Did you know that Death Valley is the largest National Park in the contiguous United States? There are more than 3.3 million acres of wilderness in this park, with a wide range in topography and climate throughout its expanse.
On the Western side of the park you have the still snow-capped Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range which towers at 11,049 feet, and directly below that in the barren salt flats of Badwater you can find yourself at the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere – 282 feet below sea level. There are giant sand dunes and twisting canyons, hidden waterfalls and glorious wildflowers. This is a park that requires some time to see… unless you want to spend a lot of time driving. The scenery is barren but beautiful, arid but amazing.
This image is from Dante’s View, an overlook perched at 5,475 feet atop the Black Mountains. Looking north through the valley you can see the Panamint Range to the left, the Badwater Salt Flats and the Devils Golf Course through the heart of the valley, and the Funeral Mountains bordering California and Nevada to the right.
On this morning in late March, the wind was howling at about 40 mph, and the temperature was noticeably cooler than down in the valley. A magnificent vista of what is a surreal landscape.