Death Valley National Park

Zabrinski Point at sunrise with a cloudy blue sky and sun on the mountains in the distance. Death Valley National Park photos

Death Valley NP Guide Death Valley Hiking Guide

Death Valley is a desert valley located in eastern California. It is one of North America’s hottest and driest places, with temperatures that can reach up to 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius) and average annual precipitation of less than 2 inches (5 cm). The valley is known for its barren, rugged landscape and varied terrain, which includes sand dunes, salt flats, rocky mountains, and canyons. They make for some stunning Death Valley National Park photos. Death Valley National Park in January is a great time to visit. We camped near Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley.

This was our 1 and only trip to Death Valley National Park. I don’t know why it took us so long to make it here or why we haven’t been back since it is close and there is much to do there. It took 6 hours to get to the Stovepipe Wells campground from our home. We had a full hook-up site and we stayed here for 4 days. 14 full hook-up sites are reservable and a large open area with 190 first-come first-served sites that are dry.

Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley got its name when, in 1907, a dirt road was built between the two mining towns of Rhyolite in Nevada and Skidoo in California. The well was the only water source on the road, and it kept getting covered with sand. So, they stuck a stovepipe in it so they could find it. Today, Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley is a California Historical Marker.

For a one-day trip itinerary to Death Valley National Park click here

Death Valley National Park photos This is a photo of a stove pipe sticking out of a rocky well
The stovepipe at Stovepipe Wells

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes are waiting for you! For those seeking a bit of adventure, make sure to check them out. They are easy to find as they are not too far from the junction of 190 and Scotties Castle Road. Stretching for miles, the dunes offer endless opportunities for exploration and photo ops. With their ripples and sand-sculpted dunes, they are very photogenic. There are bigger dunes in Death Valley, but these are the easiest to get to. Mesquite Flat Dunes are 1 of the 2 dunes that allow sandboarding. Just be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen. Death Valley National Park in January is a great time for hiking.

Since we were camped near there we stopped a couple of times and the sunset and sunrises were fantastic.

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point is a scenic overlook located in Death Valley National Park, California. It is one of the park’s most popular and iconic landmarks, offering a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscapes.

The viewpoint is situated at the eastern end of Death Valley, just a short distance from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. The area is named after Christian Zabriskie, a Borax company executive who helped develop the Harmony Borax Works in the 1880s. Zabriskie Point is particularly popular at sunrise and sunset when the light transforms the landscape into a canvas of vibrant colors. The rich hues of red, orange, and purple create a stunning contrast against the deep blue sky, making for a truly unforgettable experience. We were here for 2 sunrises and it was spectacular.

Badwater Basin is a remarkable geological feature situated in Death Valley National Park, California, United States. It is the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 feet below sea level, and is one of the most popular attractions in the park.

It was an uneasy 2 mile walk out into the basin and once out there we were by ourselves.

The basin is a vast expanse of salt flats, covering an area of about 200 square miles. Millions of years ago, the basin formation began as a shallow sea covered the area. The drying sea left behind salt and minerals. Wind and water sculpted the unique landscape over time.

Badwater Basin

One of the most striking features of the Badwater Basin is the polygonal patterns that cover the salt flats. These hexagonal shapes are caused by the repeated cycles of flooding and drying that occur in the basin. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a thin layer of salt that crystallizes into these fascinating patterns.

On the way back we drove Artists Dr. It is a loop drive with some interesting formations and Artist’s Palette, a colorful location.

Colorful turquoise and green rock formations at artist palette in death Valley national Park

We stopped at the Golden Canyon Trailhead and hiked out to Red Cathedral. We added more Death Valley National Park photos to our collection here.

A walk at the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail was interesting. It is a boardwalk along Salt Creek and home to some rear pupfish.

We explored Emigrant Canyon Road to Ageureberry Point Road and ended up at the Eureka Mine a.k.a. “Pete and Shorty’s”. It made for some interesting Death Valley National Park photos. The mine was founded by Pete Ageureberry and Shorty Harris. It was worked mainly by Pete from 1905 to when he died in 1945.

Some friends, who spend a lot of time in Death Valley, warned me about the sharp rocks on the dirt roads. They said they always take 2 spare tires if they are going to be driving on the dirt a lot. Well, I got a flat driving on the Emigrant Canyon Road so maybe next time I’ll heed their advice. We found that Death Valley National Park in January was a great time to visit.

For a one-day trip itinerary to Death Valley National Park click here

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