A few communities were formed in Death Valley in early 1990 once silver, copper, and gold were discovered in the area. Not long after, the mines stopped producing, and the area became almost desolate once more. Some of the structures built at the time, including several houses, are still in the park and are often visited by tourists. In the vast desert terrain, crystal sinking and evidence of volcanic activity can be seen. According to experts, this is the cause of the region’s varied elevation.
As proven in times past, survival is possible in Death Valley National Park. There are hundreds of individuals currently residing in the area. While some are yet to adjust to the scorching heat, others have grown quite used to it, although this is mostly a result of their extended stay in the area.
If you’re considering visiting the area or even spending some time there but aren’t sure if you’ll be able to cope with the extreme temperatures, you should know that communities have been built in the region. People are living just fine, even thriving, despite how remote the area is and the extreme temperatures.
To answer your question, yes, people can and do live in Death Valley despite everything you might have heard about the region.
Currently, roughly 320 people stay there full-time. The population decline happened around the year 2010, although since then, the numbers have remained the same for the most part.
Everyone living in Death Valley agreed how difficult it was to adjust to the intense heat at first, but they were able to cope as time passed. Residents who have had their fair share of time in the area consider a 115 degrees day pretty normal.
The human body doesn’t fare very well under intense heat, especially at 120 degrees. Since temperature readings in Death Valley are often in this range, most people avoid the hottest places in the park, like Stovepipe Wells, the mountains, and the site with the highest temperature readings, known as the Devil’s Golf Course. The dry heat in these areas has killed people in the past.
The short answer is yes. Even as remote as Death Valley, it has cellphone coverage, water, electricity, an internet connection, and every other basic amenity you could require.
Only people who need to be connected to nature or seek solace from the city’s everyday grind can truly call this area home. If you’re not fond of quiet or near isolated ghost towns, then you will most likely find it difficult to live in Death Valley.
Death Valley National Park is located in Inyo County, southern California. The region is 8-24.1 km wide and 225.3 km in length. To the east of the park lies the Amargosa Range Mountains, at the South lies the Owlshead Mountains, and to the West is the Panamint Range. Death Valley is situated in the Southwestern section of the Great Basin and located at the North end of the Mojave Desert.
The longest body of water in the salt flats of Death Valley Park is the Amargosa River which can be found in the Southern part of the region, although most of the water runs underground.
In the summertime, Death Valley is at its hottest temperature and can soar up to 120 F (48.9 C). There are times when temperature readings exceed this number. However, this usually happens around July, which is the hottest period in Death Valley and not a good time for outdoor, physically exerting activities.
Badwater Basin is one of the highlights of Death Valley and is considered to be the lowest point in the whole of North America. According to experts, it lies at about 282 ft below sea level. Inversely, Telescope Peak is the highest point in Death Valley, with an estimated elevation of 3366 meters.
While summer in Death Valley can be unbearably hot, winter and spring months are very much the opposite and quite enjoyable. Winter months are typically the coolest in Death Valley, with significant temperature drops from 27-32 Fahrenheit.
Although Death Valley is known to be very hot almost all year round, it does, however, get chilly in December like every other part of the country. There is occasional rainfall, but it’s scarce. As a result, the land is incredibly patched. According to experts, the intense heat in the Death Valley region is due to the Panamint mountains and rock formations surrounding all four sides of the area.
While many areas around the world are plagued by extreme heat, Death Valley tops the list with the hottest temperature readings globally. Subsequent extremely high summer temperatures have been recorded in the region, making it the hottest place on earth. On July 9, 2021, a world record of 130 F was set in Furnace Creek, one of Death Valley’s many highlights.
The Death Valley National Park is a world-renowned tourist destination that photographers and sightseers from different continents come to visit. Besides being a national monument, the region covers an impressive 8481.7 miles, making it one of the largest National parks in the United States, according to earth scientists.
Death Valley’s Furnace Creek has been deemed the hottest site in the entire region, which is not surprising, as you can probably guess from its name. The High Eureka Sand Dunes of Death Valley are measured at 3,000 ft and are considered the tallest dunes in all of California. Some of the most popularly visited areas in Death Valley include Zabriskie Point, Scotty’s Castle, Badwater Basin, and Sailing Stones Point.
The native Timbisha Shoshone tribe once resided in Death Valley Park about 1000 years ago. Only 50 to 60 individuals belonging to the Timbisha Shoshone tribe still reside in Death Valley. A large percentage of this tribe’s remnants are the ones responsible for building the present community in Death Valley.
Many work for local organizations, while others have official positions in the park’s resort or as rangers. Due to the climate plight faced by the inhabitants of Death Valley, the tribes’ members are very much focused on water conservation. Younger tribe members are also taught the value of preserving water.
The name “Death Valley” came about in the year 1849-1850 when a group of explorers got lost while exploring the region. While attempting to leave the vast area, they began to run low on water and food and soon lost hope that they would be able to make it out alive, hence the name Death Valley.
As of date, Death Valley’s overall population is approximately 320. The numbers were much higher in previous years until the year 2001, which came with a significant 28 percent population decrease. However, ever since the major population reduction in 2001, the number of residents has remained almost the same. Many of Death Valley’s residents work at the National Park’s resort or other resorts not too far off.
While human survival is quite possible in Death Valley, that’s not to say it’s for everyone, as some people find the temperature to be exceedingly inconvenient and the area too secluded.
The people currently living in Death Valley admitted that it wasn’t at all easy to get accustomed to the heat cycle, but they eventually got used to it after some time. Residents prefer to stay indoors and use their air-conditioning systems during extreme temperature surges.
Not only does the weather become scorching during summer months, but humidity levels also drop considerably, which tends to cause dehydration and high evaporation rates.
While residents get to enjoy nature and the quiet the national park offers, life in the region is no simple affair. For instance, certain things are unavailable or difficult to come across, like supermarkets, malls, fast food, bowling alleys, and other kinds of establishments for entertainment.
The closest shopping center and learning facility are at least one hour away from the park, the nearest town is Las Vegas, and it happens to be two hours away.
Since the region is a ghost town, the most common pastime activities for people living in this national park include exploring the park, hiking through the surrounding mountains and rock formations, or star gazing at night. However, most teens and young adults prefer heading into town for entertainment during their spare time.
The cost of living in Death Valley is about 96% of the average American 100. The cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment for a week in Furnace Creek is around $25 to $30. The front office manager and some workers live around the Panamint Springs Resort, while others find accommodation in more developed areas, usually costing around $30 per week. Since there are very few establishments for entertainment, workers in the area can save quite a lot, even on minimum wage.
As safe as it is to live in Death Valley, residents still need to be fairly cautious to avoid certain dangers. Dehydration must be avoided at all costs when living in an area with searing heat like Death Valley. Also, wildlife like snakes and scorpions are sometimes encountered in the region. Therefore, it is important to stay on the lookout for them when in the area, especially when exploring.