Life and Death in the Valley
With a name like "Death Valley", it's a wonder anyone visits here at all. Although, I suppose some might take it as a dare. Others may have heard of its reclusive beauty. Some might just have a death wish.
The road out has the longest stretches of straight pavement that I've ever seen. A good audiobook or music is highly recommend. Also, no one can hear you sing in the desert (hopefully).
One of my favorite sights in the desert (besides the stupefying numbers on the "outside temperature" thermometer) are the color gradients between the rolling hills. The color contrasts are even better at dawn or dusk. The photo below is of Zabriskie Point at noon (I'd love to go back on a full moon).
With lots of paths, but the limitation of my 6 inch clearance on Hotel Prius, I had to be careful which roads I took. Most were remote, some were beautiful, all were long and bumpy. Let's play a game with the next pic called "Find the stranded car that didn't listen to the road condition warning signs".
With flat roads and mountains, the desert wouldn't be complete without a sprawling set of white sand dunes.
You can even retrace the galactic steps of film history out in the Golden Canyon. However, these were not the droids I was looking for, so I kept going.
With a daytime temperature of 111 degrees, you might hope that it'd cool down a bit at night. NOPE. I lulled myself to sleep while gazing at the stars on a mild 95 degree night.
With tons of canyons, roads, and a surprising amount of nature, this area is not to be missed. Just make sure to bring plenty of water and watch out for Tusken Raiders and Jawas.