Search
Saturday, April 20th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Saturday, April 20th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Kayakers flocking to what is normally a dry desert region in California’s Death Valley National Park

The author, Jane Beathard at Badwater Basin. Badwater Basin is 282 feet below sea level – one of the lowest places in the world. (Contributed photo)

Who would think there would be boating in California’s Death Valley National Park?

The park is the largest national park in the continental U.S. and encompasses a spot called Badwater Basin, a lonely outpost which is 282 feet below sea level – one of the lowest places in the world. 

It is also one of the driest places in North America. Badwater’s annual two inches of rainfall generally evaporates before it hits the ground.

But thanks to Hurricane Hillary last August and the onslaught of “atmospheric rivers” that have hit California over and over this winter, Badwater is no longer dry. It has had nearly five inches of rain in the past six months.

For the moment, it is home to a small lake and paddlers have taken note of the rarity.

The lake (actually named Lake Manly for historic reasons) is not exactly a Lake Erie. It is six miles long, three miles wide, and about a foot deep.

That is deep enough for a kayak. And kayakers have been rushing there to take advantage of the opportunity to say they have boated the normally dry expanse that is Death Valley. Their adventures are documented on various social media sites.

MORE COVERAGE FROM OUTDOOR NEWS:

Wisconsin ready to honor Aldo Leopold on 75th anniversary of Sand County Almanac

Nature Smart: A day photographing wolves and bison as nature runs its course in Yellowstone

Tips to manage your land for wild turkeys

I have been to Badwater numerous times. It’s a spot I like to take guests who visit me at my vacation home in Las Vegas – just so they can say they’ve been to such a unique natural spot. The park is only about a two-hour drive west of the city.

I can’t imagine what kayaking there must be like. I am not a fan of that kind of boating, but it would be fun to say you took advantage of this rare, watery event.

Chances are there won’t be time to set up a kayak rental at Badwater. Park rangers say the lake is likely to evaporate to the point boating won’t be viable by mid-March. However, some of the water may actually stick around until April. 

Of course, all that depends on whether or not additional “atmospheric rivers” come ashore in the Golden State.

Share on Social

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Hand-Picked For You

Related Articles

For a limited time, you can get full access to breaking news, all original Outdoor News stories and updates from the entire Great Lakes Region and beyond, the most up-to-date fishing & hunting reports, lake maps, photo & video galleries, the latest gear, wild game cooking tips and recipes, fishing & hunting tips from pros and experts, bonus web content and much, much more, all on your smartphone, tablet or desktop For just a buck per month!

Some restrictions apply. Not valid with other promotions. $1 per month for 6 months (you will be billed $6) and then your subscription will renew at standard subscription rates. For more information see Terms and Conditions. This offer only applies to OutdoorNews.com and not for any Outdoor News print subscriptions. Offer valid thru 3/31/23.

Already a subscriber to OutdoorNews.com? Click here to login.

Before you go... Get the latest outdoor news sent to your inbox.


Sign up for our free newsletter.

Email Address(Required)
Name
What outdoor activities interest you?