With such a forebodingly brutal name, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is one place you should avoid like the plague. But recently our production crew happily discovered this corner of the Mojave Desert opens its heart to visitors and rewards them with enchanting and jaw-droppingly beautiful views. Located in the northern Mojave Desert in California, around 2 hours’ drive west of Las Vegas and 4 hours east of Los Angeles, Death Valley brazenly stakes its claim as the hottest, lowest and driest place on the North American continent. It also boasts Earth’s all-time highest recorded temperature at a blistering 56.7 C (134 F) – thankfully not while our photographer, Ian, was there. Often plunging well below freezing at night, this place is a stunning example of how a land of such extremes can teem with a surprising abundance of life.

Ian captured some spectacular images at Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin and Dante’s View before settling in at one of Furnace Creek’s comfortable (and thankfully air-conditioned!) accommodation options. Up again early for another day filled with vivid amber hues, atmospheric ghost towns and shimmering salt plains. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

Our scriptwriter, Johnny, has long been drawn to desert landscapes, having ridden his bicycle solo around Oman and across the red sands of Australia’s remote corners. “What you quickly learn in these places”, Johnny explained, “is that they are anything but lifeless, hence my attraction to Death Valley.”  

Such an eloquently befitting script deserved a soundtrack of equal magnitude. TM composer, Jacquie drew inspiration from the likes of Texas, Johnny Cash, U2 and Ennio Morricone. “The guitar notes just hung in space, and I got to use my favourite Eventide “Blackhole” reverb on almost every instrument!” she revealed. Although this brief was far from typical, Jacquie stepped up to the formidable task and delivered a piece just as captivating, mysterious and eerie as the landscape itself. 

So, without further ado, we proudly present our newest travel guide, Death Valley

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