All of the rain combined with unseasonably low temperatures brought the snow level down to 4,500 feet. This is a view from the salt pan of Badwater, site of the lowest point in the continental United States, looking towards Telescope Peak (11,331') in the Panamint Mountains.
I've never seen a puddle in the desert before. Our camping trip to see wildflowers turned into something else entirely: it rained 3 out of the 6 days we were in Death Valley with the possibility of flash floods in the canyons which really limited our choices of where to go. The day we decided to go to Scotty's Castle, it rained 1.1" - as much as it had rained all season! This is a puddle on the hike up to Scotty's grave.
Mounds of salt crystals with some very undrinkable water at Badwater. I had to wait for calmer moments to take photos - the ripples on the water don't really show how windy it was - it was the kind of wind that makes it almost impossible to open the car door to get out.
We had great wildlife sightings such as this coyote walking along the road below our campsite. We had just woken up and walked up the hill to enjoy the early morning sun. We returned to our campsite to witness another wildlife sighting - our campsite neighbor having a beer and cigarette for breakfast.
Could our local gas stations look like this soon? I swear, I did not Photoshop this.
We hiked the loop of Golden Canyon to Gower Gulch and as you climb higher and higher in the Canyon, the view of the badlands landscape becomes more and more spectacular.
We've never seen one of these lizards before - took this photo and showed it to the ranger at the visitor center later. Turns out it's a chuckwalla. At one time they were an important food source for indigenous people.
This was off of the Emigrant Canyon Road on the way up to the Charcoal Kilns. The purpose of the mill remains a mystery as there were no nearby mines. It had two large custom built settling tanks, a concrete house with a wood fired hot water heater and a junked Pontiac from the 1950s.
Death Valley is full of curious ruins. This is what remains of the solar hot water heating system built in the 1920s at Scotty's Castle. Interesting to see such a practical application of technology back then.
This festive looking bird came sauntering past our picnic table at the artificial oasis of Furnace Creek while we were having lunch. I wish I could have gotten him on video - he was wagging his tail back and forth like a happy dog. We think he was looking for handouts and he promptly moved on to other picnic tables when he realized we weren't offering any.
Located in the Cottonwood Mountains, Marble Canyon features 4 sections of interesting narrows. These are the second narrows. We were able to get as far as the third narrows before having to turn around to be able to get out of the canyon before the rains started again.
We came across this as we hiked up the wash in Marble Canyon. Given the size of the skeleton, it looked like a juvenile. It had been picked clean except for the fur and hoofs of the legs.