Death Valley: Hottest, Driest, and Lowest National Park — Las Vegas Round Two, Part 2

Hii everyone!!

I’m so excited to share this specific post with you because it was a fun, although tiring, all-day hike kind of (day) trip. I did take a ton of photos but I managed to reduce the amount to about 60? A lot of them are doubles or different angles, so I will do my best to pick the best photos.

On March 9th, we got up around 7:30am. That’s early for me considering I went to sleep at 1am after our girls night out. We showered and started getting ready and I realized I had forgotten my hair dryer, and my comb so I was not having a great hair day unfortunately lol. We didn’t leave the house until nearly 10am for some breakfast at Einstein’s Bagels.

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I got the Bacon, Avocado & Tomato bagel and it was delicious! I should have gotten two to be honest, it was smaller than I remember.

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After our breakfast, we began our two hour road trip to Death Valley. Alex drove first and we switched halfway there and met up with his family and drove the rest of the way together. The drive seemed like forever but it was a nice sight and really refreshing driving through the desert mountains. Finally, we got to our first stop:

Death Valley National Park Welcome Sign

At this point we were officially in California! I think it was at this stop where I noticed how dry the air was. It wasn’t too hot at that point because it was cloudy that day. We really only stopped here to snap a pic of the welcome sign before heading to our next stop.

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Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point is basically a viewpoint of the badlands terrain. It’s a short walk on a paved hill, which I didn’t take a picture of, but it has a nice view of the canyons below. It is such a beautiful sight, I had never seen anything like it—lots of yellow and orange tones. I think they also have a starting trail head here, Badlands Loop, which connects to the Golden Canyon Trailhead, which I will share with you in a bit.

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Zabriskie Point is an area of ancient lake beds from 5 to 10 million years ago. Volcanic ash settled at the bottom of the lake and seismic activity gradually pushed the layers upward and exposed them. And of course, rainstorms have eroded the rocks and have formed the landscape we see today.

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SHORT STORYTIME:

One little scare that I had was when Alex and CL were already at the top, while I  was walking up with Alex’s auntie and cousins. I do not* know why CL got upset, but he started running towards me. When I tried to hold my arms out for him, he tried to go to my right AWAY from me. He slipped and I literally had a mini heart attack like my son was about to fall down the hill! OMG! I had never been so scared!! I had to take a moment and tell him how scary and dangerous that was. He stayed by my side the rest of the time we were there.. Ahh…. this is how dangerous situations can get with a child who has SPD.. just saying…

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Ok, so we were there for less than 10 minutes, just taking in the sights and taking some pictures. Unfortunately I didn’t ask for a family picture, that’s my bad! I was still so upset about CL almost falling! Anyway, Alex’s family took us to our next stop.


Golden Canyon Trailhead

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We didn’t walk very far here because we still had some walking left at our next stop, but it was beautiful!! I have always wanted to hike through a canyon like this and now I cannot wait to hike other spots! This spot is where our water backpacks really came in handy. The heat was not as bad but the dry air made me feel so thirsty and nearly out of breath.

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I think we must have walked for about 15 minutes in but stopped because Alex and his uncle decided to climb the rocks. He said it was a difficult climb and they were out of breath, but that it looked stunning up there. When they met up with us, we started heading back to the car for our next destination.

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Badwater Basin

This place is unreal! It is the lowest point in all of North America at 282 feet (or 86 m) below sea level. Some say it is still sinking! There is some a small pool of water but it is called Badwater because it is unsuitable to drink as it is very salty.

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FUN FACT #1: To have exposed land below sea level, a dry climate is necessary.

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This is the small pool, dubbed ‘Badwater’

If I thought the hike at Golden Canyon was bad with the dry air, this was worse! It felt so dry that any bodily fluids evaporate almost immediately. My lips were the first to feel dry, then my entire mouth and eyes. I had to do my best to not breath in so deeply because it nearly made my chest feel tight. We walked about 30 or 40 minutes out to the salt beds but we didn’t make it. That walk, though flat, was so hard with how dry it was. I’m confident enough to say this is the hardest hike I’ve ever done.

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I had to add an arrow to this photo so you can see the “SEA LEVEL” sign lol

FUN FACT #2: A dry climate evaporates water, leaving behind salt flats or briny lakes.

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The white ‘sand’ is actually salt!

When we turned around the sun started coming out. It was about 78 degrees Fahrenheit but I swear it felt closer to 90 degrees or more. The walk back to the parking lot seemed never ending and with the sun starting to beat down on us I wasn’t sure if I could make it back. I was not prepared for such a dry climate. And drinking water only helped so much.

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FUN FACT #3: Death Valley was not created by river erosion. Movements in the Earth’s crust have dropped it to such great depths.

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The view on the way back looks never-ending!

That day, there were not as many people so it wasn’t crowded at all. In fact, Alex’s family were shocked at how empty it was. And another thing: March is the last month it is advised to go there because the temperatures start rising and are as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. I believe they advise to go between November and March, so keep that in mind if you ever decide to visit Death Valley.

Fun Facts are from National Park Service.

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When we finally got back to the car, I was so relieved to have AC, lol. Alex’s family took us on a scenic drive before we left Death Valley and headed to their home.


Artist’s Drive

Also known as Artist’s Palette because of the amazing colors of the mountains and canyons that you drive past about halfway into the drive. This scenic drive is about 9 miles one way. It has a lot of winding roads and dips, Alex had a blast driving through it, especially after driving in a real racetrack the day before.

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The landscape is beautiful! I didn’t take as many photos for this but chose to do a time-lapse instead because the drive was so beautiful and I didn’t want to miss one second of it. They do have stops as you drive through, but I was feeling too tired, out of breath, super thirsty and lightheaded so staying in the car was probably the best option for me.

Follow my personal Instagram to see more photos of this trip and also for the timelapse when I eventually post it! 🙂 At the moment I’m behind but I will be posting everything.

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If you ever are at Badwater Basin, I highly* suggest you drive back through here because this is something that must be seen! There are also other sights to be seen that we didn’t get a chance to see, such as The Race Track, Dante’s View, Devil’s Golf Course, and few other amazing spots that I would love to see. Perhaps next time I go back to Vegas, I can check out the other spots!


We spent the rest of the evening and part of the night at Alex’s family’s home. They are so welcoming and I could tell Alex had a lot of fun catching up with them. They were also very understanding of CL’s diagnosis, better than anyone else in our families, which made me feel comforted and understood.<3

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Alex’s family’s doggies. They were so cute!

I do have to say that the dry climate had lasting effects on me for the rest of the day no matter how much water I drank. My body felt weak and I attributed my light-headedness / headaches to the dry climate, but also lack of sleep. I was glad to feel better the morning after. Don’t forget to check out Day 1 of this trip here if you still haven’t, or you can also browse my other posts from my previous Vegas visit here.

Have you been to Death Valley yet?

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18 thoughts on “Death Valley: Hottest, Driest, and Lowest National Park — Las Vegas Round Two, Part 2

  1. Oh this looks so cool Rossy, and I’m glad CL was safe in the end! That must have been so frightening for you when you thought he was going to fall 😥 I had no idea DV was in California, how exciting! I really want to go here- perhaps we could do a day trip when we’re all next in Vegas together? It’d be great to go with you since you know what you’re talking about and also, to spend the whole day together!!! I can’t get over how breathtaking (omg literally, I didn’t even mean for that lol) this places looks! So stunning!! And it’s so cool the white sand is actually salt! Isn’t it wonderful how Earth has all of these amazing places for us to visit? So amazing! I’m so glad you enjoyed seeing Alex’s family too! ❤️ Thanks for sharing beautiful, see you soon! Also can’t wait to see that timelapse 😍😍😍😍 bet it’s beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that scared me half to death! Lol. And yeah Vegas is not that far from the Californian border, just two hours west and you reach death valley and i believe LA is 4 to 6 hours away, driving.
      If we do a day trip to death valley next time that would be fun! We could go all the way to badwater basin first and try our best to make it all the way to the salt flats and then just stop by the rest of the sights for pictures.
      Haha it was breathtaking literally and figuratively 🤣
      Earth is truly amazing. I cannot wait to see more areas like this and whatever else I have yet to see.
      Yeah I haven’t posted anything on my insta lately have I? 🤣 it’s coming I promise.

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  2. Ooof, starting the day with and avocado and bacon yum yum! That landscape is beautiful my gosh! Thank god CL is alright my gosh I would have gotten a freaking heart attack right there and then! It sounds so ridiculously dry there, the way you described it sounds like you are on a whole other planet. That’s crazy that a flat terrain was so difficult thanks to the dry heat. wow! And look at that white land of salt, that’s crazy to me! The dry heat really took a toll but I’m glad you had a nice time with your in-laws. Now you really make me want to go Death Valley to see what it really feels like!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That bagel was amazing!! 😀 I’m craving it again, too bad it’s closed 😦
      Oh my gosh, the old me would have been like “ugh desert, what’s so great about it?” but now that I’m older, I find myself appreciating Mother Nature and everything she has to offer 🙂 the desert was a lovely sight as difficult as it was for me to breathe LMAO and yeah thankfully he’s okay, I did have a mini heart attack when he got so closed and slipped ahhhh!!
      and yeah, I imagine this is probably the worst climate than anywhere else on Earth? being that it’s one of the hottest places lol.
      I know when I saw it all I was like “we can make it, it doesn’t look too bad” but omg once we got going I started getting so winded and felt nearly out of breath on the way back, I thought I would faint LOL
      And you MUST* visit Death Valley. I highly recommend the suggested time period because that’ when the climate is more tolerable. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nature giveth, nature taketh HAHA! Noted! I think anywhere beyond that time frame would truly be entering the death valley! YEESH!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Einstein Bros always looks so yummy! We still need to go there someday!

    The photos you captured are gorgeous. I’d probaby never drive such a distance to see such things because if you didn’t notice by now, I am a hardcore city-lover & hiking/sightseeing just isn’t my thing lol. I’m happy to live vicariously through you instead. 🙂

    I totally understand how scared you got when Ciel ran away from you. That’s so dangerous & I just know that sinking feeling you got when it happened. 😭 I am more than glad he didn’t slip!!

    Thank you for actually putting an arrow where sea level would be, WOW I had no idea!! That’s crazy cool, honestly. The white sand/salt definitely caught my attention. Now that’s something worth driving out there for!! I didn’t know water could get THAT dry!!

    Alex’s family’s dogs are SOO adorable. Love that one is tiny & the other big & floofy, hehe. ♡ It’s always nice to be around people who are understanding instead of judgemental, too. Glad to know they actually get what Ciel is going through. ♡

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures & such fun facts, Rossy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m still so shocked you guys have so many everywhere! they’re so spread out here haha

      haha i am aware you’re not into hiking and sightseeing LOL would you be up to going to see the grand canyon? the drive is far but i bet it would be worth it LOL

      oh boy i am soooo glad nothing bad happened, i was literally about to lose it that day and it took me at least 30 minutes to get over it haha

      yeah the picture doesn’t capture just how low this place is, it just looks like a mountain but oh my gosh!!! the change from Zabriskie point to Badwater Basin is huge!!! not only does the temperature feel different, the air feels drier too. lots of people go to the salt flats to take pictures, it’s pretty amazing, i wish i would have gone all the way to where it’s all spread out, but we were already tired from walking and hiking a bit on the previous two stops. i think we should have gone to badwater first to make it all the way out there but maybe next time.

      oh the dogs are soooo precious!!!! they said they’re pretty sure the big brown dog is part coyote or something like that, we can’t really remember exactly what they said but i remember being shocked like “what? he’s not all dog?” XD such a good boy though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, there’s one pretty close to us so I don’t know why we haven’t tried it yet! I guess we don’t really ever eat breakfast, maybe that’s why? lol.

        Nah, my dad drives to the Grand Canyon almost every time he visits me. I’ve never wanted to tag along lol. I never wanted to go to the Hoover Dam either but he made me because he stopped there on the way to Cali LOL.

        I do not blame you for being so worried about Ciel!! Imagine bringing him to the Grand Canyon. Scary!!!

        That’s actually so cool that you were SO low under sea level. It makes sense that the air & temperature would change, for sure. Like, in Washington, we went up this mountain & the weather was nice & sunny down below but once we got to the very tip top, it was all snowy as heck!!

        WHAAAT! Part coyote?! ❤ HOW PRETTY!!!!

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      2. That makes sense! breakfast is my jam! literally, I love breakfast foods. We have dedicated Wednesdays for brinner 😀

        LOLOLOL! I want to go with your dad then, I can’t believe he goes there all the time haha. Now that you mention CL, perhaps the GC is not such a good idea, BUT….at the same time, maybe it’s a matter of waiting until he is older and understands that certain situations are dangerous. I shall wait.

        Yeah, exactly. The mountain here, Mt. Hood, has year-long access to skiing because of the high elevations. I cannot believe summer skiing is a thing here xD
        I read somewhere that skii teams, like professional ones practice here in the summer. Crazy!

        YEAH! I wish I would have gotten a different picture of him, he really doesn’t look like just any dog!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Lol (your) Alex told me about your Wednesday brinners when you guys were here! 😀

        FUNNY THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW. My dad is actually currently at the Grand Canyon & I *almost* went with him except I forgot to grab the house key from boyfriend before he left for work so I couldn’t go lol oops, I didn’t want to leave my door unlocked the entire time. 😛 My little brothers are 8, 9, & 11 & I only SORT OF trust that they will be safe, so yeah, maybe would be best to wait a bit to bring CL! They were trying to bring me on the scary glass bridge lol.

        YEAH!! In Washington, too. There were people skiing up there!! So crazy lol.

        Aw man, I wish I could see him!! So cool that he’s part coyote!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. haha did he really?? did he say it was my idea? LMAO

        oh my gosh no waaaaayyyyy!!!! whaaaat??? take me with you Hunida’s dad! I want to see more of the US LMAO
        and what glass bridge? where at? I’ve never heard of this LOL I mean I have, but the one I’m thinking of is in China I think?
        that is so awesome! I love the PNW 😀
        Next time we go to Vegas I will be sure to get a better photo of the doggy. Btw, Alex spoke to his mom over the phone earlier and she told him his aunt that lives in Pahrump, has the virus, she even tested positive for it. Apparently she got it worse than her husband and her other daughter, which has milder symptoms. Eerily similar to what Alex and I had back in January. So weird.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes! He said, “Rossy loves breakfast, we have brinner once a week” or something along those lines lol.

        My dad is quite the adventurer haha. You’d probably love to road trip with him.

        No, there’s a glass bridge you can walk over the Grand Canyon, too. They might have gotten the idea from China. It’s newer, called the Skywalk or something? They went on it & one of my little bros almost cried cuz he was so scared lol.

        Yikes! I heard positive cases are still getting higher & higher. I hope Alex’s aunt will recover soon. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I would do more road trips if CL enjoyed them and didn’t get bored but I can’t expect too much from either, He is still pretty young 🙂

        Oh nice! I totally want to do that glass bridge too! 😀 Sounds scary but cool 😀

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