Death Valley – Artists Drive

Generally when I take these last-minute trips where I’ve done little to no planning, my first destination is always something “easy” to get things started.  Today that location was Artists Drive which is located only about 10 miles south from the campground.

(Important: Don’t forget to click the photos for a full-size image!)

Located in a canyon of the Black Mountains, this scenic drive’s main feature is vividly colored rock formations resulting from oxidation of different metals.  Typically this would be more visible at sunrise/sunset hours but is still apparent during early afternoon hours.  Most of the photos you see online are heavily manipulated – I like to keep it more real, even if it just looks like dirt and rocks.

There was one small hike at the first parking pullout that provided some elevation for views across to the neighboring string of mountains.  The landscape here is alien and fantastical – one could easily imagine it to be the surface of Mars. [Fun Fact: Star Wars Episode VI filmed here, read more on this other guy’s entertaining blog that I found.]

I didn’t get as many photos as usual because I was driving and there aren’t many pullouts along the way.  The entire drive is around 9 miles and is one-way, so if you miss something it’s best to loop back and start over.  Still captures some good shots from the road.

The loop completes back at Badwater Road, one of the main arteries in the park.  I finished late in the afternoon with only about 1 hour before sunset – no time for hiking but enough to keep exploring.  More to come!

One Additional Note: Starting with this post, I’m dropping sync with Tumblr because nobody goes there.  As an alternative I’m adding a connection to Instagram – follow me @ adammartinspace.

Hiking Data

Only one small hiking trail that totaled around 1/3 mile.  Still worth it just to get out of the car and stretch my legs.

Lat = 36.3301239 , Long = -116.8291779 -- Show at Google Maps

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