The last two times we have come this way we always travel along Highway 178 that passes through Inyokern, Ridgecrest, China Lake, Argus, and Trona. Just as you pass over the hills you will see such beautiful vista's. Panamint Mountain Range is a mecca of camping, hiking, and ATVing. It's park of Death Valley Nation Park and it encompasses some really wonderful points of interest. Such as historic ghost town, valleys, canyons, and mountains to conquer:
Six Spring Canyon
Warm Springs Camp
Hungry Bill's Ranch
Chuckwalla Canyon Crater
Tuber Bm & Tuber Cyn
Aguereberry Point Road
Here are some good sources of information:
Friends of Panamint Valley
Death Valley National Park Servies
No, this isn't Tibet. However, people took over the customs of building piles with small stones.
Everywhere where there are piles, you see people picking up stones and adding some to the piles.
It's funny. At the place on this photo, there was a very nasty wind and we hardly could go forward on the hill, but these piles didn't move.
Here's another view of "Manly Lake" with Shoreline Butte in the background. It was described as a "dark basaltic lava butte" on the Manly Lake sign along Highway 178 (about 44 miles south of Furnace Creek Visitors Center).
Fondest memory: Hard to imagine a time when most of Nevada was covered with water, seeing as the state is now mountain and desert.
Favorite thing: This butte (near Lake Manly) is located across from the Ashford Mill ruins, 44 miles south of Furnace Creek alongside highway 178. I thought it was lovely with the Desert Gold flowers making a pattern on the rockface.
I found the lay of the land fascinating. In this picture looking up, you can see how the land slopes down from the mouth of two narrow canyons. These alluvial fans come in all sizes... but not shapes. They are "fans".
The following webpage describes alluvial fans in depth.
Geology of Death Valley National Park
Heading west on Hwy 374 just after the official entrance into Death Valley National Park, you'll come upon an area known as Hell's Gate. At an elevation of over 2,000 feet above sea level, its one of the higher spots on the main park thoroughfare. Up ahead, US 190 drops steadily into the valley for an elevation loss greater than the 2,000 plus feet.
From here, you can walk to or scramble up the Death Valley Buttes. The Buttes are 2 foothills that are about a half mile from the Hell's Gate parking area. They looked pretty steep and tricky, but navigable.
I'm not aware of any significance to the name Hell's Gate except that it serves as the, um, warm and friendly greeting into Death Valley.
Favorite thing: In the low lying areas of the valley where temperatures soar beyond the imagination, the land is a veritable dead zone with no growth whatsoever. Heading towards above sea level ground, plant life starts to make an appearance. Here, near Stovepipe Wells, anemic looking plants grow in the oh so hospitable environment known as the Devil's Cornfield.
Fondest memory: There are amazing views of the desert and mountainous landscape from Zabriskie Point. The colors of the landscape are just beautiful. They have a golden color, and some have a silver color, and some even look like a "mosaic". In this picture you can also see Badwater in the distance.
Favorite thing: After what seemed hundreds of miles in the desert yet was just somthing like 15 m since civilisation, it was great to come across a watering hole at Stove Pipe Wells
Fondest memory: The views from Artists Drive are amazing. The desert is not just one color anymore. You can see lots of beautiful colors of the desert landscape along with barren hills or mountains.