The Devil's Golf Course in the Valley of Death

Death valley is one of the hottest regions on Earth with temperatures soaring past 134 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Devil’s Golf Course

What is the hottest place you’ve ever been to?

How hot was it?

I used to live in Sacramento, California which is not too far from where this photo was taken – Death Valley. In the summer, Sacramento could sometimes soar up to 110-115 Fahrenheit, which is around 40 Celcius. The hottest ever recorded in world history at a whopping 134 F (56 C) and it was here in Death Valley in the Badwater basin only a few meters from this photo’s location.

I’ve been to Death Valley plenty of times to see if I could catch this insane heat that it’s so famous for. Maybe the heat turned my brains into a scramble to have such crazy ideas. Sadly, I’ve never felt any insane heat all the times I’ve visited – at least not in comparison to Sacramento.

Well, on this day, I got my wish and a little more than I bargained for. On the afternoon before I took this sunset photo, I went to the Badwater area to walk on the salt flats. My car was swerving around from the frequent gust of wind. I thought, hey it’s windy it must not be that hot outside (I had air conditioning on).

So I parked my car.

Opened the door and proceeded to step outside.

Swoosh, comes a gust of wind nearly knocking me over.

But that wasn’t what got my attention. It was the insane heat that nearly seared my exposed skin. I can’t possibly explain to you in words how that gust of wind felt like but imagine for a second placing your face near the oven as you opened it – just like that.

It was so hot you could crack open an egg and scramble it right there on the ground. I took a cigarette out of the cartoon and it lit itself. If there were cows roaming around they would be giving out evaporated milk. It was so hot that if Lance Armstrong was there, he would have tested positive for water! I mean, I was sweating like a politician on election day.

No joke!

I saw another group of people who parked nearby. A few of them tried to get out of their cars but immediately ran back inside after feeling the heat! Several more cars came and people tried to get out but end up crawling back into their cars after feeling the hot air. I tried to stay out and brave it for a few more seconds more but I too eventually ran back to my air-conditioned car…

I drove back to the visitor center to cool off and finally decided to take this photo after the sun had gone down a little. The skies turned into the blazing and fiery red as it engulfed the mountains in flames. I can still feel the howling wind carrying extreme heat. It felt as if I fell into the furnace of hell.

Have you been to the Devil’s Golf Course?

Check out my Ultimate Travel Photography Gear Guide!