The immense size and harsh extremes of the fascinating Death Valley never fail to surprise its visitors. Spread over 3.3 million acres, this is the hottest, lowest and driest place in America. The lowest point at Badwater Basin is 86 metres below sea level, with summer temperatures peaking over 50°C and an average rainfall of about 2 inches per year!
If you want to get out of the car to explore or take a quick photo, best avoid the months of July and August (unless you’re prepared to venture out at dusk or dawn!) Death Valley has many points of interest, from rocks that seemingly move by themselves, through to silky, ‘shifting’ sand dunes, unmissable sunrises at Zabriskie Point, jagged salt flats at the Devils Golf Course and the picturesque Artist’s Palette, where the rocks are gorgeous pinks, yellows, golds and greens.
A great way to explore this amazing desert is on a guided tour, but you can easily venture out by yourself too. Always start out at the visitors centre and be sure to take plenty of water out with you.