Calling someone or something dead compels us to think about a silent, motionless, and gloomy state. However, Death Valley National Park is something that surpasses these images of dead and instead presents a fabulous, multidimensional, and mesmerizing landscape that depicts what all nature can do when left with its devices.
Although this place was established as a monument on February 11, 1933, it was not before October 31, 1994, that the authorities included this spot of public interest as a national park. Studies suggest that rocks here are around 1.7 billions years old. Thus, the existence of this place can be traced back to a phase where humans were non-existent and the whole world was evolving and converting into a breeding ground where several living beings would dwell.
Occupying a vast geographical expanse the story behind this place being named as the Death Valley is interesting and relevant. In the year 1849, some emigrants chose to cross through this area, as they believed that it would lead them to California gold fields and save their time and efforts. Although only one member from their crew died, others had a tough time coping with the extremities of the climate. Also, they had to face shortage of food and water and thus when they were leaving this place, one of them looked down to bid adieu and said, “Good-bye, Death Valley”.
What to See at Death Valley National Park
Broadly divided into two parts, Death Valley and Panamint Valley, there are various sightings which you will have to see for yourself to believe in the magic of nature. At the Death Valley and Furnace Creek, you can see:
Visitor Center and Museum: This place will guide and help you decide what all you can see and explore out in the park.
Artist Drive: The name itself suggests that this part of the park has something to do with an artistic insight. The rocks here are multi-colored, depicting an artist’s hunger satiated by sprinkling and spreading different colors on the palette, though the colors come from the minerals within.
Badwater: This place is the lowest point in North America, as it is located 282 feet below sea level. A saltflat expanse followed by a trail, this is one secluded, yet appealing spot of the park.
Dante’s View: All good things come on your way if you travel on the right path. One of them is the Dante’s View, a promising spot that is worth the travel you endure from Badwater.
Devil’s Golf Course: Watch another miracle of nature in the form of salt crystals spread across a field. These crystals take millions of years to form and visitors are instructed not to play with these crystals as they are brittle.
Echo Canyon: A short drive from Furnace Creek, you can reach this spot on an SUV. This spot can be visited at any time of the year and in summers too, provided that you are physically fit to endure the extremeities of the climate, as the temperature can reach up to 134 Degree Fahrenheit.
Mustard Canyon: The fun begins when you reach the end of this canyon, located at the north of Furnace Creek. A colorful canyon leads you to the end of the trail and that is where a glorious view is available to the hikers.
Mushroom Rock: Not every rock stands apart as this one at the Death Valley. Though Mushroom Rocks are not a rare phenomenon, the structure, size, and the tilted positioning of this rock makes it unique.
Natural Bridge: This bridge is actually made out of a natural process, erosion that cut away the stream bed, and what we see now here is a bridge above the canyon’s bottom.
Darwin Falls: A charm to look at during spring, you cannot jump into this waterfall as it is a source of drinking water.
Marble Canyon: You can hike to this spot and reach to the base of the trail after crossing and crawling through the sandy road and the rocks.
Sand Dunes: In the stretch of the valley, there are sand dunes and these are quite impressive with their shapes and patterns.
There are several other spots of tourist interest here such as Cottonwood Canyon, Aguereberry Point, Amargosa Opera House, Death Vallet Buttes, Greenwater Ruins, Grotto Canyon, etc.