What thoughts come to mind when you think of the words “Death Valley”? If you have never been there you would probably think things like harsh, extreme and barren desert. However if you have ever had the opportunity to visit this amazing National Park you know that while these statements are true it doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. Death Valley also holds the record for the highest recorded ambient air temperature on earth at 134 degrees Fahrenheit on July 10th 1913. Within the boundaries of Death Valley’s 5,270 square miles elevations range from 279 feet below sea level at Badwater Basin, the lowest spot in the western hemisphere to 11,331 feet at the summit of Telescope Peak. Even with these extremes a diverse variety of plant and animal life exists year round.