Straight Out of the World of Mars
Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point – Composed of sediment from Furnace Creek Lake, which dried up nearly 5 million years ago, this jagged landscape was used to represent the surface of Mars in the film, Robinson Crusoe on Mars.
A stunning feature rich landscape that paints the horizon with color, shape and imagination. Walking the trails at Zabriskie Point give visitors a close up look in to the alien surfaces.
Zabriskie Point is an iconic Death Valley vista, and a favorite location for viewing sunrise and sunset.
The spectacular views from Zabriskie Point are some of the most photographed in Death Valley National Park. Named in honor of Christian Zabriskie, a prominent figure in the heyday of the Pacific Coast Borax Company, Zabriskie Point affords an elevated vista from which to marvel at the badlands below. These yellow and brown stripped hills have been shaped by the powerful force of water, and even during dry times, the path carved by this water is unmistakable. Gazing beyond the badlands, views of the salt flats covering the floor of Death Valley are visible in the distance, with the hulk of the Panamint Mountains towering above.
The most pronounced feature viewed from Zabriskie Point is Manly Beacon. This jutting high point rises to an elevation of 823 ft (251 m), and bears the name of one of the first 49ers (gold rush pioneers) to visit the area. Manly Beacon is especially magnificent when viewed at sunrise or sunset.
A 15 minute drive east on Highway 190 from Furnace Creek Visitor Center will bring you to the parking area for this not-to-be-missed view point. From the parking lot, the point is a ¼ mile (400 m) walk up a hill on a paved trail.
Hiking Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point
Those interested in hiking in the badlands can pick up the Badlands Loop Trail at the Zabriskie Point parking lot. Hiking distance varies depending on the route chosen: longer hikes can include Gower Gulch, Golden Canyon, and Red Cathedral.
Composed of Sediments from Furnace Creek Lake
Zabriskie Point is a part of the Amargosa Range located east of Death Valley in Death Valley National Park noted for its erosional landscape. It is composed of sediments from Furnace Creek Lake, which dried up 5 million years ago—long before Death Valley came into existence. The startling terrain of today’s Zabriskie Point is being carved mostly from Furnace Creek Formation mudstones, composed of fine silts, clays and volcanic ashfalls deposited as sediments.