Death Valley 2017

Death Valley is a place of extremes

The largest National Park south of Alaska, Death Valley, is known for extremes. It is North America’s driest and hottest spot (with fewer than two inches (5 cm) of rainfall annually and a record high of 134°F (57°C).  And has the lowest elevation on the continent – 282 feet (86 m) below sea level.

Who established Death Valley?

Death Valley was named by gold seekers who undertook to cross this desolate region in 1849 on their way to the California goldfields. The Valley yielded gold and silver in the 1850s, and in the 1880s, Borax was discovered and taken out by mule-drawn wagons.

Why is the name Death Valley?

Death Valley was given its forbidding name by a group of pioneers lost in the winter of 1849-1850. Paiute Indians attacked them at the bottom of Death Valley. They chose to kill their oxen, burn their wagons to cure the meat, and head west on foot. Thirteen died in transit, though the rest succeeded in reaching California. As the party climbed out of the Valley over the Panamint Mountains, one of the men turned, looked back, and said, “goodbye, Death Valley.” This name and the story of The Lost 49ers have become part of American Western history.

What is the use of Borax?

Borax is well known as an ingredient in high-efficiency laundry detergents, but its most important modern use is in the production of fiberglass and borosilicate glass. Boron can strengthen, toughen, and make fire-resistant glasses, metals, wood, and fibers; over three hundred high-tech products use it. A few of its uses are as crucial components of soldering flux, welding rods, wood and fabric preservatives, fire retardant, insecticides, pottery glaze, antiseptics, and experimental fuel cells.

Where is the lowest place in the park?

Badwater Basin-282 feet (86 m) below sea level is not only the lowest place in the park but also the lowest in North America. It is located 18 miles south of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center on Badwater Road (CA 178).