Death Valley - Racetrack Playa & Eureka Dunes

September 17, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This post's photos are from a camping trip to Death Valley National Park earlier this year.  This time around, we discovered a great little campsite at the foot of the Eureka Valley Sand Dunes, which are occasionally the tallest dunes in North America (depending on the wind).  It's a pretty remote spot, but well worth it for the solitude and beautiful landscape.  Due to Death Valley's rich shadows and textures, I ended up opting for black and white in almost every photograph. 

 

The first couple shots are from the Racetrack. Here you can find rocks that have streaked across the playa in mysterious fashion, powered by strong winds and the occasional rain.  

 

Sailing StoneSailing StoneRacetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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The GrandstandThe GrandstandRacetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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At night, a near full moon illuminated the sand dunes under the night sky.

 

Moonlit DunesMoonlit DunesEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Eureka Dunes Dry CampEureka Dunes Dry CampEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Sunrise, Eureka DunesSunrise, Eureka DunesEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Desert Grasses at SunriseDesert Grasses at SunriseEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Last Chance RangeLast Chance RangeEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Eureka DunesEureka DunesDeath Valley National Park
March 2013

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Fighter jet pilots frequently practice over the area, often at extremely low altitude.

 

Contrails over Last Chance RangeContrails over Last Chance RangeEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Windblown SandWindblown SandEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Shadowed DunesShadowed DunesEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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FootstepsFootstepsEureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park
March 2013

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Possibly my favorite feature of this area is one of the darkest skies you can find in California.  This last photo was taken during a relatively brief window just after moonset, before sunrise washed out the stars.  

 

Milky Way over Eureka DunesMilky Way over Eureka DunesDeath Valley NP, California
March 2013

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