Travel: Death Valley Delights

Despite a forbidding name, California's largest national park has become a prime vacation spot, attracting young and old alike

Death Valley. The very name repels. So do the superlatives: the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (282 ft. below sea level), one of the hottest places on earth (record high: 134°F) and one of the dryest (average annual rainfall: 1.8 in.). A vast stretch of nothingness. Boring. Bleak. Empty. Right?

Dead wrong. The 3.3 million-acre Death Valley National Park--about 300 miles northeast of Los Angeles and 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas--is a major tourist attraction set in one of the most beautiful and varied terrains known to man. It's filled with Wild West history, year-round social activities and amenities...

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