What an adventure!... ringing in 2017 with a camping trip inside Death Valley, formally known as Timbisha before European settlers arrived in the 1800's. This trip was for sure eye opening and very educational about desert live and those who still call this desert home.
So where did the name "Death Valley" come from? The name was coined by gold-seekers who passed through in 1849 and 1850. They had a difficult time, and as the survivors escaped over the Panamints (mountain range) one of them exclaimed, “Goodbye, Death Valley!”
Desert life is no picnic, yet the Timbisha Shoshones lived hear for hundreds of years and still do. In fact, in 2000 they became the first Native Americans to secure land rights inside a national park. This was an ongoing struggle and its unfortunate to hear the National Park was not as cooperative during that time period. Today, there seems to be more mindfulness and hopefully that relationship counties to mend and be more respectful.
Some fun facts:
- This desert holds the title as being the hottest place on earth, holding a record high of 134 degrees Fahrenheit.
- On average the desert sees about 2.0-3.0 inches of rain fall.
- There is life in the desert and they include microbes to mammals. Even the rare salt creek pupfish calls Death Valley home.
- Instead of finding gold and silver, Borax was the "white gold. In short Borax is a white mineral used in so many things, including our laundry detergent and I-phones glass covers.
- Death Valley is not a valley, in fact its a basin as it falls 282 feet below sea level. This is the lowest point in North America.
- During winter seasons you can see snow. What? That's right you can see snow along the high peaks of Death Valley. The tallest of them reaches around 11,000 feet above sea level.
- Best times to visit Death Valley is from December through January. You could even push February, yet after that, the temps begin to rise for the rest of the year.
Badwater basin Salt water flats
Driving to Death Valley
As a guest in this National Park and as a guest in the home of the Timbisha Shoshone please pick up after yourselves weather its a drive though the park, day hike or camping adventure. Besides being greeted by the "Welcome to Death Valley National Park" you'll see trash scattered near the sign as well. Plain and simple, clean up after yourself and be respectful.
With that, I wish you happy and safe travels!
Website: Death Valley