happyrock
3 years ago5,000+ Views
USA Natural Wonder: Death Valley, CA
Death Valley is one of the USA's most amazing natural wonders. Depending on the season, amazing surprises can be found at every turn. Death Valley is known as the hottest, driest and lowest area in North America. This park covers more than 3 million acres of the Mojave Desert, and includes a very diverse topography. The Badwater Basin sits at 282 feet below sea level, and Telescope Peak reaches a soaring 11,049 feet. One wonder of this park, seen in image 1, is the trails left behind by boulders that seemingly "float" along, leaving trails. No one has ever seen these boulders actually move, but scientists believe that when the rocks or ground is icy, strong winds move the boulders in such small ways that they leave these trails behind over time. Even though the park is open year round, you should plan your trip more accordingly! From May to October, temperatures can rise above 120 degrees from May to October. During the first two weeks of March, an amazing field of blooms (see image 4!) can blanket several hundred acres with colors like sunshine-yellow desert gold and violet-and-red desert fivespot. And that’s in an average year. If it rains more consistently in the winter, the flowers will be even more widespread. In the best year, blooms can exceed 100,000 acres. To see these flowers, park at the Titus Canyon Mouth parking area to access a six-mile out-and-back trail into Fall Canyon, a shady slot that nourishes notch-leaf phacelias and endemic Death Valley sage. Go north along the base of the mountains for .5 mile, then turn into the mouth. Hike another 2.5 winding miles through the crevice to a 35-foot dry falls (scramble the right side to access narrows beyond). Find daily bloom updates at nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit! Photo credit: (1) Trey Ratcliff (2) Pedro Szekely (3) Gleb Tarassenko
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I have still never been to Death Valley, but I'd love to see it. I just worry about how many people hike there unprepared for the elements! Its called Death Valley for a reason!
3 years ago·Reply
@caricakes Indeed!! There are definitely hiker friendly areas, and ways to be safe, but you have to be careful :)
3 years ago·Reply
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