In addition to the hottest temperature recorded on earth and the lowest elevation point in North America, Death Valley boasts a wide range of ecosystems and natural wonders. For hundreds of years, the Timbisha Shoshone Indians hunted and gathered here, and many places in the valley are considered sacred. Cultural points of interest include petroglyphs, a ghost town, a 1920s mansion, and the Harmony Borax Works, famous for using “20-mule teams” to move the mineral borax during the 1880s.
Archaeological Fun Fact: During the 1950s, a University of Southern California project documented more than 1,400 archaeological sites at Death Valley, including campsites, caves, quarries, and rock art.
Park website: https://www.nps.gov/deva/
The Hawaiian people who lived on the barren lava landscape of Kaloko-Honokōhau, on the Big Island, exploited marine resources and practiced aquaculture, while trading with other regions. Visitors can see the Honokōhau settlement, which includes fishponds, house platforms, religious ceremonial structures called heiau, and petroglyphs. Snorkelers and divers can enjoy coral reefs within the park.
Archaeological Fun Fact: In 1999, the National Park Service commissioned an oral history project in order to learn more about the use and maintenance of the fishponds and the care of the burial features at Kaloko-Honokōhau. The resulting interviews preserved priceless information about a unique way of life.
Park website: https://www.nps.gov/kaho/