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  • It's the driest place in the USA,

  • the lowest point in North America,

  • and one of the hottest places on Earth.

  • But between mid-October and mid-May,

  • Death Valley is one of the USA's most life-affirming road trips.

  • Death Valley straddles the California-Nevada border,

  • just a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Los Angeles,

  • or a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas.

  • Many parts of Death Valley are designated Wilderness Areas

  • and are under the care of the National Park Service.

  • Despite its rugged appearance, Death Valley's ecological,

  • geological and historical gems are fragile.

  • Tread lightly, so future generations can experience the wilderness value

  • of this national treasure.

  • If you're approaching from Nevada,

  • the adventure begins just outside the park in the free-wheelin' town of Beatty,

  • The Gateway to Death Valley.

  • In the early 1900s, Beatty serviced nearby mining towns such as Rhyolite,

  • which during its short life featured a train station,

  • 3 newspapers, and 53 saloons.

  • After the mining boom,

  • the hills around Beatty called out to artists and freethinkers.

  • Stop by the Goldwell Open Air Museum, home to The Venus of Nevada,

  • the Ghost Rider, and other works inspired by the windswept Mojave Desert.

  • The Mojave has long drawn spiritual seekers too.

  • If you're entering the park from the California side,

  • stretch your legs at Father Crowley Overlook,

  • dedicated to the man they called The Desert Padre.

  • Just a 10-mile drive further into the park, take the turn-off to Darwin Falls,

  • a reminder that despite the park's foreboding name,

  • Death Valley supports a surprising abundance of life.

  • After Darwin Falls, shake off the dust at Panamint Springs.

  • Whether you're staying the night or just whetting your whistle,

  • remember to top up on fuel and water before venturing into the backroads,

  • because this is no place for the ill-prepared.

  • Follow the gravel roads south to the Wildrose Kilns,

  • which once produced the charcoal needed to

  • smelt lumps of Death Valley ore into silver.

  • Stop by the Eureka Mine, where fortune-seeker,

  • Pete Aguereberry, devoted his life to swinging a pick.

  • The Frenchman never did hit the motherlode,

  • but instead discovered one of Death Valley's greatest treasures, serenity.

  • When visitors began exploring Death Valley in their

  • new-fangled motor cars in the 1930s,

  • the ever-affable Aguereberry guided them to the place he calledThe Great View”.

  • Take the climb to his beloved outlook, and behold the spectacle

  • of the Panamint Mountains cascading into the Valley floor 6000 feet below.

  • After exploring the backroads of the Panamint Range,

  • head deeper into the park's sun-baked heart, at Stovepipe Wells.

  • It was here where a party of lost 49ers, burnt their wagons, ate their oxen,

  • and staggered out on foot from the place they christened, Death Valley.

  • Death Valley's landscapes may be harsh, but they are rarely monotonous.

  • Each twist on these desert roads reveals yet another vista

  • with its own geological voice, its own story to tell.

  • Just a short drive east of Stovepipe Wells are the shifting sands of

  • the Mesquite Dunes, the easiest to access of all the park's dune fields.

  • Further east, take a walk along the Salt Creek Trail,

  • where playful pupfish splash in the wetland remnants

  • of a lake which once covered much of the valley.

  • To the south, lace up your hiking boots and discover the slot canyons,

  • marbled narrows, and galleries of fragmented rock in Mosaic Canyon.

  • Once you've explored the trails around Stovepipe Wells,

  • continue south into the valley floor,

  • where as the road descends the temperature climbs.

  • Pull into the aptly-named, Furnace Creek,

  • the holder of the world's highest recorded temperature.

  • Despite the heat, the resorts here make Furnace Creek

  • a cool place to kick back after a long day on the trails.

  • In the late 1800s, this outpost was the home of the Pacific Coast Borax Company,

  • whose 20-mule wagon teams hauled borax from the valley floor

  • and into the laundries and cosmetics counters of the USA.

  • Learn more about the Death Valley's gritty past

  • at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

  • Run by the National Park Service, an hour here will deepen your

  • appreciation of the park's incredible history, ecosystems and geology.

  • Furnace Creek is close to some of Death Valley's most popular sites,

  • and as always, no two are quite the same.

  • Just a 5-mile drive south of Furnace Creek is Zabriskie Point,

  • a mud-rock Badlands that has long inspired film makers, musicians and mystics.

  • A few miles south, take the turnoff onto Artist's Drive,

  • a scenic road which takes in an eye-popping,

  • oxidised palate of hillside colours.

  • Nearby, at the Devils Golf Course, stand at the edge of the jagged salt plane

  • that stopped the wagons of those lost 49ers dead in their tracks.

  • Just ten miles down the road in Badwater,

  • imagine the heartbreak of those lost overlanders who splashed these waters to

  • their cracked and swollen lips, only to taste water twice as salty as the sea.

  • After exploring the park's lowest point

  • take the road up Coffin Peak, to Dante's View.

  • Here, from a height of five-and-a-half thousand feet,

  • southern Death Valley stretches out with all the ferocity

  • of hell and all the beauty of heaven, nature's very own Divine Comedy.

  • After coming back to earth, head north,

  • and follow 27-miles of serpentine bends through Titus Canyon, to Leadfield.

  • In 1925 false advertising lured hundreds of hopeful miners to these barren hills.

  • Three years later, Leadfield was just another Death Valley ghost town.

  • One miner who did strike it lucky was Bert Shively.

  • Cornering his runaway burro in a remote canyon,

  • the exasperated miner picked up a rock to hurl at the stubborn beast.

  • Glinting in the sun, that rock was never thrown,

  • and The Lost Burro Mine went on to produce gold for decades.

  • Just over the hill from Bert's mine, is The Racetrack,

  • whose mysterious sliding rocks were long thought to be

  • the work of playful spirits and bored extra-terrestrials.

  • Alas, science has recently discovered more logical culprits

  • high winds and winter ice.

  • From the Racetrack, head though Teakettle Junction,

  • to a section of the park formed by steam.

  • Drive to the rim of Ubehebe Crater,

  • formed in one explosive instant when rising magma hit cool groundwater.

  • Some geologists estimate the crater was formed only 300 years ago,

  • a reminder that despite appearances, Death Valley is very much alive

  • and forever changing.

  • Welcome traveller, to a destination where the rusting iron

  • and mine shafts of ol' timers tell tales of endurance and hope.

  • Where epic landscapes terrify, mystify and delight.

  • Where the wind scours the skin in one moment,

  • and in the nextwhispers all the world's secrets.

  • Death Valley, is the stuff of life.

It's the driest place in the USA,

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デスバレーのバケーション旅行ガイド|エクスペディア (Death Valley Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia)

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    Eric Wang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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