Only a small portion of Death Valley is covered in sand dunes, but the dunes add to the stark beauty that one finds there. Shifting shapes and shadows, layered ridges, and subtle hues characterize these wind-carved landscapes.
Death Valley is extremely hot–one of the hottest places on earth. This valley, 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level at its deepest, is walled by heat-trapping mountain ranges. Moreover, sparse vegetation allows the California sun full access to the desert soil.