A few shots from Death Valley. The warmth later in the week while I was there was really enjoyable, especially since now two weeks later the dreary drizzle and cold is the most winter we’ve had all winter!
See also Back from Death Valley for a fwe more shots.
Be sure to drive (and hike) in 20 Mule Team Canyon. One of the best short drives in the entire park. Don’t just race on by to overvisited places like Badwater.
Campers whose vehicles can’t handle the 4WD canyon road (awesome drive or MTB ride!) hang out at the outlet of Cottonwood Canyon. I’m glad of this, as it means I get the canyon almost entirely to myself.
The geology of Death Valley affords ample opportunity to make that alone the focus of the trip (I did not). Layered rocks, synclines and anticlines and twisted combinations, obvious earthquake faults, metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks. Cool stuff.
The terraces running roughly parallel across basaltic Shoreline Butte are the ancient wave-carved shoreline from Pleistocene Lake Manly, only 10,000 years ago, back when the surrounding mountains were heavily glaciated. The lake was 90 miles long, 6-11 miles wide and up to 600 feet deep! Created from glacial-melt spillage from Panamint from spillage from Searles Lake from etc. This year Badwater (its low point) was only a salt pan.