Thriving in a Land of Extremes
Death Valley is a superlative outdoor classroom. Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, on the edge of the Great Basin, Death Valley is the hottest, driest, lowest place in North America. We are a world-renown locality for geologic study, and a laboratory where organisms demonstrate adaptations to physically extreme conditions. From the salts of Badwater Basin, at 282 feet below sea level, to snow-kissed Telescope Peak at 11,049 feet, the park offers nearly infinite opportunities for natural science study.
Humans have subsisted in this landscape for millennia. Petroglyphs from thousands of years ago grace stone faces, while the contemporary Timbisha Shoshone continue to harvest the seeds of the mesquite and pinyon trees in the tradition of their ancestors. Thousands of abandoned mine shafts and adits hint at the tumultuous cycle of scam, boom, and bust that perpetuated across the Death Valley region well into the 20th Century. An elaborate Spanish-style mansion beckons visitors with tall tales of wealth and mystery at Scotty's Castle. Our tapestry of human history provides a rich opportunity for social studies and language arts learning.
We welcome you to explore Death Valley with your students. You can plan and guide your own trip, or work with our Education Specialist to arrange for ranger-led, standards-based day programs. Mild temperatures prevail during most of the school year, so plan your field trip to Death Valley today! If you can't visit us, we can come to you. Check out our guest speaker program, or explore our Virtual Museum Collections.