Joshua Tree – Death Valley

Joshua Tree under snow storm in Death Valley NP, CA (Thierry Carlier)

Joshua Tree under snow storm in Death Valley NP, CA

We ended our 2010 Spring Break Tour throughout the Southwest in Death Valley. We have enjoyed the place for the diversity of its landscapes: sand dunes, canyons, badlands, saltgrass, mountain ranges, etc. We have even been fortunate enough to come accross an area covered with fresh-blown desert flowers resulting from unusal amounts of rain earlier during the winter. Death Valley is definitively not a dead place but rather a paradise for landscape photographers and wildlife lovers.

“A Land of Extremes”. Death Valley is the hottest, lowest and driest place in the United States. Temperatures as high as 134°F (56.5°C) have been recorded. Badwater Basin at 282 feet (86m) below sea level is the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere. Eighteen miles accross the valley, Telescope Peak rises to 11,049 feet (3,368m). Located within the very northern part of the Mojave Desert, accross the border of California and Nevada, Death Valley National Park is also the biggest one in the lower 48 states; a 3,396,000 acres (13,743 km²) area, greater than the state of Connecticut and more than twice the one of Delaware.

Death Valley National Park Official Web Site

We left our hotel at Panamint Springs early that morning, admired the Panamint Sand Dunes at dawn from the road and made a stop at Stovepipe Wells Village to have breakfast. Our plan prior to heading back to Vegas at the end of the day was to keep driving northeast beyond Scottys Castlle and the Ubehebe Crater, exit the park at Gold Point and join US95 back to Vegas. The road conditions were pretty bad and we struggled to find the junction to Gold Point. At some point we had that strange feeling that we might be lost, with not enough gas to head back to the visitor center at Furnace Creek … we had no other option than keep progressing northbond. We suddenly came accross that Joshua Tree while in the same time that snow storm was building up above the range in the background. I knew that I potentially had a great picture with this combination of early afternoon light scattered by the stormy sky and the clean lines of the tree. We finally made it safely to Gold Point.

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Focal length: 105 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 400, aperture value f/16.0, shutter speed 1/320  s, stopped down by 1/3. It required minimum processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Discover the entire Death Valley Gallery featured in Thierry Carlier Photography Portfolio

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2 Responses to “Joshua Tree – Death Valley”

  1. Pierrot says:

    Hi man,

    Suis aussi passé par Furnace Creek pour manger un truc en allant de Vegas au Yosemite Park. Le terme “Furnace” convient assez bien à cet endroit… Que de souvenirs de paysages magnifiques.

    Then you missed the 20 years of PulCIon 10 days ago at my place… Ce fut une bien bonne fête.



  2. Nous c’était mi-avril donc ça allait encore au niveau “fournaise”. Comme tu le vois sur la photo on a même eu une tempête de neige. Paysages magnifiques effectivement … j’y retournerais bien depuis Philly, même pour 2 ou 3 jours. J’ai entendu que la fête avait été bonne … malheureusement comme je suis souvent en voyage, j’essaie d’être @home le WE. A+

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