Death Valley Pictures
This national park does a good job of living up to its harsh name. It is the lowest, hottest, and driest place in the United States. And year, it's 3.3 million acres which span California and Nevada are considered to be both tranquil and beautiful.
Although I don't think its a strong enough an attraction on its own to warrant a trip, it's proximity to King's Canyon does make it a good option for the second half of a vacation. With summer temperatures hitting 115 degrees in the shade its definitely a winter destination where temperatures stay within the 70's.
Death Valley National Park isn't where you go if you're looking for animal life. In fact, according to the Our National Parks by Reader's Digest, the most remarkable animal inhabitant is an inch-long endangered fish -- the Devil's Hole pupfish. Its entire population of just a few hundred is restricted to a shallow rock shelf.
There are numerous plant species, but most only grow for a few weeks. These plants remain hidden amongst the rocks. Their tough skins provide protection against the heat until the right combination of temperature and moisture occurs. When the conditions are right, these plants grow furiously and cover the desert floor. That I think would be a sight worth seeing.
[pictures to be posted soon]