Death Valley: Zabriskie Point

Death Valley's Zabriskie Point View
Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point View

Zabriskie Point was the first place I stopped when I arrived in Death Valley. Many of the sites require you to drive down long, dusty roads to your destination. Zabriskie Point is located on the 190, in fact, you can see the parking lot from the road. Once you park, you walk up a fairly steep hill to the look-out point.  It’s pretty impressive as you cast your view out over ripples and ripples of rock. I did a little research to see how these rocks were formed and here’s what I found.

In Death Valley, rainfall is extremely rare, but when it happens it’s intense.  With so little vegetation (and soil), when water reaches the ground, there is nothing to absorb the rainfall.  So during Death Valley’s rain showers, water hits the surface and immediately begins to rush down the steep slopes, sweeping  along particles of loosened mud. The rate of erosion can be incredible! Tiny rills are quickly carved into the soft mudstone. (I had no idea but a rill is a narrow and shallow incision into topsoil layers -I should call this Teacher Girl Travels 😉  Anyway, the more water in the downpour, the more rills are needed to carry the water away. Rills cut deeper to form gullys. And that’s how you get these beautiful ripples (that’s my non-technical term).

Zabriskie Point in Death Valley looking back at the parking lot
Zabriskie Point in Death Valley looking back at the parking lot

In the photo above you can see the parking lot off in the distance.  There is a bit of a hike to the top of the hill, but I honestly don’t remember it being that difficult. (Although looking at this phot my car looks like the size of an ant) I would try to visit Zabriskie Point either in the morning or at night when it’s cooler.  Next we’re going to visit Badwater which is the lowest point in North America!  Please Follow Me and you’ll get an email update as soon as I post it. Cheers!

If you’d like to purchase a print to remind you of this beautiful area, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

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