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The Racetrack, Death Valley Junction

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#4 of 10 in Things to do in Death Valley Junction
Desert Geologic Formation
The Racetrack Playa, or The Racetrack, is a scenic dry lake feature with "sailing stones" that inscribe linear "racetrack" imprints. It is located above the northwestern side of Death Valley, in Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California, U.S..GeographyThe Racetrack Playa is 3608 feet above sea level, and 2.8mi long by 1.3mi wide . The playa is exceptionally flat and level with the northern end being only 1.5 inches higher than the southern. This occurrence is due to major influx of fine-grained sediment that accumulates at the north end. The highest point surrounding the Racetrack is the 5,678 feet high Ubehebe Peak, rising 1970 feet above the lakebed 0.85 mile to the west.The playa is in the small Racetrack Valley endorheic basin between the Cottonwood Mountains on the east and Nelson Range to the west. During periods of heavy rain, water washes down from the Racetrack mountain area draining into the playa, forming a shallow, short-lived endorheic lake. Under the hot desert sun, the thin veneer of water quickly evaporates leaving behind a surface layer of soft slick mud. As the mud dries, it shrinks and cracks into a mosaic pattern of interlocking polygons.
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226 reviews
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  • The Racetrack is a great experience and one certainly worth the 28 mile drive from Ubehebe Crater. However, let's discuss how to get there safely. There are signs present at the start of the road advi...  more »
  • At the end of a three-day visit in Death Valley we head to the beach of rolling rocks. The journey is long one and a half hours from Furnace Creek but totally worth it. Touch this mystery which has recently been unveiled is an incredible feeling. The road is passable in peace although dirt road. Not stop at the beginning of the site but continue almost to the campsite where you can observe the traces left by the stones. Fantastic!!
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  • 行って良かった。 Las Vegasから車で6時間かかりました。 うちダートは3時間で4WD以外は走行禁止です。 動くRockなんともミステリーな自然現象です。 I was enjoyed that. It took about 6 hours from Las Vegas. In that I took for about 3 hours on the rugged road. They acc...  more »

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