This morning we all packed a lunch, piled in two cars and off we went.
Our first stop was Devil’s Golf Course. It was named after a line in the 1934 National Park Service guide book to DVNM which stated “Only the devil could play golf on its surface”, due to a rough texture from the large salt crystal formations.
“This saltpan is one of the largest protected saltpans in North America. Salt continues to be deposited by recurring floods that occasionally submerge the lowest parts of the valley floor.
The valley was once covered by Lake Manly to a depth of 30 feet. The salt in the Devil's Golf Course consists of the minerals that were dissolved in the lake's water and left behind when the lake evaporated. With an elevation several feet above the valley floor at Badwater, the Devil's Golf Course remains dry, allowing weathering processes to sculpt the salt there into complicated formations.
Through exploratory holes drilled by the Pacific Coast Borax Company, prior to Death Valley becoming a national monument in 1934, it was discovered that the salt and gravel beds of the Devil's Golf Course extend to a depth of more than 1,000 feet. Later studies suggest that in places the depth ranges up to 9,000 feet.”
The boys - :
Our next stop was Badwater Basin which is the lowest point in North America:
We first had lunch and then took a Ranger Led Walk. Our guide was Jay Snow and he was FANTASTIC!!
Here is some info first:
This is the entrance to the basin. The smooth white area is that way because of the many people that walk out onto the salt flats. There were a few holes dug in that area. The holes then fill up with water. Jay explained that this valley is like a saturated sponge that can no longer absorb water - now isn’t that interesting!
Here is the pool - which is four times saltier than the ocean:
More photos of the valley:
This was really cool - check out those formations:
Up close and personal with the salt crystals:
WOW! We learned so much from Jay - so glad we did this guided walk.
Our next stop was the Artist’s Palette which I will continue in Part 2.