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Photograph the Racetrack in Death Valley

Inyo County, California


Added by Clare Healy

Admire the scenic and serene landscape hidden in Death ValleyWitness the once-mysterious phenomenon of the "racing rocks"Photograph the impeccably flat surface of this dry lakebed

Tucked away in the remote northern end of Death Valley is a strange, lonely place: the Racetrack. It is one of the most iconic areas, an impeccable salt lakebed, and an eerily flat and typically dried out place. It is 2.5 miles long and 1.25 miles wide of mud cracked surface, sediment, dramatic mountain surroundings, and the once-mysterious “racing rocks.”

From Ubehebe Crater, the journey to the racetrack is a somewhat treacherous 27 mile unpaved road. This hour and a half one way journey is an adventure in itself and your arrival at the racetrack will make the bumpy drive even more than worthwhile. There are three routes to get to the racetrack but the road from Ubehebe Crater is the only one accessible for 2wd vehicles. When you are approximately half way down this road, you’ll come upon Teakettle Junction. Be sure to hop out, take a photo, and check out the dates and names on the visitors’ teakettles left behind!

So, why are the rocks found at this surreal place called “racing rocks,” you ask? It was found that rocks up to 100 lbs tumbling from nearby mountain are being driven by occasional ice sheets & strong winds across the lake when water freezes. At the south end of the racetrack, you can find the natural phenomenons and their "tracks", even reversing course. When entering from the north, be sure to stop at the first parking area to explore the surreal rock formation known at the Grandstand before heading a few miles further south to the racing rocks.

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