Natural wonder: Death Valley National Park

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As North America’s driest, hottest and lowest place, Death Valley has an eerily beautiful desert landscape you won’t find anywhere else.

While other parts of the U.S. are still shoveling snow off their sidewalks this spring, April will bring triple-digit temperatures to the largest national park in the continental U.S.: Death Valley. With a name like Death Valley, you might wonder why anyone would dare trek into this 120-mile stretch known for its barren expanses and extreme weather. Here, less than two inches of annual rain create a national park filled with vast sand dunes, salt flats and mountains seemingly devoid of life, but Death Valley is also a beautiful example of nature’s extremes. As North America’s driest, hottest and lowest place, Death Valley has an eerily beautiful desert landscape you won’t find anywhere else.

A close-up shot of the highway running through Death Valley (Image: jesse?)
A close-up shot of the highway running through Death Valley (Image: jesse?)
Wildflowers bloom in Death Valley (Image: Jim Staley used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Wildflowers bloom in Death Valley (Image: Jim Staley used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
The sweeping expanse of Death Valley (Image: RickC)
The sweeping expanse of Death Valley (Image: RickC)
A close-up shot of the arid ground at Death Valley (Image: robad0b used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
A close-up shot of the arid ground at Death Valley (Image: robad0b used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
The extreme heat in Death Valley creates expansive salt flats like this one (Image: gamillos used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
The extreme heat in Death Valley creates expansive salt flats like this one (Image: gamillos used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point (Image: szeke used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point (Image: szeke used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
The salt flats of Death Valley (Image: aprillynn77)
The salt flats of Death Valley (Image: aprillynn77)
The salt flats of Death Valley (Image: vkurland)
The salt flats of Death Valley (Image: vkurland)
The sand dunes of Death Valley (Image: jitze)
The sand dunes of Death Valley (Image: jitze)
Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point (Image: szeke used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point (Image: szeke used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

  (Main image: Paxson Woelber)

Natural wonder: Death Valley National Park was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.