|A happy couple take in the breathtaking view from Zabriskie Point. |
Note the rare sight of water on the valley floor below the Panamint Range.
|Morning light in Golden Canyon|
In mid-November, Frank and I took a little detour off US Highway 395 in order to drive through part of Death Valley National Park. I had always wanted to visit there, so, since our itinerary was fairly loose, we hung a left at Lone Pine and drove east toward the Panamint Valley.
Prior to our visit, I had heard about flood damage in the area from what officials are calling a "one-thousand-year rainfall event" that had occurred a month earlier (video footage of the floods may be viewed here). So we weren't surprised to hear that road closures were going to make a good portion of the park - Scotty's Castle, the area south of Badwater, and Artists Drive for starters - inaccessible to us.
But the area is vast, and since we were only going to spend one night in the park, we decided to get a campsite at Furnace Creek and explore the nearby Golden Canyon/Gower Gulch loop trail the next morning.
Here are some images from our early morning walk in the canyon:
Flowing water over the eons sculpted these canyons in what is the hottest, driest part of North America. And evidence of the most-recent water event is preserved in mud - at least until the next rainfall washes it away.