For both my wife and I, this photograph illustrates the mental image we had of Death Valley before we actually saw the place. Just lots of sand and lots of heat. Certainly that’s part of the story. But there’s a whole lot more. On both sides of the valley you’ll see mountain ranges with peaks of 5500 feet or so, and yes, some were even snow-capped. And that means lots of canyons and winding trails.
If you’ve never walked through dunes, though, you should give it a try. Climbing a dune can be exhausting. And when the sun is rising or setting, the shadows are amazing. These are the Mesquite Field Dunes near Stovepipe Wells (just north of Furnace Creek). As you can see from all the footprints, the dunes here get lots of visitors.