Natural Soundscapes

Note: this page is a work in progress. Please enjoy the currently loaded content but not all features may be fully developed.

Quiet, by nature

Death Valley National Park's naturally dry landscape combined with the geography of the region and its remoteness make portions of Death Valley some of the most naturally quiet landscapes in the continental United States.

The natural soundscape at the park includes everything from wildlife to wind to the thunderstorms that occasionally visit the park during an active monsoon season. These natural soundscapes are important for the visitor experience and a resource essential for the survival and reproduction of wildlife.

 

A Map of Sounds

Interact with the map below to learn more about the soundscape of the park and hear the sound of coyotes singing, wind blowing sand grains, crackling salt flats, and even a waterfall in a desert oasis!

You can also learn how noise sources such as vehicles, aircraft, and other human-caused sound impacts the park's natural soundscape.
Recordings and photographs courtsey of Pieter Kaufman.

 
 

Protecting a Soundscape

Road noise is one of the most prolific sources of sound in NPS units across the country. In the naturally quiet environment of Death Valley noise from vehicles can spread deep into canyons and wilderness areas far away from the road itself! Illegal off-road driving also adds vehicle noise in areas that are supposed to be protected from mechanized travel.

In 2017 the park conducted a study to evaluate how different pavement types could reduce the impace of noise from roadways and further protect the park's naturally quiet soundscape.

The simulation below shows how loud the acoustic footprint of a car can be heard driving along the Badwater Road:

 
 

Last updated: April 14, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328

Phone:

(760) 786-3200

Contact Us