Death Valley (Death Valley) USA, California. Photos, facts

Death Valley - this is the name given to the intermountain depression, it is located between the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin Highlands. The territory of Death Valley is included in the national park of the same name, the largest in the United States.

The Valley is famous for its temperature and humidity - it is believed that in this area the maximum heat and incredibly dry air. Every year, 1 million tourists come to the unique place of Death Valley to admire unusual landscapes and experience the highest temperatures.

Where is it, how to get there

Death Valley is located in the state of California, Inyo County, nearby lies the Sierra Nevada ridge. Valley coordinates 36°14′49″ s. latitude, 116°49′01″ W

The closest city to Death Valley is Las Vegas, 220 km away, where McCarran International Airport is located. Also, tourists get through the airport of Los Angeles (Los Angeles International Airport), located 440 km. There are 2 private airports in Death Valley (Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek), but they do not accept regular flights.

California Highway 190 passes through Death Valley, Bundu Buses pass through it 4 times a week, but make only 2-3 photo stops, leaving no time for walking.

Most tourists set out in cars, either their own or rented, to see the sights in the national park in peace. Renting a car costs from $30/day. You can get to Death Valley from Las Vegas along highways No. 190, 178, 395, 136, from Los Angeles along highways No. 15, 127, from Nevada along highway No. 58. Fans of adrenaline adventures travel through Death Valley on motorcycles or bicycles.

Geographic features

Death Valley (USA) is formed on the site of a tectonic fault over 1000 km long, which ends with the Gulf of California. As a result of the compression of the earth's crust, the rift valley was separated from the main territory and filled with sediments flowing down from the surrounding hills.

Over time, the bottom of the valley continued to descend, folling with sedimentary rocks, and the Pananite, Argus and Sierra Nevada continued to rise from the East and West, creating an arid relief. Dimensions Death Valley are impressive: its length from north to south is 225 km, the width varies from 8 to 24 km.

86 m below sea level - this mark in Death Valley is considered to be the minimum indicator in all West Hemisphere. And just 135 km from the lowest level there is a mountain of 4421 m high, which makes Whitney the highest in America. West Death Valley closes the mountain Telescope peak with a height of 3367 m.

In 1933, the Death Valley was recognized as a national monument guarded by the state, although the ore mining did not stop. In 1994, National Park Death Valley was formed. The boundaries of the natural object were expanded, they included several mountain systems and Panamint, Salina valleys.

DEATH VALLEY Park area is 13.5 thousand square meters. km, there are mountains, canyons, salt lakes and plains, oases and dunes. 95% of the territory is considered wilderness, although 1500 km of ground and asphalt roads are laid in the park to the main attractions, places for recreation and campgrounds are arranged.


In the DEATH Valley Natural Park there are several unique geological reliefs and formations:

  1. DEVILS HOLE CAVE flooded with water, the depth of the reservoir is unknown.
  2. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. The height of the Dune reaches a height of 205 m. During the summer day, the dunes are heated to +800C. The complex linear dune Eureka is the highest not only in Death Valley, but also in California, its height is 214 m.
  3. Craters are located in the northern part of the National Park, the largest of them are called Ubehebe, which is translated from the language as a "large basket". With a width of 0.8 km, the depth of the crater is 215 m. Nearby are smaller tectonic faults.
  4. RaceTrack Valley. The RaceTrack Plain, covered with salted crust, was once the bottom of the lake. Now large stones are scattered on its surface, which spontaneously slowly move, leaving traces. Scientists have not yet found the causes of such a movement.
  5. Titus Canyon. The canyon leads car serpentine with one-way movement. Indian petroglyphs are preserved on the walls of the canyon.
  6. Golden Canyon. got the name of the color of the rocks. Calon's clay was used by Indians for painting faces. The road displays the Zabriskie Point (located at an altitude of 215 m).
  7. Devil's Golf Course. In this section of the death valley, the petrified salt formed a glass-like mass, reminding a plowed field from afar.
  8. BADW Solen Lake is the hottest place in the western hemisphere. Since May, water accumulated in winter is completely evaporated, covering the surface with salt patterns.
  9. DANTE VIEW. The height of the peak is 1669 m, on its top made an observation deck, overlooking the entire valley of death.
  10. Artist's Palette. 14.5 km long car route is laid through the mountains painted in different colors. The road is one-way.
  11. Natural Bridge. Natural stone bridge is formed between the rocks.

in Death Valley Interesting for inspection of Mosaic Canyons and Twenty Mules Team.

Historical facts

The desert received a sinister name in 1849 during the Golden Fever. Gold seekers who went to California tried to cut the path and moved through the desert. Borrowed, they wandered over anhydrous and hot expanses for several weeks. Part of the 100 vans was burned during heating and cooking, the other wagons of people had to quit after the bulls were pronounced in them. Official history has kept data only about one dead.

Still on foot leaving sandy spaces, people gave territories the name of death. About this adventure told one of the participants in the unsuccessful hike, Levis Menni, who released an autobiographical book. Since then, the location has received its own name.

However, in the deserts of California, people settled a long time ago. The first, another 9000 years ago, the Neverse-Spring Indians are found here, at this time there were still fresh water in Muren'ev and had a game. After 4,000 years, they changed the Meskoyt Flat tribe, and another year later, Saratogany Indians settled in these places.

After 1000 years, the Valley was chosen to accommodate Indians-Timbish, they hunted animals and harvested fruit. During the year, Timbish tribes migrated along the valley, going down to the bottom of the depressions in winter, and with the beginning of spring leaving the mountainside. Back in the XVIII century. The valley was a shelter for 1500 representatives of Timbish. In 1982, in Death Valley founded the Indian reservation in which 50 people live.

climatic conditions, the best time for the trip

of the Death Valley (USA) is surrounded from all sides of the mountains, so in a narrow elongated depression between the mountain arrays there was a private microclimate. Aerial masses, going down 3 mountain ranges surrounding the valley, quickly heated, simultaneously losing moisture.

The most unfavorable time for traveling by Death Valley is a period from June to September. The air temperature can reach +500C, precipitation is very rare. During the summer, campsites and activities are closed.

It is still very hot in September, so the tourist season starts in October and continues until April. The average air temperature in November is +200C, in December the temperature ranges from +3 to +180C, it may start to rain and even snow. In winter, sudden changes in the weather are possible, so tourists are advised to stock up on both light things in case of heat and a warm wardrobe.

Since the end of February, the time of flowering of wild herbs begins, so the desert comes to life. In April, the air warms up to +300C, the tourist season ends. During the year, up to 6 mm of precipitation falls on the plains and plateaus of the Death Valley, but in the mountains, showers can begin suddenly, flooding the canyons. During the year, up to 380 mm of precipitation falls on the mountain slopes. Before the trip, tourists are advised to read the weather forecast on the official website of the park.


Even 50 thousand years ago, in the Pleistocene epoch, the Valley was filled with a glacial lake, which had a depth of 180 m. Streams and rivers from the surrounding mountain ranges flowed into a closed drainage basin. There is no runoff in the Valley, so the lake had no connection with the World Ocean. The lake with a length of about 160 km became shallow about 2000 years ago, leaving behind small salt lakes. These lakes are replenished during the rains in winter and dry up in summer.

Some streams are fed by aquifers from the Ice Age, but their water reserves are not renewed. Salt Lake Badwater, which occupies 550 sq. km, also comes from a glacial lake. It is located at -86 m, i.е. below sea level. The water in it is 4 times saltier than in any ocean. The surface of Badwater is completely covered with salt marshes, only in some places the water comes to the surface.

Salt deposits form crystalline heaps and labyrinths up to 0.7 m high, at the lowest point of the lake the surface is covered with salt banks 0.04 m high. Racetrack Playa, located in the northwest of Death Valley, was also glacial lake. Now the surface of Racetrack Playa is famous for the stones that move independently on the salty crust.

Flora and fauna

Death Valley in the USA is not lifeless, flora and fauna have adapted to difficult climatic conditions. Only on salt lakes there is no life, but around salt marshes and marshes grow annual succulents from the amaranth family, sarzan, harmala, sveda and tamarisk.

At less saline soils, the place of the Mesquite captured, in the northern part of the park there are cacti. Creosted bushes cover the lower tiers of the mountainside, slightly above are the desert holly, even above the pine and juniper. In the spring, after the rains, the desert is cleaned with wildflowers. Animals and birds live predominantly not far from the lakes and streams.

In the valley can be found:

  • of rabbits, gophers and rats;
  • Lynx, Puma;
  • fox;
  • Coyote;
  • Baran;
  • Muflon.
Muflons live in the Death Valley Valley.

On the territory of the Park, a permanent stay of 78 types of feathers was recorded, another 240 species are migrated. Lizards, snakes, turtles, scorpions and scines live in the valley. In small water bodies, descendants of the glacial period fish are preserved - Carpozubiki Nevada, devilish and salt-flowable.

The life of carpozubikov lasts 1 season: they lay caviar, which is experiencing drought in the summer, and fish again appear from the cheek. Brief time Carpozubiki can be without water.


Visit the Death Valley National Park as part of a mini group by bus, the trip starts to Las Vegas and lasts 1 day. The cost of travel is $ 209-229 / person., If the excursion is in English, and $ 744 per car, if the guide speaks Russian. The program includes a visit to Dante's View, Badwater, Devils Golf Course, Artist's Drive, as well as the settlement of Furnace Creek and the Borax Museum.

2-day excursions are sent from Los Angeles, the program includes not only a visit to Death Valley, but also the Colorado River, MEAD Lake and Hoover Dam. Such a trip costs from $ 520. Arriving independently in Death Valley, you can take a free area map with interesting places and routes to Visitor Center in Furnace Creek.

Near Furnace Creek and it contains the following sights:

  1. Borax Museum. The open-air museum presents the history of minerals and ores in the XIX-XX centuries. Tourists will see diligences, tools of miners, vans for the transport of ore and even a steam locomotive.
  2. Scotty's Castle. The estate decorated in the style of Spanish Rancho appeared in the 1930s and belonged to Banker Johnson. Now the hotel is located in the house. Excursion costs $ 7.5-15.
  3. Ubehebe crater.

You can make a journey through the National Park by bicycle (rental in Furnace Creek costs $ 15/1 h.), Riding a horse or In the van of the Wild West. DEATH VALLEY The routes of varying degrees are laid depending on the distance and set of height.

Types of routes with start from Furnace are presented in Table:

Routes length
Light category
Mesquite Dunes3.3 km
SALT Creek Interpretive Trail0.8 km
Natural Bridge1.7 km
Badwater1.6 km
Category Average
Mosaic Canyon6.5 km
Ubehebe2.5 km
Darwin Falls3.2 km
Category Complex
Telescope PEAK23 km
Wildrose PEAK13 km
Corkscrew PEAK13 km
Panamint Dunes11 km

If on learning Death Valley is 2 hours., Then travelers are recommended to inspect:

  1. the road by car to the salt lake will take half an hour.
  2. Zabriskie Point. The observation deck is located 8 km from Furnace Creek.
  3. ARTISTIS DRIVE. It is 14 km from Furnace Creek, the journey takes 1 hour.
  4. Borax Museum.

In case the travelers intend to devote to the National Park all day, then Golden Canyon is added to the previous 4 points (located near Zabriskie Point), Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes (located 36 km from Furnace Creek) and Dantes View. Arriving in the Death Valley for several days, tourists depart to inspect Devil's Golf Course on the way to Lake Badwater and Twenty Mules Team Canyon.

We who arrived in Death Valley with children recommend to go to the ghost cities inspection.

Previously, the prospectors mined ores and minerals lived in them. Rhyolite Ghost's city is the most famous of them, some tourists even hear the music and voices of ghosts in the preserved buildings. The valley has abandoned Panamint, Chloride, Ballarat and Skidoo.


Death Valley (USA) is not the most populated place. The National Park has the city of Furnace Creek. It has a visit center, a car service, a museum, a ranger station, a campsite and hotels, as well as 3 bars (lunch for 2 people costs from $70).

The resort village of Panamint Springs is decorated in the style of the Wild West, where tourists will find a campsite, a hotel, a restaurant, a bar, a gas station and a shop. The settlement of Stovepipe Wells has been located on Route 190 since 1906, it has a gas station, a shop, a hotel with a swimming pool, restaurants and a ranger station.

National Park

The National Park welcomes guests every day from 12 noon to midnight. At Furnace Creek, the information center is open from 8 am to 5 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the terminals, the pass is valid for a 7-day stay in Death Valley. Entrance to the park by car costs $30, a visit by motorcycle will cost $20, and a pedestrian will pay $15. Nature lovers can purchase an annual subscription for $55.

When visiting the national park, tourists are asked to follow the rules:

  • do not tear plants and do not scare animals;
  • do not move stones;
  • do not launch drones;
  • do not make fires in unspecified places;
  • Do not throw away garbage.

You can't drive off the paved roads in the park, and if the car gets stuck in a difficult place, calling a tow truck will cost $2,000. The park can be visited with dogs, observing the safety of the animal while in the car and on the street.

When traveling by car, it is necessary to have a supply of fuel and water at the rate of 4-5 liters per person, warm clothes and sleeping bags will come in handy. Tourists are advised to take road maps or download them to their devices, because. mobile communication in the desert is practically non-existent.

Where to stay

In Death Valley, tourists can stay for a few days. There are 10 open campsites in this US location, but not all are open year-round.

The information is presented in Table:

Camping Name Operating Mode Placement cost
Furnace Creekall year round22 $
SUNSET CampgroundOctober-April$ 14
Texas SpringsOctober-May$ 16
STOVEPIPE WELLSSeptember-May$ 14
Mesquite Springall year round14 $
Panamint Springsall year round10-65 $
WildROSeall year roundfor free
MAHOGANY FLATMarch-Novemberfree
THORNDIKEMART -Notorfor free
Emigrantall year roundfor free
Fiddler's Campall year round24 $
STOVEPIPE WELLS RV PARKall year round$ 40

Tourists need to be borne in mind that on weekends free spaces in campsites are quickly filled. You can book accommodation in Furnace Creek. Camping is designed not only for recreation in tents, but, first of all, to install mobile auto houses, their placement costs 40-80 $ / night depending on the conditions. All campsites work toilets, barbecue zones are arranged, drinking water is provided.

There are in Death Valley and hotels. Furnace Creek is a 5-star The Inn At Death Valley for 350 $ and 4-star The Ranch at Death Valley ($ 150). Hotel Furnace Creek Inn works only in the holiday season, accommodation costs from $ 100 to $ 200. Hotel in Panamint Springs will cost the same amount.

Interesting facts

Some visitors attribute the valley of death mystical properties, although the curious facts about this place are enough and without mysticism.

What an interesting thing happened in Death Valley:

  1. The temperature record of the Western hemisphere was recorded in the Death Valley in July 1913, it was + 56.7 ° C.
  2. In 2001, the temperature of + 38 ° C held 154 days in a row.
  3. Sometimes the desert blooms. It happens after abundant rains, such as in 2005
  4. it is believed that one of America's worst serial killers Charles Manson hidden on a ranch located in the depths of the valley.
  5. An athletic 2-day marathon is held annually by Death Valley. The length of the distance is 215 km, the participants start at the point of -86 m from the sea level (Badwater) and finish at an altitude of 2548 m above sea level on Grief Whitney. The race passes in the summer, on the hottest days.

One of the unique plates of the planet - Death Valley - looks unusually all year round. Tourists come for the sake of pleasure to admire multi-colored canyons and sand dunes, see sculptures from salt and bright oasis.

Travelers also attracts the fact that the valley more than once became a scenic platform. A unique nature as a scenery was used when shooting such films, like "Days in the Death Valley", "greed", "Star Wars", "Three Cross Father", "Robinson Cruzo on Mars". US National Park leaves unforgettable impressions.

Video about the valley of death in the USA

Interesting facts about the valley of death in the United States: