Tall Tales From The Field

Death Valley’s Badwater Basin

Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, is a landscape of extremes.  Extreme temperatures, extreme elevation changes and extreme dryness.  Because the basin is at an elevation of 282 feet below sea level,  the average high temperature in July is 116 degrees F.  The highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 degrees at Death Valley in 1913.  Little wonder that I and most others visit during the winter months.

Badwater is surrounded by soaring peaks and eroded sandstone formations.  Snow-covered Telescope Peak,  standing at 11,049 feet, is quite a contrast to the salt flats at Badwater Basin. The salt flats are approximately 200 square miles in area and are formed when rain flushes minerals from the nearby hills and mountains to the flats of Badwater. The high heat and dryness ( DV only receives 2 inches of moisture annually) evaporates everything except the salt.

 

Passing storm clouds filter sunlight on the landscape at Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

The salt flats at Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Passing storm clouds filter sunlight on the landscape at Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Passing storm clouds filter sunlight on the landscape at Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

A lone coyote at Death Valley's Badwater Basin

You wonder how this lone coyote survives in this environment.

 

The salt flats at Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Passing storm clouds filter sunlight on the landscape at Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Passing storm clouds filter sunlight on the landscape at Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

The salt flats of Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Passing storm clouds filter sunlight on the landscape at Death Valley National Park, California

 

 

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6 responses

  1. Great photos. Do companies collect salt from there aT all ?

    Like

    February 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM

    • Thanks Katelon. Before Death Valley became a national park, companies were mining the natural resources in the area including salt, copper and borax. Now it is illegal to take anything away from a national park

      Liked by 1 person

      February 15, 2017 at 2:08 PM

  2. Amy

    Amazing landscape! Great shots!

    Like

    February 15, 2017 at 4:56 PM

  3. Being there must be hell on the skin and eyes. I’m feeling parched just reading this! Love the the multi-colored hills, such amazing geological history laid bare.

    Like

    February 15, 2017 at 6:14 PM

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