Hottest · Driest · Lowest · Death Valley National Park, California

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The Champion. Moving Rock on it’s track. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
 
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The Champion. Moving Rock on it’s track. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, California, USA. 

 

 
 

Hottest Driest Lowest
Death Valley National Park, California, USA.

Hottest, Driest, Lowest: A superlative desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons and three million acres of stone wilderness. Home to the Timbisha Shoshone and to plants and animals unique to the harshest deserts. A place of legend and a place of trial.  A Land of Extremes.

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DV1-MR0101 The Champion. Moving Rock on it’s track. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0102 Racing. Moving rocks and tracks on dry lake bad of Racetrack Playa. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0103 Chaos and order. Dry branch on the mosaic of interlocking polygons. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, California.
DV1-MR0104 Odd place, odd games… Jim Day and Ěichael Ěelford on NG assignment. The Grandstand, Racetrack Playa, Death Valley.
DV1-MR0105 Odd place, odd games… Jim Day and Ěichael Ěelford on NG assignment. The Grandstand, Racetrack Playa, Death Valley.
DV1-MR0106 5 O'Clock Tea ... ...in a middle of nowhere. Teakettle Junction, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0107 Teakettle Junction sign, adorned with tea kettles. Teakettle Junction, Death Valley National Park, California.
DV1-MR0108 Send graphic. Dry brush on the sand ripples. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0109 Light and shadow. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0110 Lines and ripples. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0111 S. Stovepipe Wells. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0112 Sand Dunes Haiku. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0113 Sand Dunes Haiku 2. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0114 Lost... Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0115 Sea of sand. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley national Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0116 Dusk elegy. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and Amargosa Range at dusk. Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0117 Is anybody home? Mud formations of ancient lake bad. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0118 Walking on the bottom. Mud formations of ancient lake bad. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0119 Sand dunes and mesquite bushes. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0120 High dune wave with Amargosa Range in the distance. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0121 Footprints in the sand. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0122 Flowing Sands. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0123 Footprints maker. Hikers on the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0124 Sensuous dune forms. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0125 Sand Waves. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0126 Sands and stones. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and Amargosa Range, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0127 Glowing dunes before sunrise. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and Amargosa Range, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0128 Mesquite Flats Sunrise. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and Amargosa Range, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0129 First light over Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes and Amargosa Range. Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0130 Gold on blue. Brush and sand ripples. Mesquite sand dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0131 Out of the blue. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0132 The Blue Blues. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0133 Blue abstract. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0134 Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.
DV1-MR0135 Raven flying over badlands. Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0136 Eroded badlands. Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0137 Self. Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0138 Badlands expense near Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0139 Zabriskie Point. Panoramic view of Manly Beacon, Badlands, Badwater Basin and Panamint Range from Zabriskie Point.
DV1-MR0140 Moonscapers. Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0141 Scotty's Castle. Grapevine Canyon, Death Valley National Park, California, USA
DV1-MR0142 Eureka Dune, south face. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0143 Eureka Dune and Last Chance Range. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0144 Eureka Dune and Last Chance Range after sunset. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0145 Joshua Tree. Outskirts of Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0146 Yucca Cactus at sunset. Outskirts of Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0147 Joshua Tree at sunset. Outskirts of Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0148 View toward Panamint Valley from California State Route 190. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0149 View toward Death Valley from California State Route 190. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0150 Barrage of bullets next 3 miles. California State Route 190, Death Valley, California. Barrage of bullets next 3 miles.
DV1-MR0151 Badwater Road under hazy skies. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0152 Salt pinnacles at Devils Golf Course. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0153 Salt flats at sunset. Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
DV1-MR0154 Hexagonal salt patterns at sunrise. Badwater, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
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Racetrack Playa is an almost perfectly flat dry lake bed nestled between the Cottonwood Mountains to the east and the Last Chance Range to the west.
It famous by its moving rocks.

Ěoving rocks, also known as sailing stones, mysteriously move across the surface of the Racetrack Playa, a seasonally dry lake (or playa) in the Panamint Mountains, Death Valley National Park. Most of the racetrack rocks originate from the nearby hillside of dark dolomite on the south end of the playa. As they move without human intervention, the rocks leave long tracks behind them, often tens of hundreds of feet and typically less than an inch deep. The rocks move once every two or three years and most tracks last for just three or four years. Rocks with rough bottoms leave straight striated tracks while those with smooth bottoms wander.

During periods of heavy rain, water washes down from the nearby mountain slopes onto the playa and form a shallow short-lived lake. Soon, the thin veneer of water evaporates and leaves behind a layer of soft slippery mud. As it dries the mud shrinks and cracks into a mosaic of interlocking polygons.

Geologists have long speculated on the explanations of this phenomenon. Most favor the idea that strong winds (nearing 90 mph) push the rocks along the playa’s muddy bottom left at the end of the rainy period. However, some of the stones are thought to be too heavy for the area’s wind to move. Some geologists maintain that ice sheets around the stones may help to catch the wind or move in ice flows. But both theories don’t explain how two rocks right next to one another can move in opposite directions or one can stay put while another three times its size doesn’t.

They have never been seen or filmed in motion...

Stovepipe Wells Area. Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes: Tawny dunes smoothly rising nearly 100 feet from Mesquite Flat. Late afternoon light accentuates the ripples and patterns while morning is a good time to view tracks of nocturnal wildlife. Moonlight on the dunes is magical.
The dunes are surrounded on all sides by surreal mountain ranges that - typical of many places in Death Valley - distort distance and depth perception. Immediately to the south is the Tucki Mountain complex. Behind it to the west are the Panamint Mountains, Death Valley’s highest range. To the east are the Grapevine Mountains and Funeral Mountains, which arguably provide the dunes’ most photogenic backdrop.

Zabriskie Point is a part of Amargosa Range located in Death Valley National Park in the United States noted for its erosional landscape. It is composed of sediments from Furnace Creek Lake, which dried up 5 million years ago — long before Death Valley came into existence. The name Zabriskie comes from Christian Brevoort Zabriskie, who in the early 20th century was the vice-president and general manager of the Pacific Coast Borax Company, whose famous twenty mule teams were used to transport borax from the company's mining operations in Death Valley.
Zabriskie Point is also the name of a 1970 movie by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, notable for its soundtrack featuring music by British band Pink Floyd and Jerry Garcia.

Scotty's Castle. Death Valley Scotty told everyone that he built this castle in northern Death Valley with money from his "secret" gold mine. That was not quite the truth. A Chicago millionaire and his wife built their "Death Valley Ranch" in the cool of Grapevine Canyon and they let their friend Scotty live there as a guest. 

Eureka Dunes. Between the Owens Valley and Death Valley, isolated and often overlooked Eureka Valley holds many surprises, chief among them the Eureka Dunes. The dunes, formerly known as the Eureka Dunes National Natural Landmark and administered by the BLM, were added to the expanded Death Valley National Park in 1994. The dunes occupy the site of an ancient lakebed, whose shoreline can be identified northeast...

Badwater. Beneath the dark shadows of the Black Mountains, a great, extraordinarily flat expanse of shimmering white spreads out before you. You are at Badwater, at -282 feet it is the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere. Step onto the trail and you'll see that the white expanse is made up of billions of crystals of almost pure table salt! As your feet crunch along the trail that leads onto the valley floor, you are walking on the salty remnants of a much greener, lusher time in Death Valley's relatively recent past.
Here at Badwater, significant rainstorms flood the valley bottom periodically, covering the salt pan with a thin sheet of standing water.

The Devil’s Golf Course is a curious assemblage of crystalline salt shapes spread over a large swath of the Death Valley salt pan. This saltpan, which is the lowest point in Death Valley National Park, and indeed the western hemisphere, holds a small amount of subsurface moisture. This water is extremely salty and briny, a result of the accumulation of minerals that were left behind when the 30-foot-deep Holocene-era lake disappeared (the accumulation continues with each year’s winter rains). Capillary action draws the subsurface moisture upward. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind salt crystals that form myriad fantastic shapes. The growth is quite slow, perhaps as little as one inch every 35 years. Wind friction and seasonal flooding of the area during winter storms erodes or reshapes the salt crystal forms, and the process continues.

Mojave Yucca is a 1-few-branched shrub that is sometimes almost tree-like with a trunk or thick stem that may not be apparent when the plant is young, and growing 3' to 15' tall.  The leaves are narrow, linear, and spreading in all directions from the stem, and they are wide-based and have stiff, yellow-green blades 12" to 60" long and 1" to 1-1/2" wide.  They are also tipped with terminal spines and have coarse fibers along the margins, which Yucca whipplei lacks.

The Joshua Tree, the largest of the yuccas, grows only in the Mojave Desert. Natural stands of this picturesque, spike-leafed evergreen grow nowhere else in the world. Its height varies from 15-40 feet with a diameter of 1-3 feet.  Mormon pioneers are said to have named this species "Joshua" Tree because it mimicked the Old Testament prophet Joshua waving them, with upraised arms, on toward the promised land.


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