Death Valley National ParkDeath Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park encompasses mountain-sized sand dunes, below-sea-level salt flats, and colourful wildflowers and sandstone canyons. The park is the hottest and driest place in America, with summer temperatures peaking above 49°C, and an average rainfall of 5 cm per year. Also extreme are the park’s elevations: Badwater Basin, the park’s lowest spot, rests at 282 feet/86 metres below sea level while Telescope Peak soars to 11,049 feet/3,368 metres.
You don’t want to miss Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, when early morning light accents the dunes’ many contours and ripples. Another must-see is Zabriskie Point and Golden Canyon, where every imaginable shade of gold is visible in the wrinkled cliffs, whose layers glow at sunrise and sunset. Pick your favourite perspective: drive to Zabriskie Point and survey the scene from on high, or see the vibrant beauty up close by hiking in Golden Canyon.
Insider tip: spring is the best time to spot rare wildflowers in the park.