"Out of this World" Experience in Death Valley National Park
In my previous post, we discovered that winter is probably not the best time to visit Zion National Park. The cold season, however, turned out to be great for Death Valley which is one of the hottest places on Earth. Death Valley is situated in California on the border with Nevada. The valley has also the lowest elevation in North America - 282 feet (86m) below sea level. This is the lowest elevation I have ever been.
I arrived in the Valley in the afternoon, driving all the way from Las Vegas. I decided to cross Death Valley and see everything close by before continuing to Sequoia and Yosemite Parks. I was surprised to discover that there are many beautiful places and decided to spend the night in the valley. The first impressive point I visited was Dantes View. It overlooks the Badwater Basin which is the lowest point in the valley and on the continent as mentioned above.
I arrived for the sunset in Zabriskie Point. The erosional landscape of this place started forming 5 million years ago. It created amazing formations and it seems you are no longer walking on Earth. No wonder why this location was featured in many movies and used to represent the surface of Mars and the Moon.
Since it was warm I decided to sleep in the car and drove to Furnace Creek oasis to check the campgrounds. I found out later that it is illegal to sleep in your car in California if you are not in a designated area. You are allowed to take a rest, however, so whenever you can present it that way to the policemen you should be fine. If you are sleeping outside make sure that you keep your shoes inside. If you leave something outside make sure you check it first before you place your hands or feet inside. There are scorpions and one famous spider - The Black Widow. I was so excited to find out about that later on my trip. I hope if you are reading this to go better prepared.
Early in the morning, I drove to the Artist's Palette. This colorful area in the Black Mountains easily became my favorite spot. The unusual colors were caused by the oxidation of different metals. Iron produced red, pink and yellow, mica - green and the manganese gave the area its purple colors. The trek is very short and you can walk among the different colors which were fun.
I did a quick hike in Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes which were filmed in Star Wars series. The biggest one of the dunes is actually called Star Dune but I decided to not climb it just because of the series. Although, I was tempted to do so.
The last place I hiked was the Mosaic Canyon. The polished marble walls look like the canyon was done by humans but it was not. I skipped only one place of an interest because it was too far on the north and I wanted to reach Bakersfield that day. That place is called Racetrack Playa and if I ever go again I would love to see it. It is famous for its rocks which mysteriously move around the area. If you are planning a trip to Death Valley make sure you check it out.
At the end of the valley, I made a new friend - a coyote. It was posing so nicely to me, so I couldn’t resist of giving it some food. I gave it just a bit of the leftovers from my friend’s chicken, so I think I didn’t mess with nature's principles so much.
This is how my two days in Death Valley ended. Stay tuned for the next trip in two of the most popular parks in California.
All images are mine, except the below.
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