Death Valley, California
Death Valley, it’s harsh and rugged landscape established a national monument in 1933 and named a national park in 1944, has long held a fascination for visitors, even before it became tourist friendly. Shortly after the first visit of nonnative inhabitants, a party of forty-niners looking for a shortcut to the goldfields of California crossed this land with tragic results; inadvertently giving the valley it’s moniker. Despite the immense suffering in the midst, prospectors began exploring the area looking for mineral wealth. Boomtowns formed, prospered, and died all within a few years, most disappearing completely into the desert. Adding to Death Valley’s mystique was the shameless self-promotion of Death Valley Scotty, which lasted for a period spanning more than 50 years.