Desert Towns Worth a Stop on the Way to Death Valley Read Article
National Geographic- Death Valley article and photos Read Article
ABC News Ranks Death Valley #1 Park Read Article
LA FM 98.7 Getaway Gallery: Death Valley Read Article
OnRoute Tour to Tecopa Hot Springs Read Article
Southwest Blend Tour of Tecopa Hot Springs Read Article
Desert USA’s two-day driving tour of Death Valley Read Article
Las Vegas Weekly: Desert Sanctuary- Goldwell Museum Read Article
Hwy 395- Grandest Road Trip in California Read Article

Death Valley ’49ers Pre-Encampment – November 1-5, 2015


Encampment: Wednesday November 11th through Sunday November 15th, 2015

Join us in Furnace Creek, CA. 2015 Pre-Encampment: Sunday November 8th through Tuesday November 10th. 2015 Encampment: Wednesday November 11th through Sunday November 15th, 2015. Encampment events begin Wednesday and run until Sunday. These five days are filled with events including old-time and western-style music, an Invitational Western Art Show, craft shows, golf tournament, wheelbarrow and prospector’s races, a pioneer costume contest, 4X4 tours, wagon train and horse parades, community breakfasts and our Worlds Lowest 1849 Poker Tournament.

For full details see

Rio Tinto Minerals Donates $50,000 for Death Valley National Park

Gift supports video project for National Park Service Centennial Anniversary in 2016

Death Valley, CA – Rio Tinto Minerals has donated $50,000 to produce a documentary video series on the unique beauty and history of Death Valley National Park as part of the National Park Service Centennial anniversary in 2016.

The gift was made through the non-profit Death Valley Natural History Association to support the Death Valley National Park video project, a multi-agency collaboration with the National Park Service and Bristlecone Media, whose documentary credits include The Mono Lake StoryEastern Sierra Land Trust, and Grand Canyon in Depth.

The “Death Valley Explorer” video series is designed to engage the public in the park’s rich environmental and cultural history. Each episode will feature visually stunning imagery and inspiring natural and human stories that highlight the unique attributes of America’s lowest, hottest and driest National Park.

“Rio Tinto Minerals is extremely proud of our heritage that dates back to the 1880s, when our 20 Mule Team wagons first hauled Borax out of Death Valley, and still today, remain one of the most memorable icons of the American West,” Dean Gehring, President and CEO of Rio Tinto Minerals. “Our hope is that this video series inspires a new generation of Americans to appreciate Death Valley’s one-of-a-kind geology and history that has been so important to our employees and the local community.”

The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation recently launched Find Your Park, a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for the next 100 years. The goal of the NPS Centennial is to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates.

“We hope this series will strengthen the connection between the American people and Death Valley National Park, and build a sense of ownership and pride, inspiring a commitment to its stewardship,” stated acting Superintendent Mallory Smith.

Rio Tinto Minerals’ commitment to environmental preservation dates back to the early days of Borax. In 1916, previous company officials helped write the language that was adopted by Congress to establish the National Park Service.

Later the company, which operated for decades as U.S. Borax, donated land holdings to the federal government and lobbied to have the area protected as a National Monument in 1933, and again as a National Park in 1994. In 2010, Rio Tinto Minerals donated an additional 110 acres and associated mineral rights to Death Valley National Park.

About Rio Tinto Minerals Part of Rio Tinto Group, Rio Tinto Minerals supplies about 30 percent of the world’s refined borates – a critical ingredient in hundreds of products including glass, fiberglass, ceramics, fertilizers, wood preservatives and detergents – from its operation in California’s Mojave Desert, one of the richest borate deposits on earth. Learn more at

About National Park Service Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks, which includes more than 400 places that have 275 million visitors every year. Death Valley is the largest U.S. National Park outside Alaska at 3.4 million acres. About 91% of the park is protected as officially designated Wilderness.

About Death Valley Natural History Association Since 1954 the Death Valley Natural History Association (DVNHA) has been the official nonprofit partner of Death Valley National Park. In that time, DVNHA has donated over $3.5 million to the National Park supporting education, preservation, and scientific research. For more information or to make a donation, please go to or call 800-478-8564.



Former Death Valley Employee Named as New Park Superintendent

Mike Reynolds (1)

Mike Reynolds has been named as the new superintendent of Death Valley National Park, located in eastern California and western Nevada. He replaces Kathy Billings who recently retired. Reynolds will begin his new assignment on May 31, 2015, managing a staff of 125 full-time employees and an annual budget of approximately $9 million.

“Mike is an experienced leader with the National Park Service, and we know his skills, experience, and passion for Death Valley make him a great fit for Death Valley National Park,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz.  “I am delighted to keep him in our region and know that park staff, partners, and community members will enjoy working with him.”

Reynolds most recently served as superintendent of Lava Beds National Monument and the Tule Lake Unit of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, both located in northeastern California.  He has worked with both the local and Japanese American communities to develop the future of the new Tule Lake Unit.  A general management plan is nearing its final stages.  Reynolds will indirectly continue his affiliation with the story of Japanese American incarceration through Death Valley’s close connection to Manzanar National Historic Site.

“I am excited by the chance to further the NPS mission at Death Valley and humbled by the opportunity to serve the visitors, resources, and staff at the park,” said Mike Reynolds.  “Death Valley is a world class resource and I look forward to the opportunity to live and work there again.”

Reynolds has worked for the National Park Service for more than 18 years and has served at Big Bend, Great Smoky Mountains, Death Valley, and Yellowstone National Parks.  He also spent three and a half years as superintendent at the National Park of American Samoa.  Reynolds has a BS in Math and Business Operations from Indiana University and an MS in Outdoor Recreation from Arizona State University. Reynolds will relocate to Death Valley along with his partner, Sarah Bone, and his Samoan cat named Tele.  As avid outdoor enthusiasts, they look forward to running, hiking, and backpacking throughout the beautiful and wild park.


BADWATER Cape Fear returns to North Carolina on March 21

(See our brand new, totally redesigned website for all the info!)

The BADWATER® ultra running experience returns to the East Coast in two weeks when the second BADWATER CAPE FEAR race takes place on Bald Head Island, North Carolina on March 21, 2015. An image of the 51-mile race finisher’s buckle is attached, along with other images from the race’s inaugural edition in March of 2014.

See an aerial video of the 2014 race

Download the Cape Fear edition of BADWATER Magazine (48 pages, full-color):

With 50km and 51-mile options, Badwater® Cape Fear features a twelve-mile warm-up on the car-free, one-lane-wide roads of Bald Head Island, followed by either 19 or 39 miles of running on the wild and secluded sandy beach between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher. The race is held along the Atlantic Seaboard with spectacular views of the Frying Pan Shoals to the east and wild and undeveloped marshlands to the west. It is and dramatic, invigorating, and inspiring manner in which to experience Cape Fear in all its grandeur!

This exquisite natural setting is the perfect antidote to the “real world” and a wonderful counterpart to the desert sands of Death Valley and Anza-Borrego Desert featured in the two West Coast BADWATER® races.

Bald Head Island and nearby Southport, NC (featured in the film “Safe Haven”) are ideal vacation get-away spots for the entire family, located less than one hour from Wilmington, NC and its major airport with Delta and US Airways service (flying into Myrtle Beach, SC is another convenient option.)

Once the remarkable beauty and quaint southern charm of this area are experienced once, we anticipate that most Badwater Cape Fear participants will make this race an annual pilgrimage.

In 2014, eighty runners from 17 states plus Canada, ranging in age from 20 to 72, competed. See the entire 2014 webcast here:

With registration closing in the next few days, the 2015 year the race will feature a field of approximately 130 runners. There are 42 women and 88 men, ranging in age from 20 to 69, currently registered. Full race roster:

Countries represented in the 2015 field include Canada, Singapore, and the Philippines, plus runners represent 26 American states, districts, and territories: Alabama (3), California (3), Connecticut (1), District of Columbia (1), Florida (24), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (2), Maryland (5), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), North Carolina (40), Nebraska (1), Nevada (2), New Jersey (2), New York (4), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (5), Puerto Rico (1), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (5), Texas (4), Virginia (4), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).

The Official Charity of BADWATER CAPE FEAR is the Bald Head Island Conservancy, a leader in barrier island conservation, preservation, and education. Race participants will appreciate that BHIC cares for this race route’s pristine setting and its role as a sea turtle nesting site, and are encouraged to fundraise for BHIC and support its mission.

The goal of the race is to raise $10,000 for Bald Head Island Conservancy, which is enough to purchase one of the special UTV vehicles which BHIC uses to patrol the beach and care for sea turtle nesting sites, as shown in the attached photograph. Learn more at

Local Sponsors include Coastal Urge, which will host a pre-race social mixer at their Bald Head Island location. The finish line feast and the post-race breakfast will be catered by Maritime Market. Special home rental offers on Bald Head Island are available through  Bald Head Island Limited, Wendy Wilmot Properties, and Seabreeze Rentals, while the Hampton Inn in Southport has also extended a special rate. Marybeth and George Ray of Southport Paddle & Sail will also support the race with their time and talent. The event is being hosted under special permits from the Village of Bald Head Island and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.

Badwater Cape Fear is the first leg of the BADWATER® ULTRA CUP, which includes Badwater Cape Fear on March 21, the 81-mile Badwater Salton Sea on May 3-4, and then Badwater 135 on July 28-30. Those runners who complete all three full-distance events in the same calendar year will be featured on the Badwater website and their virtues will be extolled throughout the Internet and in future editions of BADWATER Magazine. The male and female runners with the lowest combined times for the three events will be recognized as the 2015 Badwater Ultra Cup champions. More information, including the seven remarkable athletes who completed the entire Badwater Ultra Cup in 2014, is available at

AdventureCORPS®, Inc. is an athlete-run firm producing and promoting ultra-endurance sports events and the BADWATER® brand. Adventure is our way of life. AdventureCORPS’ world-class events for athlete-adventurers include epic races such as the BADWATER® 135, BADWATER® SALTON SEA, BADWATER® CAPE FEAR, Silver State 508™, and other events. Our products include Badwater® Apparel, Badwater® Skin Care, Badwater® Gear, as well as other great lifestyle items and services. Founded in 1984 by Chris Kostman, this group effort is dedicated to exploring the inner and outer universes, seeking adventure, energy, and insight both in daily life and “out there.”

Chris Kostman, Chief Adventure Officer and Race Director
AdventureCORPS, Inc.
638 Lindero Canyon Rd #311
Oak Park, CA 91377 USA

Zabriskie Point Open to Visitors

Death Valley, CA—Just in time for springtime visitors, Death Valley National Park announced that access to Zabriskie Point and surrounding areas are now open.  Major rehabilitation work at the site that took place during the winter has been completed. Unstable support walls were repaired to improve safety conditions, and concrete benches have been installed on the walkway leading up to the vista point.


The popular vista was built by the Pacific Coast Borax Company in the 1920s and was named after the company’s vice president and general manager, Christian Zabriskie. The site was originally intended as a waystop for visitors in automobiles to see Manly Beacon, the prominent landmark in Death Valley’s “Badlands”. It remains as one of the most visited areas within the park.


Due to prevalent fall and winter precipitation in the park, wildflowers are abundant on alluvial fans and in swales and gulleys across the park landscape.  For more information about Death Valley and to plan your trip to the park, see see for wildflower updates.





Death Valley National Park Mourns the Loss of Long Time Friend of the Park

Dr. James (Jim) Deacon Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Life Sciences, passed away at his home on February 23, 2015.


Jim had a long career in the conservation of desert fishes and their habitats.  His work and his ability to communicate about that work resulted in meaningful, long-term protection for the aquatic resources of Nevada and the desert southwest.  It was his investigations in Devils Hole that called attention to the plight of the Devils Hole pupfish.  (Devils Hole is located within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge near Pahrump, NV, and is managed by Death Valley National Park.) His testimony was key in the landmark 1976 Supreme Court decision that protected a National Park Service water right for that species and its ecosystem.   In the years following the court decision, Jim remained involved in the Devils Hole pupfish protection effort through his participation in the Devils Hole Pupfish Recovery Team and countless ad-hoc discussions with many that have worked to preserve this species and its habitat.


As part of the early conservation efforts of desert fishes, Jim was one of the founding members of the Desert Fishes Council that had its inaugural meeting in Death Valley National Park in 1975.  To quote from one of his friends and colleagues Edwin P. (Phil) Pister, Executive Secretary of the Desert Fishes Council (a position he has held since 1975):


“For me, Jim was always a treasured friend who was extremely helpful in planning and implementing the recovery programs conducted by the Desert Fishes Council and its members. It is difficult to write about Jim without acknowledging his mentors and colleagues. I think of the late Carl Hubbs, Bob Miller, and W.L. Minckley, all legends in their own right. To say that Jim Deacon will be missed is a great understatement. I will always remember his voice when he phoned me in 1976 following the Devils Hole Supreme Court decision: “Phil, we won!! I closed my office door and cried.”

Apart from his remarkable achievements and numerous awards and recognition, Jim was instrumental in establishing UNLV’s first M.S. and Ph.D. programs (in biology) and mentored more than 25 masters and doctoral students during his 42 year UNLV career.


For further information about Jim’s career and life accomplishments please see the following links:


Jim Deacon

Caption for accompanying photo: Dr. Jim Deacon (left) giving an interview at Devils Hole in August 1970.





2015 Badwater 135


We are pleased to announce that the 2015 Badwater 135, the world’s toughest foot race, will be held July 28

-30 on the traditional route from Badwater to Mt. Whitney. The race will have a three-wave start in the evening, but will otherwise be held essentially identically to previous Badwater 135 races*. As was the case in 2014, 100 runners will be accepted to compete and each entrant will be limited to just one support vehicle and a maximum of four crew members. We are excited to return to Death Valley!

Applications will be accepted January 19 to February 2 ONLY and additional details are on the race website.  We hope you will join us for one or more BADWATER® events in 2015!

We will have a more detailed announcement after the New Year regarding the new rules and regulations for operating sporting events within Death Valley National Park. Most of the impact of the new rules will be on us, the organizers, with more bureaucracy and additional expenses. Event participants and support crews won’t see too much that is different, other than more rules to follow.

The BADWATER® ULTRA CUP comprises Badwater Cape Fear in March, Badwater Salton Sea in May, and Badwater 135 in July. Those runners who complete all three full-distance events in the same calendar year will be featured on the Badwater website and their virtues will be extolled throughout the Internet and in future editions of BADWATER Magazine.

Registration is already open for the first two Badwater races in 2015. Sign up now!


March 21, 2015 (Saturday)
50km or 51mi
Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Registration is open NOW! Over 60 runners already registered!
Come for several days and make it a spring break vacation for your family or running buddies!

May 3-4, 2015 (Sunday-Monday)
81 miles (All runners must enter as a team of three and run TOGETHER, not as a relay, for the duration.)
Borrego Springs, California
Registration is open NOW!

July 28-30, 2015 (Tuesday-Thursday)
135 miles
Furnace Creek, California
Applications will be accepted January 19 to February 2 ONLY

October 17-30, 2015
BADWATER Presents Mustang Trail Race
Eight-Day Stage Race within a 14-Day Adventure in Nepal!
Registration opens very soon!
Limited to just 25 entrants!

September 19-21, 2015 (Saturday-Monday)
Silver State 508 Ultracycling Race
508 miles
Reno, Nevada
Registration opens March 9.


Badwater Cerro Gordo
100 miles
Lone Pine, CA
The Badwater Cerro Gordo 100-mile footrace is one of the most demanding and extreme running races offered anywhere on the planet. Based upon the Badwater 135 route used in 2014, it covers 100 miles (162km) non-stop from Lone Pine, CA to the summit of Horseshoe Meadow (elev. 10,000 feet / 3048m), then across the Owens Valley to a 5,500 foot dirt road ascent to the ghost town of Cerro Gordo, and then, after passing through Lone Pine, a final dramatic ascent to the highest paved point on Mt. Whitney, CA. Additional details forthcoming.

– Watch for our Full-Page ads in the next two editions of ULTRA Running Magazine!
– The brand new, totally redesigned website will go live in December!
– Lots of great Badwater gear and commemoratives are available in the Badwater Store hosted at ZombieRunner! Click

We have great gifts and really useful and motivational Badwater goodies, including the July 2014 60-page, full color BADWATER Magazine, plus Badwater sunglasses in lots of colors, reflective Badwater ZZYXXZ t-shirts and women’s tank tops, Badwater Headsweats hats with reflective thread, Badwater Lip Balm, tote backpacks, towels, bumper sticks, baby onesies, books, and much more! It is all available at our online store hosted by Zombierunner, owned by Badwater 135 veterans Don Lundell and Gillian Robinson! Click on over to:

Join us on Twitter: @badwater (Use hashtags #badwaterCF, #badwaterSS, or #badwater135, depending on the race you are referencing!)
Join us on Facebook:
Join us on Instagram: @badwaterHQ

We hope you have a fantastic holiday season and we look forward to sharing some great adventures with you in 2015! Thanks for your support!

Yours in sport,
Chris Kostman,
Chief Adventure Officer and Race Director

AdventureCORPS, Inc.
638 Lindero Canyon Rd #311
Oak Park, CA 91377 USA

Zabriskie Point Closed to Visitors for Winter Season

Death Valley, CA–Death Valley National Park announced that starting December 1, 2014 through April 30, 2015, all access to Zabriskie Point and surrounding areas will be closed for major rehabilitation work to the site. Contractors will be on site to repair unstable support walls and improve safety conditions. Currently, the walls are deteriorating to the extent that they pose a danger to public safety.


The popular vista was built by the Pacific Coast Borax Company in the 1920s and was named after the company’s vice president and general manager, Christian Zabriskie. The site was originally intended as a waystop for visitors in automobiles to see Manly Beacon, the prominent landmark in Death Valley’s “Badlands”. It remains as one of the most visited areas within the park.


Other venues in the area to visit during the closure recommended by park staff are Golden Canyon, Artist’s Drive, or Dante’s View for exceptional vistas of the valley floor and distant peaks. To plan your trip to the park, see


During construction, CA Hwy 190 will remain open to through traffic.





Death Valley National Park Waives Entrance Fee on Veteran’s Day Weekend

Death Valley, CA–The National Park Service invites you to take advantage of the many recreational opportunities available at Death Valley National Park in commemoration of Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2014.  Now that the weather has cooled down, you can enjoy being outdoors again in all areas of the park. Only entrance fees will be waived. Camping fees and expanded amenity fees, such as Scotty’s Castle tour tickets, will still apply. Please check the park’s website for the latest information on road closures.


All National Park units will waive entrance fees in honor of the Veteran’s Day holiday. For more information about Death Valley NP, call 760-786-3200 or see For more information about other fee free days in National Parks, go to





Death Valley National Park Waives Entrance Fees to Celebrate Historic Legislation Leading to National Park Status

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Death Valley, CA–Death Valley National Park invites the public to “Wilderness Week” October 26-November 2 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the 20th anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act (CDPA). In 1964, the Wilderness Act created a national system of wilderness “for the permanent good of the whole people.” These areas were to offer places that were “undeveloped…and retaining its primeval character and influence, protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions.” Events during the week will be combined to celebrate the California Desert Protection Act, which changed Death Valley’s status from a national monument to a national park.  Death Valley is now 91% designated wilderness and the largest national park in the lower 48 states. Entrance fees will be waived on Friday October 31 and November 1 to commemorate the historic legislation.

The Wilderness Week celebration will kick off with a dark sky program that will highlight Death Valley’s pristine night sky and recognition as the largest International Dark Sky Park in the world. During the week, park rangers will lead wilderness hikes from the Furnace Creek area, and feature a photography exhibit in the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Interpretive programs during the 2014 season will include a message about the significance of the CDPA and Wilderness Act. Staff will showcase a display entitled “Faces of Wilderness” to recognize the people who helped pass these significant pieces of legislation.

On Friday evening (10/31) there will be an event in the Furnace Creek auditorium, featuring Ed Rothfuss, former Superintendent of Death Valley NP during the lead up and passing of the CDPA. At this event, the park staff will recognize those citizens who were instrumental in contributing their time and expertise to the arduous work of passing this legislation. This day is the actual 20thanniversary date! On Saturday (11/1), there will be multiple activities, including speakers, hikes, workshops, and other festivities to commemorate the event. A late afternoon session will feature former Western Director of the Wilderness Society, Patricia Schifferle, who coordinated much of the citizen advocacy efforts during this time.

For more information and schedule of events, see,  or call 760-786-3207.