Humans, civilizations or even traces of water is in the farthest of radius, once you are in the barren land of Death Valley.
Back in 1850s, a group of pioneers named it Death Valley, after being lost and found in this alien planet, which they thought would be their grave.
While tracing your way back might sound difficult back then, it is not any easier today. Reason being, GPS and even your reliable networks betray you once you are here.
Perhaps, the only support is your car, gallons of water you are advised to carry and the must follow rules. Well, if you choose to ignore the rules, it would hardly be possible for you to get out safe rather alive!
It is not only the road rules that can land you in trouble but also underestimating its harsh humidity could invite havoc. Being the hottest place recorded in the continent, makes late autumn and spring the best time to visit the place. It is situated in California and is just a 2 hour drive from Las Vegas.
So, let’s gear up to explore the must see places in this freaky Death Valley.
1) Badwater basin
Once an endorheic lake, today it is a big bed of salts, accumulated due to water evaporation over time. Though, a victim of rainstorms, the water still dries up quickly and just the chunky salt remains. This lowest point of North America gives a brimming spilled milk view from the Black mountains.
2) Artist’s palette
When nature plays the artist, minerals and metals of iron, mica and alike, all give way to oxidisations and chemical weathering to form the unique rainbow view of the rocks. The perfect way to treasure the palette is a drive through the 9 mile curvy stretch of the colorful mountains. It is often called the Artist’s drive. It is hard to believe that this scenic beauty was once guilty of the most explosive volcanoes in Death Valley.
3) Dante’s view
Residing on the north side of Coffin Peak, is the most staggering terrace viewpoint of Black mountains. The foot slog to an height of 1,669m is completely worth it, as it serves an enthralling view of Death Valley and raise your eyes to capture the mesmerizing view of snow-clad Telescope peak, to make it all the more enduring.
4) Devil’s golf course
This yet another salt pan with spiky and rocky crags of soil and salt, gets its name from a Death Valley guide. It states that the links are so rugged that only devils can play golf here. Fascinating is the fact that the salt formations extend to the depth of a whopping 9,000 feet under the ground. While, it is tattled that one could actually hear the creepy crack and pop sounds here, those are basically indicating the sound of salt crystals’ formations.
5) Zabriskie point
This warm skinned formations composed millions of years ago, gives a surreal sight of earth in its raw form rather our imagination of other planets today. The highlight is the gigantic red cathedral which provides a massive contrast with warm mustard shades of the sprawling upland. This surreal formations are due to years of hot springs, volcanic erosions and lake sediments.
6) Racetrack Playa
Though resembles a scarred race circuit, a race here wouldn’t be the best idea. It is so rutted and rugged that a flat tyre would be an instant hit with no pit stops around. May be the race track is just meant for the rocks racing here! Yes, the rocks that weigh several hundred pounds often slide through the flat tracks. There have been various theories made but the force behind the rocks, often shifting places, is still a mystery!
7) Ghost towns of Ballart & Rhyolite
Once, the well set towns known for their mine hubs and magnanimous discoveries of gold and silver, now stand barren, living a ghost town life. Out of the many, the death valley ghost towns of Ballart and Rhyolite are quite popular. The Radcliffe mine of Ballart alone produced 15,000 tonnes of Gold. Well, the town of Rhyolite was known for its town life apart from the mine strikes, now leaving behind just the digs and dumps around. Additionally, not rambling through the neighbouring Titus canyon’s narrow lanes would be a wanderer sin.
8) Mesquite flat sand dunes
This silky huge heaps of sand stand tallest at a height of 100 ft and are the most reachable sand dunes in death valley. The ever-changing sand formations makes it difficult to track trail, so wandering more than traced might actually get you deserted in this no man’s land.
So, if you are missing a bone-chilling experience in your bucket list then Death valley trek should top it now !
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