The Driest, Hottest and Lowest Point in the United States

Death Valley National Park Travel Blog

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Death Valley is a land of extremes; with a steady drought and out of this world summer heat. Located in the states of California and Nevada respectively, with the larger portion on the California side, it occupies the Mohave desert and the great basin. It was designated a National park to preserrve a vast desert environment of slat flats, sand dunes and badlands. It is also an International Biosphere reserve and is the largest in the lower 48 states of the union. The reason it is possibly the lowest poin on land is becasue its Badwater basin is a whooping 282 feet below sea level.

In the early 7000 BC, the valley was inhabited by Native American tribes and around  1000 AD the Timbisha, who the park is also named after. The interesting thing I noted while in the park was that the highest peak in the area, which is the Telescope Peak standing at 11,049 ft is only a short distance from the lowest point; badwater basin.

 The valley got its name 'Death Valley' in 1849 from gold prospectors who found themselves struggling through this arid land

The name of this location is not far from the truth; it is indeed the valley of death seeing as one could easily die from the heat here alone. It is the hottest, driest and lowest poin in the United states. At 190 below sea level, it is possibly the lowest land point on earth. My family and I drove through it enroute to Arizon from Yosemite National Park. It was one of thoe impromptu stops. Having left Yosemite a day earlier than planned, we decided to take the scenic and popular Tioga Pass in the Sierra wilderness. We did not drive straight to Death Valley, we couldn't, it was just too far off.

Having made as many stops as each scenic pull out, we were unable to make it to our planned destination. We broke our drive and spent a night in a small town called Lone Pine.

We left at 6:00 am the following morning to allow for a cooler morning in the valley. It was estimated it would be 120 degrees that day. It took us a little over 2 hours to get to Zabriskie Point. By this time it was incredibly hot with no breeze over the valley. My daughter and I got out of the car and run uphill for a few shots, we could not stand for more than a few minutes because the heat caused a prickly feeling to our skins. This was 10:15 am by the way; we wondered what it would be like at 11:00 or 1:00 pm. we did not wait to find out.

PS: Do not leave for tomorrow ahat you can do today!

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282 Feet Below Sea Level
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photo by: vances