Death Valley is a place known around the world for its unique landscapes and its geological beauty, and despite being the picturesque version of some deserted, Martian landscape or a hotter, drier version of Hell, actually contains some of the most amazing plant and animal life on the planet. It is technically known as the Death Valley National Park, located in the Southern California Desert and pushing slightly into Nevada. This is a place for the determined, and the adventurous. Temperatures here are hotter than almost any other place on Earth, with summer heat rising above 120 degrees F. during June, July, August, and September. However, these temperatures drop to the 60s and 70s in the winter months, making for perfect hiking conditions if you aren’t one who enjoys sweltering in blistering heat.
Death Valley is a massive national park, which means it’s impossible to experience all of it in just one trip. The best way is to dedicate each trip to a specific section of the park, making sure to research the portion you are traveling to and going prepared. While you can always just set out for a day hike, it’s always good to take extra provisions along just in case. Some of the most popular sights include Badwater, which is the lowest point in the US, as well as Dante’s View, the Devil’s Golf Course, and the hiking trails in Mustard Canyon. Zabriskie Point is a favorite with photographers, and the Death Valley Buttes are also well-known. However, beyond the most accessible and well-known sights of the park are the ones which are both difficult to reach and somewhat elusive. For example, the Racetrack Playa, which is a dried-up lake bed that is famous for the boulders which inexplicably move along the river bed despite no scientific explanation being found to-date.