Death Valley is a land of
extremes. It is one of the hottest places on the surface of the Earth with
summer temperatures averaging well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It
encompasses the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below
the level of the sea, and it is the driest place in North America with an
average rainfall of only 1.96 inches a year.
This valley is also a land of subtle beauties:
Morning light creeping across the eroded badlands of Zabriskie Point to
strike Manly Beacon, the setting sun and lengthening shadows on the Sand
Dunes at Stovepipe Wells, and the colors of myriad wildflowers on the
golden hills above Harmony Borax on a warm spring day.
Death Valley is a treasure trove of scientific
information about the ancient Earth and about the forces still working to
shape our modern world. It is home to plants, animals, and human beings
that have adapted themselves to take advantage of its rare and hard won
bounty. It is a story of western expansion, wealth, greed, suffering and
triumph. Death Valley is a land of extremes, and much more.