A common theme with each national park we visit is that it feels like stepping into another world. In the case of Death Valley, it’s like being on Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine. Of course, that is indeed where they filmed parts of Star Wars. We decided to hit two prominent landmarks in the park and the views were spectacular! First, we made the drive to Dante’s View overlooking the Badwater Valley. It was incredible, as evidenced by the image below. 

The starkness of the view is incredible because there really isn’t a relatable reference point I’ve ever experienced. The limited vegetation that is able to survive this harsh climate has evolved with unique characteristics. I was taken back by the beauty of the wild flowers. While we didn’t experience it, I guess there is also a threat of wasps!

After Dante’s view, we descended the valley to Zabiskie’s Point. The temperature increased almost 20 degrees! The minute we got out of the car the heat was noticeable. The carved landscape of Zabriskie Point was the actual filming location for parts of Star Wars. I expected an attack from the Sand People as we spent a few moments walking around the site. We considered going for a hike, but opted not to since it was so dang hot–dangerously hot–like 114 degrees hot! 

Next, we descended below sea level to the visitors center to learn more about Death Valley. It was great to learn about it’s rich history and geological composition. 

Finally, as we made the drive out of the park, we decided to hit the last restaraunt for hours to grab some lunch. It turned out to be a great cafe in the heart of the park. As we waited for food, we played some billiards. It was obvious that we were terrible, but had a lot of fun nonetheless. The food was surprisingly good given the remote location–that or we were incredibly hungry.