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Death Valley National Park

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Death Valley National Park is a mostly arid United States National Park located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Inyo County and northern San Bernardino County in California, with a small extension into southwestern Nye County and extreme southern Esmeralda County in Nevada. In addition, there is an exclave (Devil's Hole) in southern Nye County. The park covers Шаблон:Convert, encompassing Saline Valley, a large part of Panamint Valley, almost all of Death Valley, and parts of several mountain ranges. Death Valley National Monument was proclaimed in 1933, placing the area under federal protection. In 1994, the monument was redesignated a national park, as well as being substantially expanded to include Saline and Eureka Valleys.

It is the hottest and driest of the national parks in the United States. It also features the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and the lowest point in North America at Badwater, which is Шаблон:Convert below sea level. It is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include Creosote Bush, Bighorn Sheep, Coyote, and the Death Valley Pupfish, a survivor of much wetter times. Approximately 95% of the park is designated as wilderness. Death Valley National Park is visited annually by more than 770,000 visitors who come to enjoy its diverse geologic features, desert wildlife, historic sites, scenery, clear night skies and the solitude of the extreme desert environment.

Mining was the primary activity in the area before it was protected. The first known non-Native Americans to enter Death Valley did so in the winter of 1849, thinking they would save time by taking a shortcut to the gold fields of California. They were stuck for weeks and in the process gave the Valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to exploit minor local bonanzas of gold. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined, however, was borax, a mineral used to make soap and an important industrial compound. Twenty-mule teams were famously used to transport ore out of the Valley, helping to make it famous and the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies.

The natural environment of the area has been profoundly shaped by its geology. The oldest rocks are extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient warm, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes. Later the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of ice ages, with lakes, such as Lake Manly.

Geographic setting

Within the park there are two major valleys: Death Valley and Panamint Valley, both of which were formed within the last few million years and both bounded by north–south-trending mountain ranges. These and adjacent valleys follow the general trend of Basin and Range topography with one modification: there are parallel strike-slip faults that perpendicularly bound the central extent of Death Valley. The result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and relatively more subsidence there.

Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the valley floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the alluvial fans (fan-shaped deposits at the mouth of canyons) there are relatively small and steep compared to the huge alluvial fans coming off the Panamint Range. In many places so-called "wine glass canyons" are formed along the Black Mountains front as a result. This type of canyon results from the mountain range's relatively fast uplift which does not allow the canyons enough time to cut a classic V-shape all the way down to the stream bed. Instead a V-shape ends at a slot canyon halfway down with a relatively small and steep alluvial fan on which the stream sediments collect.

At Шаблон:Convert below sea level, Badwater on Death Valley's floor is the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (behind Laguna del Carbón in Argentina), while Mount Whitney, only Шаблон:Convert to the west, rises to Шаблон:Convert. This topographic relief is the greatest elevation gradient in the contiguous United States and is the terminus point of the Great Basin's southwestern drainage. Although the extreme lack of water in the Great Basin makes this distinction of little current practical use, it does mean that in wetter times the lake that once filled Death Valley (Lake Manly) was the last stop for water flowing in the region, meaning the water there was relatively saturated in dissolved materials. Thus the salt pans in Death Valley are among the largest in the world and are rich in minerals, such as borax and various salts and hydrates. The largest salt pan in the park extends Шаблон:Convert from the Ashford Mill Site to the Salt Creek Hills, covering some Шаблон:Convert of the Valley floor. The second-best known playa in the park is the Racetrack, famous for its moving rocks.

and Wildrose Peaks from Emigrant Canyon Rd.]]


Death Valley is one of the hottest and driest places in North America due to its lack of surface water and its low relief. On July 10, 1913, a record Шаблон:Convert was measured at the Weather Bureau's observation station at Greenland Ranch (now the site for the Furnace Creek Inn), the highest temperature ever recorded on that continent as of 2007. Daily summer temperatures of Шаблон:Convert or greater are common, as well as below freezing nightly temperatures in the winter. July is the hottest month, with an average high of Шаблон:Convert and an average low of Шаблон:Convert. December is the coldest month, with an average high of Шаблон:Convert and an average low of Шаблон:Convert. The record low is Шаблон:Convert. The saltpan is devoid of vegetation, and the rest of the valley floor and lower slopes have sparse cover, although where water is available, an abundance of vegetation is usually present. These zones and the adjacent desert support a variety of wildlife species, including 51 species of native mammals, 307 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, and 2 species of native fish.

Small mammals are more numerous than large mammals, such as Bighorn Sheep, Coyotes (), Bobcats, Kit Foxes, Cougars, and Mule Deer. Mule Deer are present in the pinyon/juniper associations of the Grapevine, Cottonwood, and Panamint ranges. Bighorn Sheep are a rare species of mountain sheep that exist in isolated bands in the Sierra and in Death Valley. These are highly adaptable animals and can eat almost any plant. They have no known predators, but humans and burros compete for habitat.

spawning in Salt Creek]] The ancestors of the Death Valley Pupfish swam to the area from the Colorado River via a long-since dried-up system of rivers and lakes (see Lake Manly). They now live in two separate populations: one in Salt Creek and another in Cottonwood Marsh.

Death Valley is one of the hottest and driest places in North America, yet it is home to over 1,000 species of plants; 23 of which are not found anywhere else. Adaptation to the dry environment is key. For example, creosote bush and mesquite have tap-root systems that can extend Шаблон:Convert down in order to take advantage of a year-round supply of ground water. The diversity of Death Valley's plant communities results partly from the region's location in a transition zone between the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert and the Sonoran Desert.

on Rock Nettle in Mosaic Canyon]] This location, combined with the great relief found within the Park, supports vegetation typical of three biotic life zones: the lower Sonoran, the Canadian, and the Arctic/Alpine in portions of the Panamint Range. Based on the Munz and Keck (1968) classifications, seven plant communities can be categorized within these life zones, each characterized by dominant vegetation and representative of three vegetation types: scrub, desert woodland, and coniferous forest. Microhabitats further subdivide some communities into zones, especially on the valley floor.

Unlike more typical locations across the Mojave Desert, many of the water-dependent Death Valley habitats possess a diversity of plant and animal species that are not found anywhere else in the world. The existence of these species is due largely to a unique geologic history and the process of evolution that has progressed in habitats that have been isolated from one another since the Pleistocene epoch.


Sightseeing is available by personal automobile, four-wheel drive, bicycle, mountain bike (on established roadways only), and hiking. State Route 190, the Badwater Road, the Scotty's Castle Road, and paved roads to Dante's View and Wildrose provide access to the major scenic viewpoints and historic points of interest. More than Шаблон:Convert of unpaved and four-wheel-drive roads provide access to wilderness hiking, camping, and historical sites. All vehicles must be licensed and street legal. There are hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, but most backcountry areas are accessible only by cross-country hiking. There are literally thousands of hiking possibilities. The normal season for visiting the park is from October 15 to May 15 due to summer extremes in temperature. A costumed living history tour of the historic Death Valley Scotty's Castle is conducted for a fee.

There are nine designated campgrounds within the park, and overnight backcountry camping permits are available at the Visitor Center. Xanterra Parks & Resorts owns and operates a private resort, the Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort, which comprises two separate and distinct hotels: the Furnace Creek Inn is a four-star historic hotel, and the Furnace Creek Ranch is a three-star ranch-style property reminiscent of the mining and prospecting days. Xanterra also operates the Stovepipe Wells Village motel. The Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch and the Stovepipe Wells Village are the only inns located inside Death Valley proper. There are a few motels near various entrances to the park, in Shoshone, Death Valley Junction, and Panamint Springs.

The visitor center is located in the Furnace Creek resort area on State Route 190. A 12-minute introductory slide program is shown every 30 minutes. During the winter season—November through April—rangers offer interpretive tours and a wide variety of walks, talks, and slide presentations about Death Valley cultural and natural history. The visitor center has displays dealing with the park's geology, climate, wildlife and natural history. There are also specific sections dealing with the human history and pioneer experience. The Death Valley Natural History Association maintains a bookstore specifically geared to the natural and cultural history of the park.

Death Valley National Park is a popular location for stargazing as it has one of the darkest night skies in the United States. Despite Death Valley's remote location, its air quality and night visibility are threatened by civilization. In particular, light pollution is introduced by nearby Las Vegas. Шаблон:Imageframe






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Tips & Hints
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Jenny Mursch
28 December 2010
Most amazing scenery. December is an optimal time to visit.
Nick Rock
5 September 2011
You really need to drive the "Artist Drive" on your way to badwater. Stunning surroundings.
Gleb Tarro
21 April 2012
If you are going to the Race Track, drive very carefully, don't get a flat!
Anastasia Belozertseva
20 July 2012
Zabriski point is definitely a must stop in the Death Valley!
Joel Sheriff
6 September 2011
Hot isn't the word...scortching hot
Yangzhi Zhao
1 August 2011
So. Very. Hot.
Andy Brodhag
21 March 2014
Words and pictures can't do justice... Mysterious and gorgeous DV has a powerful, unique energy and is comparable to no place I've ever been. Quiet your mind, just feel, and listen with your soul
@LorenzoAgustin ☆
21 January 2014
Be sure to visit Badwater Basin but please try not to lick the salt rocks. 😜🍟
Thea VanGuilder
24 April 2011
Go easy on your car and drink tons of water!
Amélie Beerens
15 December 2014
Magic! Beautiful.... magic
1 September 2014
Do the racetrack in February...that way your tires don't go pop!
Kay Patterson
6 September 2013
This place is incredibly beautiful, but Wear protective clothing, a hat and don't forget to take lots of photos! Bad water basin is amazing!!!
Janne Kaasalainen
9 July 2013
Make sure you visit this place during the summer. Winter might give you a far-too cheerful experience.
Madame No Name
15 May 2013
Visit the information office and take a map with the important and popular places... It's very hot, take water with you. Amazing views...
Social News Network
19 April 2013
Probably a good idea to make sure you have enough water and gas.
Laila K
16 June 2012
لا الأه إلا الله
9 June 2013
UNBEDINGT genug Wasser mitnehmen! Man sollte mit ca. 1 l pro Std. pP rechnen. Im Sommer ist es so heiß, dass innerhalb weniger Minuten der Mund austrocknet. Ansonsten uneingeschränkt empfehlenswert!
Carmen Calatrava
7 August 2012
Me gusta muchísimo.
Daniel Black
4 May 2014
Безнин в районе Death Valley стоит порядка 5,8 за галлон, советую по максимуму заправиться в городке Beatty. До RaceTrack реально доехать только на внедорожнике, бездорожье
Marisha Suzanskaya
27 September 2013
Хорошее место, есть что посмотреть.если как не будь занесет, в эти кроя выделите Death Valley пару дней, и этого достаточно.
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0.2km from West Side Road, Death Valley National Park, CA, USA

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Open hours
Thu 11:00 AM–8:00 PM
Fri 11:00 AM–10:00 PM
Sat 8:00 AM–8:00 PM
Sun 9:00 AM–7:00 PM
Mon 11:00 AM–8:00 PM
Tue 11:00 AM–7:00 PM

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