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Death Valley Trip – Furnace Creek

After visiting Badwater, my next stop was Furnace Creek. This ranch is located 58 m below sea level and has a population of 24.

Furnace Creek Ranch
A sign at the entrance showed that the temperature record was 134F (56.67C) on July 13th 1913. Being here in October, the temperature was around 90F.

The general store sold about anything, and the restaurant was really nice.General Store

I also took a walk through the mining museum, which holds a lot of old machinery from the mining days.Mining Museum Mining Museum Mining Museum Mining Museum

The last photo is of “Old Dinah” of 1894, which replaced the mules. Old Dinah

Death Valley Trip – Driving to Furnace Creek

It’s not really far from BadWater to Furnace Creek, but there were just so many fascinating mountain shapes, and fantastic colors. The photos below will never be able to convey the real beauty of the mountains.

(1/80s, F11, ISO100, 40mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

(1/160s, F11, ISO100, 70mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

I suddenly saw this fascinating lava sculpture.

(1/60s, F18, ISO160, 35mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

(1/100s, F8, ISO100, 24mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

(1/125s, F6.3, ISO100, 35mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

This was the only animal I saw in Death Valley. He looked really hot and out of place, and hardly bothered to get out of the roads when the cars came.


Death Valley Trip – Natural Bridge Canyon

A couple of miles north of Badwater Basin, is the Natural Bridge Canyon. There is a short, but really bumpy drive from the highway to the start of the trail.

This is where the trail starts. I was amazed by all the colors in the mountains.  (I was planning to go to the Artists Drive, but the road was for some reason closed).

Color mountains

(1/1000s, F2.8, ISO 100, 24mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

Walking up to the natural bridge was several waterfalls carved in the side of the canyon.


People obviously have had fun here creating small rock towers. There were plenty of them all throughout the valley.

The canyon

After about 15 minutes walk up the canyon was the natural bridge, with me underneath. (I had forgotten my radio-remote in the car, so had to use the 10 second timer and run to get the photo :-)). This photo should give you some impression of the size of the bridge.

The light conditions were difficult, with  the sun shining on parts of the canyon, and other parts in shade. So in addition to adding contrast, I’ve increased the “shadows” and reduced the “Highlights” and “Whites” in the photo.

The natural bridge

(1/30s, F10, ISO100, 11mm – Lens DT 11-18mm)

Death Valley Trip – Badwater basin

Badwater Basin is the lowest point in Death Valley, more than 85m below sea level.

Not really a lot of water, and absolutely bad, being way to salty to drink. But there is actually both plants and animals living in the water.

This is on the way down to Badwater Basin. I liked the layered mountains. Also notice, the straight road.

(1/250s, F11, ISO 100, 70mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

In the deserts, a few plants try to survive.

(1/40s, F22, ISO500, 24mm – lens 24-70F2.8)

The lowest point. There is a little water, and a lot of salt. They have set up a small platform, so you can get close to the water and the salt crystals.

(1/2000s, F2.8, ISO100, 24mm – Lens 24-70F2.8)

Here you see some of the water and the salt crystals.

(1/1250s, F4.5, ISO 100, 11mm – Lens 11-18)

I was also amazed by all the colorful mountains in Death Valley. Here with some of the salt in front.

(1/200s, F8, ISO 100, 75mm – Lenst 70-200F2.8)

Before leaving Badwater, I took photo of myself, thanks to my GorillaPod, which is just strong enough to hold my camera with the 24-70 lens.

And finally an overview picture, where you can see the size of the basin, all covered with salt.