When you think of Death Valley National Park, you probably imagine a scorching desert, but there is much more to this incredibly beautiful park. The landscape is full of beautiful, rugged sand dunes, and the surrounding area is home to a wide variety of wildlife. It is also an excellent place for camping, hiking, and enjoying the scenery.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are among the most popular dune fields in Death Valley National Park. You can find them near Stovepipe Wells and Highway 190. They are a great place to watch a sunset or to take a hike in the early morning hours.
In addition to the scenic landscape, these dunes are a great habitat for wildlife. Many animals, such as rattlesnakes, snakes, and birds, reside in the area. Also, visitors can see rare species, including Shining Milkvetch, which is a rare, endangered plant.
Aside from their natural beauty, these dunes are also a great destination for adventurers. Sandboarders can take advantage of the smooth surfaces of taller dunes. However, sandboarding is very difficult to do on a desert day, and sandboards are recommended to wear sunscreen and bring more water than they think they will need.
Badwater Basin is one of the most visited places in Death Valley National Park. This endorheic basin, or “salt pan,” is located in the southern part of the park. The basin is made up of 200 square miles of salt flats.
Visitors to the basin can explore the salt flats on foot. A boardwalk leads to a small lake. On the lake, there are many different organisms, including aquatic insects and larvae.
The basin also offers visitors a great opportunity to see the Milky Way. Many people opt to come in during the evening. During the day, the weather can get extremely hot.
The best time to visit Badwater Basin is in the spring and fall. You should also take advantage of the super bloom in spring. During the winter months, the area becomes a bit cooler.
Lake Manly is one of the largest underground reservoirs in the world. It’s located in Death Valley National Park. The reservoir is fed by Salt Creek.
Lake Manly was created by the glacial advance of the Ice Age. Water from the melting glaciers flooded into a series of low-lying basins. This led to the formation of the present salt pan. However, Lake Manly was the largest freshwater lake in Death Valley for two periods.
During the last Ice Age, Lake Manly covered most of Death Valley. It was about 100 miles long and 600 feet deep. In the early Holocene, the water level of the lake dropped. Eventually, it dried up.
When the ice melted, the Lake Manly salt pan was formed. Its composition is unique, in that it is comprised of minerals rather than sulfates.
Charcoal Kilns in Death Valley National Park are a unique human-made relic of the 19th-century mining past. These kilns are one of the best-preserved kilns in the West.
They are situated in the upper reaches of Wildrose Canyon within Death Valley National Park. The kilns are 25 feet tall and were built in 1877. During their brief period of use, the kilns produced charcoal that was used to power two lead/silver smelters.
Charcoal was more suitable for smelters because it melted slower than wood. It also created greater heat for refining ores. As such, it was used extensively in mining districts of the West.
The kilns were built to serve the needs of the Modock Consolidated Mining Company. At the time, the company was mining silver in the Argus Range and needed a reliable source of charcoal for the furnaces.
There are many species of wildlife found in Death Valley National Park. They include birds, reptiles, and mammals. Some of the more common animals include jackrabbits, coyotes, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep.
The Death Valley national park protects more than 3 million acres of the Mojave Desert. Its diverse habitats range from sand dunes to pines and Joshua trees. Many plants are also found in the park.
A number of species are native to the area. These include the desert’s big horn, which can live for months without water. Bighorn sheep have concave elastic hooves and great eyesight.
Other animals that are found in the park are the chuckwalla, which is one of the largest lizards in the world. Chuckwallas are well camouflaged and can survive in areas with large rocks and boulders. This lizard is also herbivorous and eats the soil.