For the golf players the name must tell it all – devil’s golf course. Apparently it is not a piece of cake to launch a ball from this kind of surface even for celebrities with feline-sounding names. For the rest of humanity it takes curiosity to figure out what exactly this means. Well, it is the weirdest surface on planet, akin to the rock fields of the Galapagos' Isabella Island. The puzzle is whether this bizarre plain is made of eroded rock, parched soil or something between the two. Most probably the truth is somewhere in the middle just like its location in the middle of the valley. What a spot for a picnic lunch with an extraterrestrial view!
Devil's Golfcourse is what is left of a lake that evaporated about 2000 years ago. What you can see now is a sea of salt crystals, that form pinnacles as far as you can see. And if you listen carefully, you actually hear the the crystals "pinging" as they expand and contract in the heat.
This is not actually a golf course to improve your handicap, although the is a playable course in Death Valley.
The floor of Death Valley is a huge evaporating dish covering more than 200 square miles. It's crusted over with a variety of salts which can be seen up close and personal at the Devil's Golf Course. The salt comes close to looking like a coral reef. The lumpy salt pinnacles are the residue of Death Valley's last significant lake, which evaporated 2,000 years ago.
You can take a walk amongst the salt formations, although this looked a bit tricky to us and we were just happy to take in the peace and quiet.
The Devil's Golf Course is accessible via a short unpaved road and is all that remains of the last significant lake in Death Valley. The lake dried up some 2000 years ago leaving behind this vast flat area with crystalline salt deposits. These pinnacles of salt have been carved into various shapes by the wind and the rain and are up to about a foot tall. Some of them form a cup like shape contributing to the “Golf Course” appearance. One story says the name came from a travel writer who state that only the devil would play a golf course like this.
You are not supposed to walk on the salt formations, and it is a good idea not to anyway. They are hard and sharp and could really cut you if you fell on them.
A must see for anyone visiting Death Valley National Park, the Devils Golf Course almost defies description: towering columns of salt, some two feet tall, stretch for what seem like miles. Rapid evaporation of salt laden ground water draw these strange rock hard formations from the ground.
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I'd like to see some professionals golfers try this course. Maybe golf on TV would be spiced up a bit. When we visited, no one was playing for some reason.
Well this is not a golf course. It is a dried up ancient lakebed. Mineral deposits protrude from the ground. This is rough terrain at its finest.
It is located between Badwater and Furnace Creek just off Badwater Road. It is accessible by a short unpaved road. You can stroll into the golf course if you like. It is worth a stop on the way to or from Badwater.
Take a short spur road (one of the wonderful, washboard dirt roads) to the parking lot here so you can get out to check this out. It looks like hilly mud, but in reality, this is salt pinnacles carved by wind and erosion to create a spiky, jagged, nasty landscape. There are several warnings to be careful walking here, because if you slip, you're basically slipping onto jagged rocks that won't give way to your body! Walk out a little beyond the parking lot to get that feeling of isolation. Just watch that you don't fall down!
Here, salt crystals deposited by ancient lakes have created a surreal, almost dreamlike landscape. Like so many things in Death Valley, it looks completely different from anything else that I've seen.
This was a lake that evaporated over 2000 years ago.
Walking over hard crystallized jagged salt deposits. It was flat like a golf course.
Perhaps, tourists should not be allowed to walk over them as damage could occur whenever there is contact.
A fascinating sight not to be missed.
The Devil's Golf Course is a geological site within the park that is the remains of Death Valley's last significant lake, which evaporated about 2000 years ago. As the lake evaporated the minerals in the water became increasingly concentrated. As you look across the Golf Course you will see thousands of miniature salt pinnacles that are carved into interesting shapes by the desert wind and rain. These hard salt crystalline formation stretch far into the distance. In some areas round, cup shaped holes can be seen in the ground, giving the area the name of a golf course. This is completely barren land, with nothing growing in this concentrated salt landscape. Be careful walking around the area, as the formations are razor sharp, and if you fall you could be cut badly.
Approx. 8 km north of Badwater you'll find Devil's Golf Course.
It must have been a salty lake some thousand years ago. What is left now is dried crystalline salt humps, brown and white.
It's an interesting area, and the little noise, coming from the salt crackings when they absorb and evaporate humidity, really sounds like golf balls being hit by the club :-)
However, at a small distance, the surface has dried out a little more and the crust has broken into scales that bend up ! It is forbidden to walk but if ever you tried, you would be trapped in thick mud as only the surface is dry, underneath is remaining sluggish!
Devil's golf course stand south to Furnace Creek. At first sight, the name of Devil's golf course does not seem to apply to this place, with a smooth white surface where playing golf would have been a pleasure.
Similar to the Salt Flats, the Devil's Golf Course is a large area of crystalline Salt (sodium chloride) deposits. The area is very jagged and uneven, making walking very difficult, as some of the pinnacles can be up to a foot high. It is said to be still possible to see the wagon tracks of the early settlers in the salt from the viewpoint far above the valley at Dante's Peak.
Of course, you can't actually golf there. The name comes from a quote in a 1934 travel guidebook of the region, which said "only the devil could play golf on such a surface."
Halfway between the junction at Furnace Creek and Bad Water you will find the Devil's Golf Course. You will have to follow an unpaved road for a mile or so, to get you close to the area. It is called like this because the ground is the absolute opposite of a golf course green.