Death Valley, January 2013

We traveled once again to Death Valley in Southern California with our friends Jim and Susan. (See our trip pictures in Death Valley from December 2006.) 

Map of Death Valley National Park.

Click on the map above to see a larger version in a separate window.

To the left is a map of Death Valley showing it in relation to the Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada to the west.

Death Valley National Park, shaded in green, sits in the Mojave Desert in south-eastern California and western Nevada.  Badwater Basin in Death Valley is the lowest point in North America at 282 ft below sea level, and it is one of the driest since it sits in the rain shadow of several mountain ranges to the west.  About 75 miles to the west of Badwater Basin is the highest point in the Continguous 48 States, Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, at 14,505 ft above sea level.

Geologically, Death Valley is a graben, i.e. a drepressed block of land, between the two vertical fault scarps that formed the mountain ranges on either side, similar to the Owens Valley to the northwest; see our Owens Valley travelogue.   Both Death Valley and Owens Valley are within the Eastern California Shear Zone characterized by parallel strike-slip faults that formed the parallel and alternating mountain ranges and valleys that run roughly north-south.  Death Valley is framed by the Amargosa Range to the east and the Panamint Range to the west.  Further to the west, and running roughly parallel to these ranges, are the Inyo and the Sierra Nevada Ranges. (Map above by Bing; additional place names added by me.)

Map of Death Valley National Park.

Click on the map above to see a larger version in a separate window.

To the left is the central part of the Death Valley National Park map, ranging from Furnace Creek in the south to Ubehebe Crater in the north.

Unlike in 2006, we focused on those areas we saw in 2006 that we wanted to see again and explore in more detail, and avoided the more "touristy" regions.

We spent a day driving the length of the Titus Canyon Road from its beginning at Highway 374 west of Beatty (upper-right side of map) to its intersection with Highway 190 in Death Valley (upper-central part of map).

The second day we drove to the Racetrack, passing Ubehebe Crater (upper-left) and Teakettle Junction (center-left).  The Racetrack Playa is located just south of Teakettle Junction.

The third day we explored Mosaic Canyon (just west of Stovepipe Wells), Grotto Canyon (not shown on map, but located just to the east of Stovepipe Wells), and Echo Canyon (lower-right corner of map off of Highway 190).

(Map taken from the Death Valley National Park Map with some minor editing by me.)

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