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    Death Valley

    National Park CA,NV

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  • EXTREME SUMMER HEAT

    Expect high temperatures of 100 to 120 degrees F on your summer visit to Death Valley. Heat related illness is a real possibility. Drink plenty of water and carry extra. Avoid activity in the heat. Travel prepared to survive. Watch for signs of trouble. More »

  • Zabriskie Point Rehab Project Delayed Until Further Notice

    The popular vista site Zabriskie Point will be closed for major repairs over the 2014/2015 winter and spring seasons, but the exact date has not been determined. The site will remain open until further notice.

Nature & Science

Panamints-from-Badwater
The snow-capped Panamint Mountains rise more than 11,000 feet above the nation's lowest elevation, -282 feet Badwater Basin.
 
 

Research Permits
To apply for a scientific research and collecting permit, visit the NPS Research Permit and Reporting System website.

 

Death Valley: The name is forbidding and gloomy. Yet here you can find colorful badlands, snow-covered peaks, beautiful sand dunes, rugged canyons, the driest and lowest spot in North America, and the hottest in the world.

On any given summer day, the valley floor shimmers silently in the heat. For five months of the year unmerciful heat dominates the scene, and for the next seven the heat releases its grip only slightly. Rain rarely gets past the guardian mountains, but the little rain that does fall is the life force of the wildflowers that transform the desert into a vast garden.

Despite the harshness and severity of the environment, more than 1000 kinds of plants live within the park. Those on the valley floor have adapted to a desert life by a variety of means. Some have roots that go down 10 times the height of a person. Some plants have a root system that lies just below the surface but extends out in all directions. Others have leaves and stems that allow very little evaporation and loss of life giving water.

Wildlife has also learned to deal with the heat. Animals that live in the desert are mainly nocturnal. Night, the time of seeming vast emptiness, is actually the time of the comings and goings of innumerable small animals. Larger animals, such as the desert bighorn sheep, move to the cooler higher elevations.

With elevation gain, moisture increases until on the high peaks there are woodlands of juniper, pinyon pine, mountain mahogany, limber pine, and even bristlecone pine. In winter months, the peaks surrounding the valley are often snow-covered.

Included within the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve, Death Valley is an active world of contrasts and extremes. It is much more than its name.

Did You Know?

The MNesquite Dunes in Death Valley National Park

In 1917, Death Valley recorded 52 days with temperatures over 120 degrees and 43 consecutive days over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The original long hot summer. More...