Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Context: A sprawling temporary lake at Badwater Basin salt flats, caused by flooding from Tropical Storm Hilary, at the Death Valley National Park in California. The storm delivered a year’s worth of rain to the valley, which is the hottest place on the Earth, in a single day. The Badwater basin itself is located 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in USA.

Death Valley National Park

image 77
  • Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert.
  • Death Valley is the largest U.S. National Park outside Alaska at 3,422,024 acres. 
  • Even so, 93% of the park is protected as officially designated Wilderness.
  • It is the hottest, driest, and lowest of all the national parks in the United States.
  •  This wild country includes low valley floors crusted with barren salt flats, rugged mountains rising as much as 11,000 feet, deep and winding canyons, rolling sand dunes, and spring-fed oases.
  • The Timbisha Shoshone Indians lived here for centuries before the first white man entered the valley.
  • UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984.
  • Flora and Fauna: –Death Valley is the hottest and driest places in North America, yet it is home to over 1000 species of plants and 440 species of animals.
  • Common plant species
    • At lower elevations, creosote bush, desert holly, and mesquite can be found. 
    • Shadscale, blackbrush, Joshua tree, pinyon-juniper can be found at higher elevations.
    • Sub-alpine limber pine and bristlecone pine woodlands can be found at higher elevations.
  • Common Animal Species
    • Coyotes, ravens, roadrunners, ground squirrels, Desert bighorn sheep, Kangaroo rats, Western Pipistrelle, Devils Hole Pupfish, and lizards.
  • Rivers: – The Amargosa is the only free-flowing river in the Death Valley region of the Mojave, providing a rare and lush riparian area in the desert.

Practice Question

With reference to Death Valley National Park, consider the following statements:

(1) It is the largest national Park in the USA.

(2) It is the hottest, lowest, and driest national park in the USA.

(3) Badwater basin is the lowest point in USA.

How many of the above statements are correct?

(a) Only One

(b) Only Two

(c) All Three

(d) None



Statement 1 is incorrect-The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias in Alaska: at over 8 million acres (32,375 km2).

Statement 2 is correct.

Statement 3 is correct-Badwater Basin is an endorheic basin in Death Valley National Park, Death Valley, Inyo County, California, noted as the lowest point in North America and the United States, with a depth of 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.

Source: The Hindu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Free UPSC MasterClass
This is default text for notification bar