Skip to main content
Select Source:

Death Valley

Death Valley, SE Calif. and SW Nev., a deep, arid basin, 140 mi (225 km) long, bordered on the W by the Panamint Range and on the E by the Amargosa Range. In summer the valley has recorded some of the world's highest air temperatures (134°F/56.7°C, the world record) and ground temperatures (165°F/74°C). Less than 2 in. (5 cm) of rain falls annually; the small Amargosa River and Furnace Creek disappear into the sands. Salt and alkali flats, unique rock formations, and briny pools are found there. Badwater, in the south central part of Death Valley, is 282 ft (86 m) below sea level, the lowest point in the Americas; Telescope Peak, in the Panamint Range, is 11,049 ft (3,368 m) high. In spite of the harsh environment, a large variety of small animals and desert plants are found in Death Valley; they have attracted much scientific attention. Native Americans of Panamint descent, an offshoot of the Shoshone, are the only group ever to be self-subsisting in the region.

Death Valley was named by gold seekers who undertook to cross this desolate region in 1849 on their way to the California gold fields. The valley yielded gold and silver in the 1850s, and in the 1880s borax was discovered and taken out by mule-drawn wagons. The valley was much publicized by the American adventurer Walter Scott ( "Death Valley Scotty" ), and it remains a popular tourist attraction. Death Valley National Park, 3,367,628 acres (1,363,412 hectares), a protected region of Death Valley, was established as a national monument in 1933 and designated a national park in 1994. See also National Parks and Monuments (table).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Death Valley." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Death Valley." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/death-valley

"Death Valley." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/death-valley

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Death Valley

DEATH VALLEY

DEATH VALLEY, a California desert valley near the Nevada line, is the driest and hottest area in North America.

Death Valley received its name from a party of emigrants who tried to find a shortcut from Salt Lake City to California in 1849. Instead, they were attacked by Paiute Indians in the bottom of Death Valley. The emigrants killed their oxen, burned their wagons to cure the meat, and headed west on foot. Thirteen died in transit, though the rest succeeded in reaching California.

Death Valley was once famous for a series of now-lost mines, and later became known for its production of borax. In 1933 Death Valley was proclaimed a national monument—nearly 1.9 million acres in California and Nevada. In 1994, it became a national park.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Coolidge, Dean. Death Valley Prospectors. Morongo Valley, Calif.: Sagebrush Press, 1985.

Lingenfelter, Richard E. Death Valley & the Amargosa: A Land of Illusion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

DaneCoolidge/h. s.

See alsoCalifornia ; National Park System .


Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Death Valley." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Death Valley." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/death-valley

"Death Valley." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/death-valley

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Death Valley

Death Valley Desert basin in e California, USA. It has the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, 86m (282ft) below sea level. Temperatures can reach 57°C (134°F), the highest in the USA. Gold and silver were mined in the 1850s, and borax in the late 19th century. It is surrounded by the Panamint mountains (w) and the Armagosa (e). Length: 225km (140mi).

http://www.nps.gov/deva

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Death Valley." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Death Valley." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/death-valley

"Death Valley." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/death-valley

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.