to see critters on the dunes before they hide away for the hot parts of the day. Mostly all we saw, though, were tracks.
Top Left: I’m not a desert track expert, but I think these tracks are from a kangaroo rat.
We did see a whole clan of these red ants. We also saw a raven. The ants & the raven were the only animals we saw that morning. I know there were more hiding out there somewhere, we just didn’t see them.
This is only a smattering of things to see in Death Valley. I didn’t realize just how huge this National Park is. We easily could have used a couple more days to explore. If I get the chance again, I would definitely go back.