Sitting and thinking about what to do in Las Vegas, I suddenly recalled about my friend who once mentioned this place called Death Valley. So I started to google on it and prepared myself for the trip to Death Valley, which is few miles past Nevada/California border.
We(me and my parents who are here for vacation) started very early in the morning around 12 PM and reached there around 2:45 PM, which was a continuous drive without any breaks. The only place where I had to slow down the speed a bit is in a city named Pahrump where everyone was driving even below the speed limit. Sooner I entered into a land of nowhere and started to lose my mobile network. Since the map was already on, that somehow stayed. There were no companions driving with me, we were all alone on the road and after like 40 mins I saw a couple taking pics in front of the Death valley national park board. It confirmed me that there are people there to visit this place along with me and so I stopped there for a quick picture and then resumed my drive.
It was a shallow road in between the mountains of different shapes and colors to reach ‘Dante’s View’. With the no mobile network I literally had no clue where I was going. So I just trusted the roads and went straight up to a totally astonishing view of the Death Valley. The tense, the effort, and the driving all were worth it. You can still walk up the hill and get more better view but the view from the parking lot was itself more satisfying and my parents were not ready to walk with me up the hill. So I had start and move on to the next location.
On the way from Dante’s View to Zebriskie point
So as and when we drove we saw different types of mountains, in shapes and also in colors. One such is the place where it started to look like hardened sand dunes, where we stopped and got amazed by yellow colored rocks, which was most supposedly limestone. Then we drove for 0.5-1 mile and found a spot where people had their cars parked in a small neatly maintained parking lot. After parking I walked on a steep road to see what is there. Its called as the ‘Zebriskie point’, which is a vast land of volcano residues which got hardened in the past millions of years. The stripe patterns on them got created due to rainfall and water flowing on those mountain like formations.
We drove down the path where we came and took a left which said ‘Furnace Creek’ and after few miles down south there comes the Devil’s Golf, Bad water Basin and the Artist’s drive. Bad water Basin is the lowest point with 277 fee below the sea level and its a lake which is surrounded by mountains but you might not get to see any water but just salt which makes it look like a huge white floor, perfect for photography. On the way back from Bad water Basin, we took a left into the muddy road and ended up at the Devil’s golf. It is a huge area of salt crystals which looks like large amount dusts spread over a huge flat land area. These crystals are really hard and sharp, so better watch yourself when you go inside.
It was getting dark by the time we finished seeing all these places and since I had to head back to Vegas that evening, I started driving back thinking that I would come back here again one day and spend more time in exploring. Its mentioned that you can get a good look at the night’s sky if you plan to stay overnight and see the spectacular view. This place also has a number of hiking spots which is good for Hikers or you can just drive around admiring the beauty of the valley and the canyons.
I went on a December and felt that it was okay with the climate, it was just a bit chill. As per other sources it seems like it should be super hot during summer. So if your going to visit, plan during the early winter or end of winter which would give you more time to stay and explore without getting dehydrated. Nevertheless, carry some water, food, mobile or camera with full battery and a GPS (if that may work).
You can plan your trip to Death Valley by looking up in this link – Death Valley