THE LAND OF EXTREMES
Welcome to the hottest, driest, lowest place in America: Death Valley National Park. In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Cover photo by Tom Chiakulas (www.sharetheexperience.org). Photo on page 3 by Steve Perry (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Death Valley (located in California and Nevada) never disappoints with 3.4 million acres of desert and mountains --making it the largest national park in the lower 48 states. This next picture of the park was taken as a storm rolled in, giving more color and contrast to the Grapevine Mountains while churning sand creates the illusion of fog. The two hikers give you a sense of scale -- can you spot them? Photo by Donna Fullerton (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Many first time visitors to Death Valley are surprised it is not covered with a sea of sand. Less than one percent of the desert is covered with dunes, yet the shadowed ripples and stark, graceful curves define "desert" in our imaginations. The Mesquite Flat Dunes are the best known and easiest to visit in the national park. Photo of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise by Greg Clure (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A fiery sunrise at the Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley courtesy of Mike Mezeul II (@mikemezphoto on Instagram).
Nestled in a remote valley between the Cottonwood and Last Chance Ranges, the Racetrack is a place of stunning beauty and mystery. The Racetrack is a playa -- a dry lakebed -- best known for its strange moving rocks (sometimes weighing hundreds of pounds). Although no one has actually seen the rocks move, the long meandering tracks left behind in the mud surface of the playa attest to their activity. Photo by Marc Davis (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Devil's Golf Course
Devil’s Golf Course is an immense area of rock salt eroded by wind and rain into jagged spires. So incredibly serrated that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links.” Twilight photo by Michel Herson (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Watching the sun rise from Death Valley National Park’s Zabriskie Point is a must. Located in the park’s Furnace Creek Area, Zabriskie Point provides spectacular views of the park’s wildly eroded and vibrantly colored badlands with the flat salt plains and the Grapevine Mountains visible in the distance. Photo by Mahendiran Mohan (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Named after Pete Augereberry, a gold miner in the 1900s, Aguereberry Point offers amazing views of Death Valley. Visitors to the area can still see Pete’s original cabin built in 1907. Sunrise from Aguereberry Point by Cliff LaPlant (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Share your amazing public lands photos with us at https://www.flickr.com/groups/americas-public-lands. Plan your trip to Death Valley: http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm #nationalparks #stelleradventure #action #seewhatisee #publiclands #landscape #desert #nature #goexplore #findyourpark