The Death Valley is one of the hottest places in the world.
Many potential visitors ignore the park due to the misconception that it is simply a lifeless, empty landscape, but there is a lot to explore:
- Artist Drive. The rocks within this section of the park have been stained myriad colors by minerals within, creating a view that resembles an artist's palette.
- Badwater. At 282 feet below sea level, it's the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. A boardwalk and signs provide info on the local environment, and a trail leads out onto the salt flats.
- Dante's View. Spectacular view from an overlook just a mile or two away from Badwater, but 4000 feet taller. The road to Dante's View is a bit long, but the view is worth it. If you are towing a trailer, a parking lot is provided for you to leave your trailer behind before ascending the most difficult part of the road to Dante's View.
- Devil's Cornfield
- Devil's Golf Course. A bizarre landscape consisting of a vast field of salt crystals. Please admire these carefully! A slight touch can break the crystals, which often take years to re-form.
- Echo Canyon 4WD road just east of Furnace Creek.
- Mustard Canyon. A popular hike located just north of Furnace Creek through a brilliantly-colored canyon. The best view is from the very end of the trail, which requires traversing through some narrow canyon walls and over ladders. Star Wars fans may recognize this place as Jawa hideouts from Episode 3.
- Mushroom Rock. This oddly shaped rock is located on the road south of Furnace Creek.
- Natural Bridge. Travel south from Furnace Creek. Natural Bridge is just east of the main road via a dirt road. This natural bridge in a narrow canyon was created when erosion managed to undercut a section of the stream bed and eventually create a bridge well above the bottom of the canyon.
- Salt Creek. Travel north from Furnace Creek. Salt Creek is about two miles west of the main road via an easy dirt road. This place is great. Long ago Death Valley was a lake with fish in it; as the lake dried up and salinity increased the fish evolved to cope. Now they are restricted to a short, salty creek which springs up out of the desert, flows for a few hundred yards, and then disappears back into the sand.
- Visitor Center And Museum at Furnace Creek. When visiting Death Valley, start here and you may discover that some sight you hadn't been interested in turns out to really interest you. Or just figure out which of these many places you should really visit.
- Zabriskie Point. Famous viewpoint loved by photographers just east of Furnace Creek. View overlooks interesting weathered canyons. View is a two minute walk from the parking lot.
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