Devils Golf Course - Death Valley National Park, CA, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Chasing Blue Sky
N 36° 17.151 W 116° 49.571
11S E 515608 N 4015668
Quick Description: The marker at the Devils Golf Course indicate that these strange formations are actually a large salt pan that is constantly changing. It is located in Death Valley National Park in California.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 4/8/2013 2:18:47 PM
Waymark Code: WMGTGJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 4

Long Description:
"The Devil's Golf Course is a large salt pan on the floor of Death Valley, located in the Mojave Desert within Death Valley National Park. The park is in eastern California.

It was named after a line in the 1934 National Park Service guide book to Death Valley National Monument, which stated that "Only the devil could play golf" on its surface, due to a rough texture from the large halite salt crystal formations.

Lake Manly once covered the valley to a depth of 30 feet (9.1 m). The salt in the Devil's Golf Course consists of the minerals that were dissolved in the lake's water and left behind in the Badwater Basin as the lake evaporated. With an elevation several feet above the valley floor at Badwater, the Devil's Golf Course remains dry, allowing weathering processes to sculpt the salt there into complicated forms.

Through exploratory holes drilled by the Pacific Coast Borax Company, prior to Death Valley becoming a national monument in 1934, it was discovered that the salt and gravel beds of the Devil's Golf Course extend to a depth of more than 1,000 feet (300 m). Later studies suggest that in places the depth ranges up to 9,000 feet (2,700 m).

Devil's Golf Course can be reached from Badwater Road via a 1.3-mile (2.1 km) gravel drive, closed in wet weather. It should not be confused with an actual golf course in Furnace Creek, also in Death Valley." (visit link)


The solitary marker at Devils Golf Course reads as follows:

Devils Golf Course – Death Valley National Park, California

Crystallized salts compose the jagged formations of this forbidding landscape. Deposited by ancient salt lakes and shaped by winds and rain, the crystals are forever changing.

Listen carefully. On a warm day you may hear a metallic cracking sound as the salt pinnacles expand and contract.

The Death Valley saltpan is one of the largest protected saltpans in North America. Salt continues to be deposited by recurring floods that occasionally submerge the lowest parts of the valley floor.

Delicate salt formations are hidden among the harsh and rigid spires. Close inspection may reveal the tiny salt structures. Take care – one curious touch can cause them to crumble.

Be careful! Walking on the Devils Golf Course is very difficult. A fall could result in painful cuts or even broken bones.


"Underneath the salt pan. Before Death Valley became a National Monument in 1934, the Pacific Coast Borax Co. drilled several wells into the salt pan in the search for potash. They found that interbedded salt and mud, with some minor sand and gravel underlies the salt pan as deep as they drilled--more than a thousand feet in some holes. Gravity studies by later researchers suggest that these salt and mud deposits are much thicker but somewhat variable: about 9000 feet thick near Mormon Point (Keener et al., 1993) and Bennett's Well but less than 4000 feet thick opposite Artist Drive (Hunt and Mabey, 1966)." (visit link)


"The Death Valley salt pan is one of the largest modern salt pans on earth. Although its exact boundaries are poorly defined, it extends from the vicinity of the Ashford Mill site to the Salt Creek Hills, a distance of about 40 miles. The salt pan is essentially a gigantic, flat sink without a drain. The Amargosa River, which is usually dry, empties into it from the south. It is fed from the north by Salt Creek and from various directions by runoff and spring water originating within the limits of Death Valley. Because this water contains dissolved salts that precipitate as the water evaporates, new salt is continually added to the pan. Much of the salt pan is actually the broad and flat distributary terminus of the Amargosa River." (visit link)


Being a part of the National Park System, the entrance fees are as follows:

"Vehicle Entrance Fee

•$20 for 7 Days
•This permit allows all persons traveling with the permit holder in one single private, non-commercial vehicle (car/truck/van) to leave and re-enter the park as many times as they wish during the 7-day period from the date of purchase.
Individual Entrance Fee

•$10 for 7 Days
•This permit allows a single individual traveling on foot, motorcycle, or bicycle to leave and re-enter the park as many times as they wish during the 7-day period from the date of purchase. If the motorcycle or bicycle has more than one rider, each rider is charged the $10 fee.
Death Valley National Park Annual Pass

•$40 for one year
•This permit allows all persons traveling with the permit holder in one single private, non-commercial vehicle (or on foot) to leave and re-enter the park as many times as they wish during the 12 month period from the date of purchase." (visit link)
Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Parking Coordinates: N 36° 17.155 W 116° 49.567

Access fee (In local currency): 10.00

Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no

Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no

Public Transport available: no

Website reference: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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datenhamster visited Devils Golf Course - Death Valley National Park, CA, USA 3/27/2015 datenhamster visited it
Chasing Blue Sky visited Devils Golf Course - Death Valley National Park, CA, USA 4/5/2013 Chasing Blue Sky visited it
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