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Old 04-01-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
UpST8 OP
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Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. Situated within the Mojave Desert, it features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America.[2] Badwater, a basin located in Death Valley, is the specific location (36° 15' N 116° 49.5' W) of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. This point is only 84.6 miles (136.2 km) ESE of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m).[3] Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere, 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913, just short of the world record, 136 °F (57.8 °C) in 'Aziziya, Libya, on September 13, 1922.[4] However, the record high still remains the hottest July temperature ever recorded.
Located near the border of California and Nevada, in the Great Basin, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Death Valley constitutes much of Death Valley National Park and is the principal feature of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. It is located mostly in Inyo County, California. It runs from north to south between the Amargosa Range on the east and the Panamint Range on the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 sq mi (7,800 km2).[5] Death Valley shares many characteristics with other places below sea level.


History

Death Valley is home to the Timbisha tribe of Native Americans, formerly known as the Panamint Shoshone, who have inhabited the valley for at least the past 1000 years. The Timbisha name for the valley, tümpisa, means "rock paint" and refers to the red ochre paint that can be made from a type of clay found in the valley. Some families still live in the valley at Furnace Creek. Another village was located in Grapevine Canyon near the present site of Scotty's Castle. It was called maahunu in the Timbisha language, the meaning of which is uncertain, although it is known that hunu means "canyon".
The valley received its English name in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. It was called Death Valley by prospectors[25] and others who sought to cross the valley on their way to the gold fields, although only one death in the area was recorded during the Rush. During the 1850s, gold and silver were extracted in the valley. In the 1880s, borax was discovered and extracted by mule-drawn wagons.
Death Valley National Monument was proclaimed on February 11, 1933 by President Hoover, placing the area under federal protection. In 1994, the monument was redesignated as Death Valley National Park, as well as being substantially expanded to include Saline and Eureka Valleys.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia



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