Situated in the U.S.A., Death Valley derived its name during the gold rush that took place between 1848 and 1849, a time when hordes of pioneers journeyed to the west full of hope. In the seemingly never ending and merciless hot desert valleys, many frequently lost their cattle, their wagons and some even lost their lives. During the summer months, the temperatures in Death Valley often exceed 45º C (113º F).
A closer look confirms that Death Valley is an arid, desolate desert valley in which any visit should be treated with respect as the severe, unforgiving heat can prove fatal to those who travel unprepared.
Badwater is the deepest point in the western hemisphere and is located 86 metres below sea level. The area that contains the so called ‘bad water’ is on the border of a wide salt lake of which the water content is tantamount to a small pool. In a wide valley close to Badwater, in the region of the Panamint Mountains, there’s a further major attraction, The Devil's Golf Course, on which bizarre crystal formations cover large areas of a dried out ocean.
Around 1,000 A.D., the ancestors of the Shoshone Indians settled in this region, their largest village having been located at what is known today as Furnace Creek.
One of the most famous and certainly most photographed areas in Death Valley is the hill range of Zabriskie Point, undoubtedly the most beautiful and spectacular observation point in the unique rock and desert landscape of Southwest California.
Scotty's Castle was the inspiration of two men from Chicago, an insurance millionaire named Albert Johnson and a legendary gold digger, Walter Scott. During the 1920s, they built a magnificent hacienda that cost over 1.5 million dollars and today it provides an atmospheric impression of the realization of an incredible dream.
Even today, the timeless and breathtaking scenery of Death Valley continues to turn the famous myths and legends of the ‘Wild West’ into amazing reality.