8) Death Valley National Park
The foreboding and fascinating image of a steer skull on cracked, parched earth draws many visitors to Death Valley. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, it is one of the hottest and driest parks in the country, but in spite of the name, there is a lot of life there. Get the lay of the land at Furnace Creek Visitor Center, and then head out to see desert terrain. The Devil’s Golf Course is named as such because it’s said only he could play there. Visitors can hear salt crystals bursting as the earth expands and contracts in the heat. Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the country, and Artist’s Drive is a scenic loop filled with color. Other sites include Dante’s View, Twenty Mule Team Canyon and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
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