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Death Valley

Death Valley

 

 

Location: Eastern California  Map

 

 

 

Description of Death Valley

Death Valley is situated in the Eastern California within borders of the Mojave Desert. Despite its grim name this endless expanse of land draws thousands of tourists annually to view landscapes that have no equals anywhere else in the World. Death Valley is intermountain basin in the west of the US state of California bordered by Telescope Peak in the West and Dante's View in the East. It is also the lowest point in North America at 86 meters below sea level. On July 10, 1913 the highest temperature on Earth was recorded at 56.7 Celsius. National park that protects this unique biosphere covers 3.3 million acres, making it the largest park in the United States. Its grim name of Death Valley was given by early American immigrants who crossed it in 1849 who crossed these barren lands to get to the gold mines of California. Many settlers remained here forever.
 
One of the most unique features of the Death Valley are so called "sailing stones". These are boulders of various sizes that seem to move on their own, leaving behind long visible tracks. Some stone measure as much as half a ton in weight. First such "sailing stones" were recorded in the early 20th century, however it took decades to figure out the reason for such seemingly miraculous movement. The explanation is rather simple and quiet materialistic. At night upper layers of the sand of the Death Valley freeze and form a thin layer of ice. Winds that blow through Death Valley "push" boulders across ice thus propelling it forwards.

 

 

 

Fees and permits

A seven-day pass with unlimited re-entry is $30 for a standard vehicle (car, truck or van) and $15 for each individual traveling on foot, motorcycle, or bicycle.

There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national parks including Death Valley National Park:

The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass.
4th graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Park website is required.
In 2018 the National Park Service will offer four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day weekend).

Unlike other national parks, few of the roads into Death Valley National Park have road-blocking ranger-manned fee booths. You are expected to pay the entrance fee though, and there are automatic kiosks at several places in the park.

 

 

 

 

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