West Side Rd
Furnace Creek, CA 92328
Trailhead coordinate: 36.759219, -121.504137
Hike: 2.4 mile loop Level: Easy
Dog-Friendly: No Kid-Friendly: Yes
Open year round
From Wikipedia: The Devil’s Golf Course is a large salt pan on the floor of Death Valley, located in the Mojave Desert within Death Valley National Park. The park is in eastern California.
It was named after a line in the 1934 National Park Service guide book to Death Valley National Monument, which stated that “Only the devil could play golf” on its surface, due to a rough texture from the large halite salt crystal formations.
Lake Manly once covered the valley to a depth of 30 feet (9.1 m). The salt in the Devil’s Golf Course consists of the minerals that were dissolved in the lake’s water and left behind in the Badwater Basin when the lake evaporated. With an elevation several feet above the valley floor at Badwater, the Devil’s Golf Course remains dry, allowing weathering processes to sculpt the salt there into complicated formations.
Through exploratory holes drilled by the Pacific Coast Borax Company, prior to Death Valley becoming a national monument in 1934, it was discovered that the salt and gravel beds of the Devil’s Golf Course extend to a depth of more than 1,000 feet (300 m). Later studies suggest that in places the depth ranges up to 9,000 feet.
Personal Experience: This is just one of the attractions at the natural theme park we call Death Valley. It is truly unbelievable how much diversity there is in one region. I am also curious by the names that many of these spots have. Many of them are very dark. This was a quick adventure for us as we made our way to the Badwater Salt Flats (another negative name). The textured salt pans you see are extremely hard and therefore little to no damage can be caused by exploring them by foot.