Death Valley National Park

Note: This blog post is part of a series documenting a late-May road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle. For other posts in this series, please head to the bottom of the page where links are located. Thanks for reading!


Named after – you guessed it – pioneers who lost their lives in the winter of 1850, Death Valley is legitimately the hottest place in the world. Every summer, temperatures reach upwards of 120° – and in 1913, hit 132°. Which, as you might guess, is the world record.

Sitting at 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin within the park is the lowest point in North America. The Basin welcome center was our first stop in the park after arriving from Los Angeles. We stopped to quickly refill our water bottles and headed towards our next stop as the sun set: Artist's Drive.

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My first impression of Death Valley? The lack of noise. It wasn't just quiet, either – the quiet I'm used to involves a breeze through the trees and a motorcycle off in the distance. This, this was different. It was deafening. The type of silence that makes your ears ring.

The photo above – a place appropriately called Artist's Palette, a stop within Artist's Drive – is one of my favorites taken within the park. We stood here for a while, atop a hill, overlooking the landscape and taking it all in. A moment in time I won't forget.

The next morning, the four of us got up for sunrise along the Mesquite Flats sand dunes. The experience in the sand dunes itself was great – I always wanted to explore in that type of desert landscape. Mix in the rising sun, the lack of people and the scenery around us...yeah. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Want to read more about the road trip? Check out the other posts below.

Yosemite National Park
Pacific Coast Highway
San Francisco
Oregon Coast