Death Valley is a United States National Park that is located primarily in the Southern California Desert, with a small portion extending into Nevada. Many potential visitors ignore the park due to the misconception that it is simply a lifeless, empty landscape, but this 3.4 million acre (14,000 km2) park is not only the largest park in the continental USA but also arguably one of the most striking specimens of Mother Earth. Nearly every major geological era is elegantly exposed here in what sometimes appears to be one of her greatest tapestries, gloriously presenting her full spectrum.
The valley itself is 130 miles (210 km) long, between six and 13 miles (10-21 km) wide and is surrounded by steep mountain ranges: the Panamint mountains to the west, and the Black, Funeral, and Grapevine mountains to the east. Its three million acres of wilderness and rich cultural history make it a lifetime's work to explore all that the valley has to offer.
Death Valley is one of the hottest places in the world. Air temperatures over 120 °F (49 °C) are common during the summer months of June, July, August and September. The record high in the park was recorded in 1913 at a blazing 134 °F (57 °C). This is second only to a 136 °F (58 °C) temperature taken in Libya in 1922. Since it is often up to four degrees hotter near Badwater than it is near Furnace Creek where the official record was recorded, it is entirely likely that Death Valley should hold the title as the hottest place on Earth.