Snow frosted peaks are just about the last thing that a visitor would expect to see in Death Valley in early December, because this is the hottest place on earth. Death Valley is the lowest elevation in North America, so when it snows in this god forsaken place, the views may look like hell just froze over!
A few years ago when I worked a summer season in Death Valley, I asked a fellow employee if it ever snows in this place. Surprisingly, the answer was absolutely yes. I was told that strong winter storms do occasionally coat the mountain peaks with snow around Death Valley, but the valley floor rarely ever sees the white stuff. It was difficult to picture any snow on the mountains at that time, because the summer temperatures were deep in the triple digit range.
A very strong winter storm rolled through southern California during the 2019 Thanksgiving weekend and as a result, the mountain peaks surrounding Death Valley were dusted with snow. The photos were shot on December 1st, which is early in the season for any kind of high elevation snow in this region. Thoughts of the snow conversation from a few years prior entered my mind as I approached Daylight Pass on my way to Death Valley from Beatty, Nevada. From the high elevation on the east side of the valley, I could see the the snow capped peaks hovering over the valley floor. This was a pleasant surprise, because snow brings an entirely different viewing perspective to this inhospitable place.
The photos of the snow capped peaks in Death Valley were shot along Scotty's Castle Road from Daylight Pass north to Ubehebe Crater Road. Along this route, the mountains seem to butt up against the valley, yet the actual distances are deceptively lengthy. The overcast skies and chilly air guaranteed that the snow would last all day, so there was plenty of time to take in the majestic views.
Since seeing snow capped peaks in Death Valley before winter officially begins is a rare experience, this photo journal article was published in short order. Anybody that has been to Death Valley during the summer season will have a difficult time believing that snow falls anywhere near this place, but as can be seen in the photos, it certainly does. An early pre winter snowstorm is a real rarity in Death Valley, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, be sure to check it out!
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