Zabriskie Point

Zabriske Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Zabriskie Point. A remote and barren blister of land on the American desert. As isolated as the face of the moon. Zabriskie Point. Where a boy and a girl meet….and touch….and blow their minds!

And that ladies and gentlemen is the tagline from the narrator of the Zabriskie Point (1970) trailer, which had its principal photography shot at none other than Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park. I haven’t seen this movie, but I’ve visited the astounding badlands the film is named after and gazed upon the pointy rock donned with the beastly name: Manly Beacon.

For the record Zabriskie Point is the area in which you walk up a couple of paved switchbacks from a general parking lot and line up amongst all the other visitors to take photos.

Zabriske Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Quick Facts

Park Entrance Fee: $20
GPS Location: 36.4200634, -116.8297399
Trail Conditions: There’s an easy paved one and then optional dirt ones that goes 5 miles into the badlands
Elevation Gain: 825 ft
Misc:

  • Dog Friendly
  • Porta potties are provided at most of the trailheads
  • There is absolutely no cell phone service within the park
  • Bring lots of water and sun protection
  • Don’t attempt hiking this during blazing, hot summer days –there’s absolutely no shade

Zabriske Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

The morning after frolicking in Death Valley’s Super Bloom I woke up early to catch the sunrise. There is no argument, sunrise is the best time to see Manly Beacon from Zabriskie Point. The sun creeps up from the east and gives a nice soft pink-purple light on the badlands. Combine that ethereal light with sediments from ancient lake that dried up millions of years ago and you get this beautiful layered cake of an eroded landscape. On top of that I love seeing purple mountains.

Zabriske Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Zabriskie Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Zabriskie Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Zabriskie Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Zabriskie Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Equipment

Camera:

Sony A7s II
Canon G7X

Lens: 
Sony 90mm f/2.9 Macro FE
Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens

Accessories:
MeFoto Carbon Fiber Tripod

 

For those wondering about the Zabriskie Point film I mentioned at the top of the post… here you go!

Heads up the trailer is a bit “hot.”

Zabriskie Point by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)
Thanks for stopping by! I’m currently fascinated with rock formations, any suggestions for where to go next?

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