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Racetrack Playa - 4 Things to Know Before Visiting

Racetrack Playa, California, USA

Outdoors- Other
1 Day Treks

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About Racetrack Playa

The Racetrack is a place of stunning beauty and mystery. The Racetrack is a playa--a dry lakebed--best known for its strange moving rocks. It was nestled in a remote valley between the Cottonwood and Last Chance Ranges. Racetrack is dry for almost the entire year and has no vegetation. When dry, its surface is covered with small but firm hexagonal mud crack polygons. It is a unique attraction of Death Valley National Park that not many park visitors get to see.


Attractions Near Racetrack Playa

Saline Valley
Saline Valley22.71km from Racetrack Playa

Saline Valley is a large, deep, and arid graben, about 27 miles in length, in the northern Mojave Desert of California, a narrow, northwest–southeast-trending tectonic sink defined by fault-block mountains. The west end of the lake supports a salt marsh, which contains a variety of plant and animal life. The marsh is fed by a perennial stream from Hunter Canyon. North of the lake is a large area of low and sweeping sand dunes.

Panamint Dunes
Panamint Dunes26.21km from Racetrack Playa

The Panamint Dunes are described as the least visited and most isolated series of sand dunes in Death Valley National Park. Getting to the dunes requires a little work, but your efforts are likely to be paid off by having the breathtaking area entirely to yourself! With epic views and ever-elusive solitude, backpacking to the the Panamint Sand Dunes is truly an unforgettable experience.

Rainbow Canyon
Rainbow Canyon34.71km from Racetrack Playa

Rainbow Canyon is a valley in Inyo County and has an elevation of 1854 feet. It is commonly used by the United States Air Force and Navy for fighter jet training and is frequented by photographers who, from the canyon rim, are able to photograph jets flying beneath them.

Ubehebe Craters
Ubehebe Craters37.9km from Racetrack Playa

A volcanic field in northern Death Valley, consisting of 14-16 craters in a 3-square-kilometre (1.2 sq mi) area. The Ubehebe Craters are associated with a fault system that runs across them, all formed in a single phreatomagmatic eruption episode about 2,100 years ago.

Panamint Valley
Panamint Valley39.01km from Racetrack Playa

The Panamint Valley is a north-south, 65 mile long and 10 mile wide basin formed between the Argus and Slate ranges along the west, and the Panamint Range on the eastern side. The valley is approximately 65 miles in length, and is more than 10 miles wide in the Hall Canyon area.

Mosaic Canyon Trail
Mosaic Canyon Trail39.26km from Racetrack Playa

Mosaic Canyon is a 4 mile hike in Death Valley with short sections of rock scrambling.The trailhead begins at the end of Mosaic Canyon Road, a 2.3 mile dirt road that begins just across the street from Stovepipe Wells Campground. The road is usually passable for most passenger cars, but you may want to check with the rangers if there’s been rain recently. Although there are some nice, shady sections of the trail here.

Where is Racetrack Playa

Discover More Attractions in Inyo County, Where Racetrack Playa Is Located

Inyo County
Inyo County
72 attractions

Almost one-half of Inyo Country is within Death Valley National Park. With a population density of 1.8 people per square mile, it also has the second-lowest population density in California, after Alpine County.

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