Death Valley National Park has plenty of colorful place names, including Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, Last Chance Mountain and Devil's Golf Course, so modern-day visitors might be curious about the one given to a popular scenic overlook in the park: Zabriskie Point. The explanation may be a bit surprising, since the name is tied to an activity not usually associated with national parks, and the story of the overlook itself offers a fascinating glimpse into the park's history.
Death Valley National Park
North of Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Joshua Tree, and a host of other national park units in California, you might say Lassen Volcanic National Park gets no respect. You might also say it's a jewel in the rough, one that doesn't draw crowds, instead allowing you to enjoy this incredible landscape in relative solitude. A measure of solitude, of course, when compared to the Yosemite Valley, the Giant Forest, even sections of Death Valley come the cooler winter months.
It long has been expected that as the climate warms, vegetation would react by moving. Both north in latitude, and up in elevation. Now new research confirms that "because of the combination of climate change and habitat loss, up to one-quarter of the total area of the National Park System is vulnerable to vegetation shifting up slope and northward."
RVers who enjoy America's national parks know that most government campgrounds weren't designed to accommodate today's recreational vehicles. However, some exceptions exist, especially in the vast open lands west of the Mississippi. Here are the best national park campgrounds for RVs in California, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
I write this from the south shore of Lake Superior, not far from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Two days ago, while casually birding the lakeshore, my wife Sarah spotted a Black-crowned Night-heron. That’s an extremely unusual bird to find as far north as the Superior shore.
Getting rovers to Mars is one thing, getting scientists to monitor how those rovers perform is another thing. That's why the hot, barren-looking dunescapes of Death Valley National Park in Nevada and California are attractive to scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
With the travel season not too far off, you should be planning your national park adventures. If you're looking for a great scenic drive, we offer the following for your consideration.
Around The Parks: Ice Bridges At Isle Royale, Sea Turtle Record At Dry Tortugas, Scotty's Castle Delays
Watching Lake Superior ice at Isle Royale National Park, counting sea turtles at Dry Tortugas National Park, and road work woes for Scotty's Castle visitors at Death Valley National Park are just some of the other stories around the National Park System this week.
Christmas is past, but counting birds is not. At Death Valley National Park, the annual Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for this coming Saturday.
Essential Park Guide: Winter Doesn’t Have To Mean Cold, Snow And Ice During Your National Park Adventure
Cold, snow, and ice aren’t the only backdrops to a winter’s visit to the National Park System. There’s a flip side to the Glaciers, Yellowstones, and Mount Rainiers of winter park vacations. They’re found in the Caribbean, south Florida, and even Nevada and Arizona.