The lowest point, the hottest place, Death Valley… I visited in mid-July and it was hot, it was so hot that even at night it was in the high 80’s. I wanted to experience the high summer heat and also see the night sky, which Death Valley is famous for. Seeing the Milky Way was worth the trip alone.
We started the drive from LA and drove on some remote areas, but surprisingly there was lots of cell phone reception.
There were a few fun sections, that are fun to drive.
The only car for miles…
There was a sand storm…
And we drove into it. At one point we could not see a thing.
The first stop was Badwater Basin. The lowest point in North America. Try to find the sign on the cliff, that is sea level.
The basin are salt flats. When I went the wind was so strong that it was hard to stand still. From the platform there is a salt flat path that leads out to the larger salt flat basin, but the wind was to hot and strong that I could not venture too far out. The water in my bottle was VERY warm by the time I got back to the car.
After Badwater Basin, I drove up to Artist Drive, a short one way drive filled with naturally colored neon rock formations. The colors are bright and worth a detour.
I got out once to take a picture but it was just too hot. The rest of the drive was viewed from the inside the car with the AC on full blast. The iPhone pictures do not do this place justice, it has to be seen.
Last stop before checking in the hotel, was the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Made famous by the Star Wars move scenes, the sand dunes can be seen from far away. I wanted to walk into the dunes, but again it was just too hot to go too far. So a picture from far, far away.
As the sun sets, it was time to checkin to the hotel to cool off, but the power went out and lost all air conditioning. So they told everyone to go into the swimming pool to cool off. I went in the water too cool off, then the warm wind would heat everyone up again.
Waiting for the sunset to see the Milk Way. Famous for its night sky, I was able to see more stars than I can ever remember. Even the stardust along the Milky Way was very clear.
I was not able to capture the stars with my phone camera. One thing that surprised me was that there was a corner with a light orange glow, like a sun that never sets. I was told that that was Las Vegas.
I stayed at the Stovepipe Wells Hotel, the rooms are standard, very standard, nothing special. The air conditioner and power come back on at midnight.
Near the hotel Mosaic Canyon is an easy short hike, but again in the summer heat, best to keep the walk short.
Death Valley is beautiful, the heat is something to be experienced and the night sky is hypnotic. I can’t wait to go back.