Death Valley 2017

Is Death Valley a place known for 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).  It 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 Sierra Nevada goldfields in California.  Death Valley itself 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 headed 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 legend.

What is the use of borax?

Borax is well known as an ingredient in high-efficiency laundry detergents, but it’s most important modern use is in the production of fiberglass and borosilicate glass.  The element Boron has powerful abilities to strengthen, toughen, and make fire-resistant glasses, metals, wood, and fibers.  Borax is used in approximately three hundred high-tech products.  It is a crucial component in 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; it’s the lowest in North America.  Badwater Basin is 18 miles south of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center on the Badwater Road (CA 178).