Death Valley National Park

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Panamint Butte, Death Valley National Park, CA

Panamint Butte is best seen from the flats between Towne Pass and Panamint Springs along NV190, the main park road. Coyotes are often seen along this segment of the road, mostly because of irresponsible tourists who stop and feed them scraps. The Butte is a popular backcountry climb and there is wreckage from a WWII-era training plane that crashed into a steep hillside southwest of Towne Point.

©Rich Beckman

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Coyote, Death Valley National Park, CA

Coyotes are common throughout the park are are often seen begging along roadsides. We watched people feeding them scraps and baiting them with food for photographs. It will only lead to their demise, either as road kill or as pests. I sent the license plate number to the ranger in hopes that they ban these idiots from our national parks.

©Rich Beckman

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Golden Canyon, Death Valley National Park, CA

The gradual uphill gravel wash into Golden Canyon passes through a rocky narrows before opening into a colorful badlands capped by the fluted headwall of Red Cathedral. The wash continues for a mile to the upper canyon and then there is a ¼ mile scramble up to Red Cathedral. There are numerous valleys off the main wash that lead to colorful striated peaks and rocky outcrops that are worth exploring. (1/3)

©Rich Beckman

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Golden Canyon, Death Valley National Park, CA

The gradual uphill gravel wash into Golden Canyon passes through a rocky narrows before opening into a colorful badlands capped by the fluted headwall of Red Cathedral. The wash continues for a mile to the upper canyon and then there is a ¼ mile scramble up to Red Cathedral. There are numerous valleys off the main wash that lead to colorful striated peaks and rocky outcrops that are worth exploring. (2/3)

©Rich Beckman

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Golden Canyon, Death Valley National Park, CA

The gradual uphill gravel wash into Golden Canyon passes through a rocky narrows before opening into a colorful badlands capped by the fluted headwall of Red Cathedral. The wash continues for a mile to the upper canyon and then there is a ¼ mile scramble up to Red Cathedral. There are numerous valleys off the main wash that lead to colorful striated peaks and rocky outcrops that are worth exploring. (3/3)

©Rich Beckman

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Moonset, Natural Bridge Trail, Death Valley National Park, CA

The natural bridge in Natural Bridge Canyon is about .3 miles from the trailhead, although the mile-long trail also features faults, chutes and mud drippings. The 50-foot tall bridge created by differential erosion spans the width of the canyon. Continue past the bridge to see a long vertical dry chute from an ancient waterfall and a sloping green marble dry falls. (1/3)

©Rich Beckman

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Ravens, Natural Bridge Trail, Death Valley National Park, CA

The natural bridge in Natural Bridge Canyon is about .3 miles from the trailhead, although the mile-long trail also features faults, chutes and mud drippings. The 50-foot tall bridge created by differential erosion spans the width of the canyon. Continue past the bridge to see a long vertical dry chute from an ancient waterfall and a sloping green marble dry falls. (2/3)

©Rich Beckman

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Natural Bridge Trail, Death Valley National Park, CA

The natural bridge in Natural Bridge Canyon is about .3 miles from the trailhead, although the mile-long trail also features faults, chutes and mud drippings. The 50-foot tall bridge created by differential erosion spans the width of the canyon. Continue past the bridge to see a long vertical dry chute from an ancient waterfall and a sloping green marble dry falls. (3/3)

©Rich Beckman

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Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, CA

Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 ft. below sea level. There is a spring-fed pool near the road, but the accumulated salts make it undrinkable, thus the name Badwater. Repeated freeze/thaw and evaporation cycles gradually push the thin salt crust into hexagonal honeycomb shapes. The salt flats (Sodium Chloride) in Badwater Basin cover nearly 200 square miles. They receive an average rainfall of 1.9 inches, but that is easily overwhelmed by a 150-inch annual evaporation rate.

©Rich Beckman

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Lower Darwin Falls, Death Valley National Park, CA

Lower Darwin Falls is a waterfall located on the western edge of Death Valley National Park, just west of the settlement of Panamint Springs, California. The Falls is one of the only permanent fresh water sources in the park and water pipes line the trail. A spring-fed creek flows through the narrow canyon, allowing grasses, trees, and other forms of life that don’t exist in other parts of the park to flourish. The trail is not always clear and you can hear the Falls before you see them.

©Rich Beckman

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The Narrows, Titus Canyon, Death Valley National Park, CA

The hiking portion of Titus Canyon is usually limited to the slot canyon on the western end of a 27-mile four-wheel drive road that begins two miles east of Park Boundary Road. It climbs through Titanothere Canyon, over Red Pass, through the ghost town of Leadfield and past Klare Spring before entering the Narrows. (1/2)

©Rich Beckman

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The Narrows, Titus Canyon, Death Valley National Park, CA

The hiking portion of Titus Canyon is usually limited to the slot canyon on the western end of a 27-mile four-wheel drive road that begins two miles east of Park Boundary Road. It climbs through Titanothere Canyon, over Red Pass, through the ghost town of Leadfield and past Klare Spring before entering the Narrows. (2/2)

©Rich Beckman

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Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, CA

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are surrounded by mountains on nearly all sides. The area is easily accessible and has been used for several movies including films in the Star Wars series. The depth of the sand at its crest is 130–140 feet, actually small compared to other less accessible dunes in the park that have sand depths of up to 600–700 feet. In between many of the dunes are stands of creosote bush and some mesquite on the sand and dried mud, which used to cover the valley before the dunes intruded. (1/6)

©Rich Beckman

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Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, CA

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are surrounded by mountains on nearly all sides. The area is easily accessible and has been used for several movies including films in the Star Wars series. The depth of the sand at its crest is 130–140 feet, actually small compared to other less accessible dunes in the park that have sand depths of up to 600–700 feet. In between many of the dunes are stands of creosote bush and some mesquite on the sand and dried mud, which used to cover the valley before the dunes intruded. (2/6)

©Rich Beckman

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Bridal Photos, Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, CA

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are surrounded by mountains on nearly all sides. The area is easily accessible and has been used for several movies including films in the Star Wars series. The depth of the sand at its crest is 130–140 feet, actually small compared to other less accessible dunes in the park that have sand depths of up to 600–700 feet. In between many of the dunes are stands of creosote bush and some mesquite on the sand and dried mud, which used to cover the valley before the dunes intruded. (3/6)

©Rich Beckman

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Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, CA

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are surrounded by mountains on nearly all sides. The area is easily accessible and has been used for several movies including films in the Star Wars series. The depth of the sand at its crest is 130–140 feet, actually small compared to other less accessible dunes in the park that have sand depths of up to 600–700 feet. In between many of the dunes are stands of creosote bush and some mesquite on the sand and dried mud, which used to cover the valley before the dunes intruded. (4/6)

©Rich Beckman

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Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, CA

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are surrounded by mountains on nearly all sides. The area is easily accessible and has been used for several movies including films in the Star Wars series. The depth of the sand at its crest is 130–140 feet, actually small compared to other less accessible dunes in the park that have sand depths of up to 600–700 feet. In between many of the dunes are stands of creosote bush and some mesquite on the sand and dried mud, which used to cover the valley before the dunes intruded. (5/6)

©Rich Beckman

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Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, CA

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are surrounded by mountains on nearly all sides. The area is easily accessible and has been used for several movies including films in the Star Wars series. The depth of the sand at its crest is 130–140 feet, actually small compared to other less accessible dunes in the park that have sand depths of up to 600–700 feet. In between many of the dunes are stands of creosote bush and some mesquite on the sand and dried mud, which used to cover the valley before the dunes intruded. (6/6)

©Rich Beckman