death-valley

  • Eastern California
  • Established October 31, 1994
  • 5,270 square miles

Death Valley is a landscape of superlatives. The highest, the largest, the lowest. Death Valley is the largest national park in the continental United States, and has within it the lowest point in North America: Badwater, at 282 feet below sea level. Death Valley also has Telescope Peak, towering at 11,049 feet. The highest temperature in North America was recorded here: 134 degrees. But, for all that heat, and despite its name, there is still a lot of life here. Nearly a thousand plant species have adapted to Death Valley’s harsh environment, including even lilies and orchids. There are 40 different kinds of reptiles and amphibians, and 300 kinds of birds. It seems that beauty—and life—persists just about everywhere on Earth.

Death Valley is rife with color. The volcanic landscape known as Artist’s Palette has rolling hills colored purple, green, blue, and brown; this is where George Lukas filmed Star Wars. The park is full of sand dunes, salt flats, and mountains, to be seen, respected, explored, and marveled at. And then there’s the human history: in the 1870s and 1880s miners discovered silver and borax, which they loaded into huge wagons and took them with 20-mule teams to the nearest railroad, 165 miles away. Tours of the old borax mine are available, as are tours to Scotty’s Castle, a 25-foot palace at the foot of the Grapevine Mountains.

National Parks Revealed creates custom itineraries for our guests. We can recommend the best routes through Death Valley, and arrange for the most interesting excursions—from horseback riding to bird watching to just driving around and seeing the sights. We recommend combining a trip to Death Valley with trips to other national parks, either in Arizona or in California. We can put together an itinerary that is the perfect combination of relaxing and adventurous! And, as always, we arrange for luxurious accommodations in the area.