Death Valley National Park

We made a last-minute getaway to escape the Bold North’s tundra winter by visiting Death Valley National Park. Dubbed “the hottest, driest and lowest national park” in the United States with the summer temperatures often exceed 120F, we went from temperature of 1F with wind chill of -20F to 80F where we had to swap out our winter coats for sunscreens. We spent 4 nights in Death Valley National Park and the remaining 2 nights in Las Vegas.

In Death Valley National Park, we covered several main attractions, most notably Zabriskie Point, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Golden Canyon, Mosaic Canyon and Badwater Basin. We also rented a Jeep for a day to get us to Racetrack Playa, one of the most remote places in the park surrounded by unforgivable terrains, to witness the “sailing rocks” phenomenon. At night, we spent our free time stargazing since Death Valley National Park is designated as the “Gold Tier” Dark Sky Park and the largest Dark Sky National Park in the country.

In Las Vegas, most hotels were beautifully decorated with Chinese “Year of the Dog” display. We spent our final night attending Sir Elton John’s brilliant “Million Dollar Piano” show, knowing that he would be ending his Las Vegas residency on May 2018.

Death Valley National Park
Sunset at Zabriskie Point.
5+ miles hike through Golden Canyon.
Sunset at Badwater Basin… the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 ft below sea level.
Stargazing at Zabriskie Point. The red circle is Andromeda Galaxy (M31), located approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth. It is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way.
2+ hours of very rough Jeep ride to Racetrack Playa, one of the most remote places in Death Valley National Park, to witness the “sailing rocks” phenomenon.
Light saber fights at Harmony Borax Works.
Layered rocks at Mosaic Canyon.
The very well preserved Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, constructed in 1877.
Stargazing at Mesquite Sand Dunes.
Epic “Million Dollar Piano” show by Sir Elton John.
Places we covered during the trip.

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