Zabriskie Point (Death Valley National Park)


Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park is one of the many highlights of the park. It was named after Christian Brevoort Zabriskie, the vice-president of Pacific Crest Borax in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Located in the Amargosa Mountain Range between Furnace Creek and Pahrump, NV along State Route 190, it is one of the easier and most visited locations in the park. The site is well marked with a parking area, and restroom facilities. From the parking area there is a short uphill climb to reach the main overlook.

Nine million years ago an ancient lake covered the area around Zabriskie. During the millions of years that the lake existed, sediments collected at the bottom of the lake in the form of saline muds and gravel.  The animals that once traversed over this area included camels,  mastodons, horses, carnivores, and birds.

What we see today is a direct result of the climate becoming more and more arid, which caused the lake to dry up. During the same time that the lake was drying the valley began widening and sinking, and the Black Mountains began to lift. This caused the land to tilt, and erode into the badlands formation that we  see today.


Zabriskie Point - Manly Beacon

Zabriskie Point – Manly Beacon


Badlands at Zabriskie Point

Badlands at Zabriskie Point


Badlands at Zabriskie Point

Badlands at Zabriskie Point


Badlands at Zabriskie Point

Badlands at Zabriskie Point

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

  • Barbara

    Amazing history! What’s so great is that the desert isn’t barren at all!!

  • Desertbat

    Great photos.