Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    Zabriski Point is one of the most visited spots in <a href="http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm" target="external">California's Death Valley National Park</a> because it's an ideal lookout point for watching sunrises and sunsets against the golden, brown and black mudstone slopes. Although the park averages as little as 2 inches of rain a year, flash flooding from the rain creates the carved appearance of the mountains.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    These jagged formations on the valley floor known as "Devil's Golf Course" exemplify the harsh environment many people associate with Death Valley. The surface is crusted with salt crystals and other minerals that are deposited in the valley when it rains. On hot days, visitors may hear cracking or popping noises as the salt crystals expand and contract.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    Wild flower seeds can remain in the ground until they receive enough rain for them to bloom. Death Valley had abnormally high rainfall this winter, resulting in colorful spring flowers throughout the park.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    The "Racetrack" has puzzled geologists for years. Tracks in the dry lake bed suggest that large boulders, some weighing up to 700 pounds, slide across the flat surface. It's believed that rain changes the dry surface into a slippery, muddy consistency that allows wind to move the heavy rocks. Despite years of research, no one has ever witnessed the rocks move.
    Courtesy Bob Greenburg/National Park Service
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    <a href="http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/" target="external">The Furnace Creek Inn</a> is a stunning luxury hotel nestled in the heart of this desert park. Built in 1927 by a company mining in the area, this stunning desert oasis has hosted Hollywood movie stars and world leaders.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    Dante's View is a surreal and breathtaking overlook 5,000 feet above the valley floor of salt and minerals. The snowcapped Panamint Mountains are visible across the valley.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    Death Valley has a reputation for being the hottest and driest place in North America. During summer months, temperatures can reach up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    Built for $2 million during the Great Depression by a wealthy financier, Scotty's Castle is named for Walter Scott, a failed gold prospector who tried to convince people he'd built the elaborate home from money made from mining. This Spanish-style mansion is just one of the many man-made remnants of the park's rich mining history.
    Courtesy Bob Greenburg/National Park Service
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    The Mesquite Flat sand dunes stand 150 feet at their highest point, and they're nearly surrounded by mountains. Easily explored on foot, the dunes are popular spot with visitors who expect to see sand in a desert national park.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. Thousands of years ago, the basin was the site of a lake. All that remains today is the thick surface layer of salt that almost resembles snow. Geometric patterns form on the surface when salt crystals build up in mud cracks and expand as temperatures heat up.
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    Iron and other minerals found in the mountains of Death Valley stain the rocks dazzling shades of blue, green, red, brown and black. The best example of this is found at this picturesque spot called "Artist's Palette."
    Kate Santichen/ABC News
  • Death Valley Slideshow

    Ubehebe Crater is a 3,000-year-old volcanic crater within the park. A steep trail allows visitors to hike 500 feet to the bottom of this geological wonder.
    Courtesy Bob Greenburg/National Park Service
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