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Heading for Badwater in Death Valley National Park, California.
Death Valley National Park is something of a surprise. Firstly is a lot bigger than most could imagine - bigger than most of the USA's other parks, so don't take a drive lightly, especially if you choose the long, less travelled north/south route. There are also a number of steep mountain roads involved and air-con can play hell with your engine power and with the motor's ability to keep cool.
Badwater salt lake.
Secondly the scenery is a lot more diverse and attractive than you
would think, with mountains and rock outcrops in differing shapes
and hues, scrubby 'corn' rows, sand dunes, salt pinnacles and the
famous salt lake Badwater.
There's also a surreal mansion, Scotty's Castle, that's popular with tour groups, and a visitor centre at Furnace Creek.
Huge salt crystals make this water truly bad.
hottest place on the planet due to its location, elevation - a couple
of hundred feet below sea level - lack of water and greenery, Death
Valley averages 112F (45C) in summertime so if that's when
you visit, try to go in the early morning or late afternoon. Alternatively
spring and autumn will be a lot more user-friendly.
And don't forget to carry plenty of water!
Just the place for couple of old folk to go for a stroll, Gower Gulch in Death Valley.
Photo by Finetooth
Photo from from the western pass into Death Valley.
Actually only one person died here during the California Gold Rush of 1849, but mules stubbornly refused to drink the water and plenty of them went to that great pasture in the sky.
Death Valley is, of course, open all day, all year, but the visitor centre at Furnace Creek opens 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on California Highway 190. Furnace Creek is 30 miles from Death Valley Junction and 24 miles from Stovepipe Wells Village.
The main road crossing Death Valley from east to west is California Highway 190.
In east Nevada, U.S. Route 95 parallels the park from north to south with connecting highways at Scotty's Junction (State Route 267), Beatty (State Route 374), and Lathrop Wells (State Route 373).
The most direct route from Las Vegas goes via Pahrump, NV).
From the west, State Route 14 and U.S. Route 395 lead to Ridgecrest, CA where State Route 178 heads east into the park.
In the south, Interstate 15 passes through Baker, California on its way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. State Route 127 travels north from Baker to Shoshone and Death Valley Junction with connections to the park on State Route 178 from Shoshone and connection with California Highway 190 at Death Valley Junction.
GPS Navigation to sites to remote locations like Death Valley are notoriously unreliable. Numerous travelers have been directed to the wrong location or even dead-end or closed roads. Travelers should always carry up-to-date road maps to check the accuracy of GPS directions.
DO NOT DEPEND ONLY ON YOUR VEHICLE GPS NAVIGATION SYSTEM.