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 :-)
The National Park Service set up a viewing spot just off Badwater Road. There is an interpretive sign and a small parking area. The "Golf Course" is erratically eroded salt left over from a lake that covered the valley floor thousands of years ago. The water had a very high salt content and when it evaporated, left behind these salt deposits.
However, I think the best viewing of Devil's Golf Course is actually from West Side Road. The first two photos are from an area the park service set up. The last three were taken from West Side Road which is directly opposite the official view point.
On the West Side Road you can drive for some time along the golf course and stop when you want.
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!
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.
A field of salt pinnacles today, this used to be a lake more than 2000 years ago. When the lake evaporated, it left behind the layers of crystallized salt. This is constantly recreated as salty water is brough to the surface through capilary actions and then it evaporates resulting in new salt crystals. You can hear the noises made by the salt as it expands and contracts with the changes in temperature.
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.
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.
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 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.
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."
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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