Death Valley was given its forbidding name by a group of pioneers lost here in the winter of 1849-1850. Even though, as far as we know, only one of the group died here, they all assumed that this valley would be their grave. – National Park Service
There are a few ways to drive over to the Death Valley National Park. We did so from Las Vegas after our friend’s bachelor party which happened to coincide with a very dark sky based on moon phase AND the peak of the August 12-13, 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower.
For optimal stargazing, always make sure that there is as little moon visibility as possible or a “New Moon”.
Our Camera Settings:
- Focal Length: 14mm
- Exposure Time / Shutter Speed: 30 seconds
- ISO Settings: ISO2500
- You must use a stable tripod! (my cheap one was too shaky)
We rushed towards the horizons! A trip to the Death Valley National Park was an interesting experience; as you drove lower in elevation, you felt the steep ascent in temperature. My friend Omair thought we could do without bringing water and just camp the night. I was glad I brought gallons of water and booked a hotel back in Vegas. It was 120° F that night! When we finally arrived, we met many photographers scattered across the terrain. It took about 20 minutes before our eyes adjusted to the darkness and allowed us to actually see the stars above.
Embrace the darkness; it shows us a path to light.