Furnace Creek Campground Temporary Closure
Furnace Creek Campground will be CLOSED for construction starting April 16, 2013. Texas Springs Campground will remain open for summer camping in the Furnace Creek Area. More »
Scotty's Castle Fire Closure
Due to a fire at Scotty's Castle on May 20, the Scotty's Castle Visitor Center is closed, tours are cancelled, and power and phones are out. The road through Grapevine Canyon is closed. The castle may re-open on Tuesday May 28.
The salt flats in Badwater Basin cover nearly 200 square miles, among the largest protected salt flats in the world.
Salt flats are too harsh for most plants and animals to survive, yet are quite fragile. Delicate crystals are easily crushed and the relatively thin upper crust of salt can break through to the mud layer below, leaving tire tracks and even footprints. For this reason, vehicles are prohibited off established roads in Death Valley.
What causes salt flats?
Sodium Chloride—better known as table salt—makes up the majority of salts on Badwater Basin. Other evaporative minerals found here include calcite, gypsum, and borax.
Did You Know?
In 1929, no rain was recorded in Death Valley, California. From 1931 through 1934, a 40 month period, only 0.64 inches of rain fell. More...