Visiting Death Valley is not for the faint of heart and many people that do venture there are thrill seekers. Death Valley National Park is home of some pretty incredible views of the badlands found in California but it’s also home to dangers all around you.
It’s one of the largest national parks in the world and it is known to be an extreme version of a vacation. You have to enjoy the heat a great deal in order to visit as it is known as one of the hottest and driest places in North America, with temperatures reaching as high as 134F. It hardly ever rains there with fewer than five centimetres of rain falling in the area annually. If that isn’t bad enough it has the lowest elevation on the planet as it is 282 feet below sea level.
You would think that would scare most people off but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Death Valley National Park receives almost a million visitors every year.
There is a long line of history when it comes to Death Valley. In 1849 there were many immigrants heading for California to seek out the gold fields there. There were a few that strayed into the basins of Death Valley that are 120 miles long and hot as can be. They described their ordeal as being one of “thirst, hunger and an awful silence.” The area was named Death Valley after one of the immigrants left there after his ordeal saying. “Goodbye, Death Valley.” They were lucky enough to tell about their adventures there.
In the late 1800’s there were many wagon teams that went from mine to mine that ended in many tales of ruin amongst deep solitude and beautiful landscapes.
It’s a beautiful place however with rocks formed through erosion and many hills and canyons as far as the eye can see. There is a 200 square-mile salt pan surrounded by massive mountains that is truly something to behold.
Wild life is huge and plentiful in the area, as soon as night falls you can be sure to run into rodents, foxes and bobcats. You can almost see the desert bighorn sheep along the steep mountain slopes above and see white hawks soaring in the air.
There is a mountain in Death Valley called Telescope Peak which is 11,049 feet tall. The vertical drop from the peak of the mountain is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.
There have been many inhabitants of Death Valley such as gold prospectors, slaves, Native Americans, Chinese immigrants and Japanese Americans interned there during the World War II.