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There’s an Unlikely Lake In Death Valley National Park—See It Before It’s Gone

Death Valley National Park is a corner of the world that is used to extremes. Whether it’s heat or rain, the last few years have been tricky for California’s famous desert. In 2022, a rainstorm caused lots of destruction to the park’s roads and infrastructure, some of which are still being restored by park authorities. This year, the park was closed for a good chunk of time after Hurricane Hilary sent down a year’s worth of rain in one single day. 

The park partially reopened on October 15, and visitors have noticed that the tropical storm left behind a rather unusual sight . . . lakes in the desert. One of these temporary lakes in particular is creating a buzz of excitement among visitors in the Badwater Basin salt flats. The lake is an estimated 2 feet deep. 

Visitors have enjoyed witnessing the stunning scene of shimmering water surrounded by a backdrop of tall sand dunes. “Ephemeral lakes popped up around the park, which is both pretty rare and amazing! They disappear fast, so they most likely will not be there when you visit,” Death Valley National Park Service shared in an Instagram post.

Sitting below sea level, Death Valley experiences long periods of drought and record high summer temperatures, sometimes reaching up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet, there is plenty of natural beauty to discover, including a vast number of plant species, wildlife, and birds.

“Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life thrives in Death Valley,” the National Park Service explains on the park’s website.

If you want to see these unlikely lakes, be sure to visit Death Valley sooner rather than later.

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