Odds and Ends from Death Valley NP…

I had a few odds and ends from our recent trip to Death Valley NP that I thought I would share.   I hope you enjoy the pictures and notes from each:


Ashford Mill was our first stop in Death Valley NP.   It was notable for that reason.   We were really excited to get out of the car.


We had an interesting encounter with a strangely friendly coyote on Hwy 178 in the southern portion of the park.   We stopped so we wouldn’t hit it, and it then tried to follow us down the road.   We joked that it was either Wile E. Coyote dazed from one of his crashes or more likely folks had been feeding him and he was now mostly tame.


Badwater Basin is a real highlight of Death Valley NP.   It is amazing how far out the salt flat extends.   The juxtaposition between the valley floor and the snowcapped Telescope Peak is breathtaking.


The Devils Golf Course is an odd feature very near Badwater Basin.   The sign says these features were formed by wind and rain.   They are surprisingly high, maybe 12-18 inches off of the ground.


Close up picture of the salt crystals at The Devils Golf Course.


This panoramic picture from Dante’s View doesn’t do the actual view justice.  Get up here at sunrise or sunset for amazing views.


The Ubehebe Crater area is a must see at Death Valley.   This series of volcanic craters dating back about 2000 years is a fun place to hike.   You can easily access each of the craters in this area by a series of trails.   I think this crater pictured is of Little Ubehebe Crater.   The largest crater (Ubehebe) is 1/2 a mile across and 500 feet deep.


The long road leaving away from Stovepipe Wells heading west.  

If you enjoyed this, please take a look at several of our “Sunday Hikes” features from our time in Death Valley NP.    Thank you!  rk








This is why we can’t have nice things…

During our recent visit to Death Valley National Park (March 10-11, 2017), we saw what appeared to be a van stranded out in the middle of the salt flat at Badwater Basin.   Badwater Basin is known as the lowest point in North America, but is also a giant salt flat that must be seen to be appreciated.   The van appeared to be stranded about 3/4 of a mile or so into the salt flat with tracks left behind in the salt.  The next morning we went up to Dante’s Peak and got an aerial view of the damage to the salt flat.  Unfortunately, this visible damage will take years to recover.


This picture of the vandalism isn’t the best, but was taken from the top of Dante’s Peak the following morning.   This picture also shows the size of the salt flat.

This is just the latest in National Park vandalism that has occurred in recent years.   Just last year, the Racetrack portion of Death Valley NP was vandalized by a rampaging tourist in an SUV.   Also in recent years, we have had names etched into iconic arches in Arches NP, Canadians walking on the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone NP, and street art sprayed onto multiple buildings and rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park among many other acts of vandalism.

There have even been serial vandals like the Casey Nocket who tagged the message “Creepytings” in eight National Parks including Crater Lake NP, Zion NP, and Yosemite NP, among others and then posted the vandalism on social media.   She was caught due to her stupidity and fortunately prosecuted.  rk