Death Valley is situated in the eastern region of California. It is one of the most brutal and extreme areas in the United States, in terms of temperature and lack of moisture. Death Valley is very hot and extremely dry. It is also low lying. A portion of the valley, Badwater, has the lowest elevation in the entire United States, at 282 feet below sea level. Interestingly, the highest point in the United States is located nearby, less than 90 miles away. ESE of Mount Whitney has an elevation of 14,505 feet, ranking it as the tallest point in the United States.
As mentioned above, Death Valley can get very hot. In the past, temperatures have risen to more 140 degrees Fahrenheit and successive 100 degree plus days aren’t unheard of. In fact, a little more than 10 years ago, the area had 154 consecutive days of temperatures reaching 100 degrees (or more) Fahrenheit, a rather impressive run if I say so myself!
Situated between both Nevada and California, near the famous Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Death Valley wouldn’t be an easy place to live, in large part, because of the aforementioned.
Death Valley is a generous 3,000 square miles and is home to Death Valley National Park, which is a draw for many visitors. One of the coolest things about Death Valley is the sand dunes. The area is known for its salt pans as well.
Death Valley has a rich and storied history. Native Americans, from the Timbisha Tribe, inhabited it. Before it was referred to as Death Valley, it was known as Panamint Shoshone, a name given by the natives. Today, some of Death Valley is still inhabited. Groups of people live in the various villages located throughout it
Death Valley was given its name in the 1840’s, courtesy of gold prospectors. The California Gold Rush brought people to the area from throughout the United States, all with the hope of striking it rich. Those in search of gold, begin to refer to the area as Death Valley. Apparently, traveling across it proved to be challenging, although not as dangerous as the name implies. Few people actually died attempting to cross the valley. However, the name still stuck.
It would soon be discovered that the valley had more to offer than sand tunes and extreme temperatures. Silver and gold was unearthed and extracted. Soon after, borax was discovered and likewise, extracted.
The eastern region of California is home to Death Valley. It is hot, dry and is low in terms of elevation. In fact, one part of the valley, the Badwater Basin, is the lowest point in North America. Situated between California and Nevada, the valley is about 280 feet below sea level. Death Valley National Park is located in the valley. It might make for a fun trip for the right person and/or group. Camping is an option for park visitors. There are also a number of inns and resort style accommodations, for those uninterested in roughing it. Guided tours are an option as well.