Death Valley

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Death Valley


Located in the East Sierra Nevada, in the barren of the Great Basin of the United States, Death Valley National Park is the hottest and driest national parks in the United States. The park extends into the southern Inyo County and northern San Bernardino County in Eastern California, parts of which are also stretched into the southwestern Nye County and southern Esmeralda County in Nevada. Furthermore, in the southern Nye Country, there is also an exclave also known as the Devil's Hole. The area of the park is stretched to 5,262 square miles, surrounding the Saline Valley, a huge portion of the Panamint Valley, approximately the whole of Death Valley, and various ranges of mountain. It was declared by the U.S. National Monument in 1993 as the Death Valley National Monument, having federal protection. However, the monument was declared again as a national park in 1994, with significant expansion to incorporate the Saline and Eureka valleys. (Berry & Mollard, p.100)

There are a number of plants and animals' species which can be found in the severe environment of the desert park such as creosote bush, Bighorn Sheep, Coyote, and the Death Valley Pupfish, existing since the times it was wet. About 95% of the park has been declared as wilderness. The area of the wilderness extends to 4,774 square miles, which makes it the sixth largest in the United States and the largest among the 48 Lower states. A figure of more than 770, 000 people visit Death Valley National Park each year, to experience its variety of geological characteristics, desert species, historic locations and panorama. The geology of the area has mostly shaped its natural settings. The oldest rocks of the park are more than 1.7 billion years old, which are significantly metamorphosed. A subduction region off the cost created an additional sedimentation. This raised the area from the cost and formed a series of volcanoes. Afterwards, the outer layer began to break, forming the present Basin and Range landform.

History of Death Valley

The name Death Valley came to being in1849 from a group of travelers who found themselves in the region while making a devastating short-cut. The survivors while leaving named the valley and cursed it. (Hunt, p.120)

Early inhabitants

In the last 10, 000 years, four Native American cultures have been identified who lived in the region. Nevares Spring People are the first of the known groups, who came in the area about 9000 years ago. The Saratoga Spring People arrived in the area about 2,000 years ago. Formally known as the Shoshone, the nomadic Timbisha moved in the area 1000 years ago. People from Europe first visited the area at times of the California Gold Rush. (Palmer, p.40)


In February 11, 1933, President Herbert Hoover announced a national monument surrounding the Death Valley, besides the two million acres (8,000 km2) of southeastern California and some sections of the extreme south western Nevada. As a result of the declaration, the monument was shut for mining for a time being. However, the Congressional action in June ...
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