Death Valley National Park
Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984. In 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association.
About Death Valley National Park in brief
Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984. At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin on Death Valley’s floor is the second-lowest depression in the Western Hemisphere. In 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association. The valley is actually a graben with the oldest rocks being extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. A group of European Americans, trapped in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California, gave the valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly. There are parallel strike-slip faults that perpendicularly bound the central extent of Death Valley. This topographic relief is the greatest elevation gradient in the United States and is the terminus of the Great Basin’s southwestern drainage.
Although the extreme lack of water in the Great basin makes this distinction of current use of the park of little practical use, it does it mean it does not mean that wetter times that once filled Death Valley were saturated in the region, meaning the salt pans are among the largest in the world. At 85 miles west of Mount Whitney, only Mount Whitney rises to 14,505 feet to 14505 feet, the highest elevation in the U.S. Death Valley is one of the few national parks in the western United States that does not rely on water from other sources for its water supply. It is also the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks of any kind in the US. The highest point in the park is the Badwater basin, which is 282 feet below sealevel. The lowest point in Western Hemisphere is at Mount Whitney at 282 feet at its lowest point at its ‘lowest point’ The park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It was declared a national park in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national Park in 1994. It includes Death Valley, the northern section of Panamint Valley and the southern section of Eureka Valley, and most of Saline Valley. Both valleys were formed within the last few million years and both are bounded by north–south-trending mountain ranges.