Death Valley
Furnace Creek
Harmony Borax Works - Just north of the visitor center is what remains of the 1880's Borax Works. In Death Valley, the mineral borax (used in soap, detergents, cookware and cardboard), not gold, was the big money-maker.
On the short interpretive trail, see where the borax ore was processed (a hot business with a steam boiler), and two wooden wagons (pulled by mules) that transported tons of borax from the valley to the nearest train depot, over 300 miles away.
Furnace Creek Visitor Center - Be sure to stop in at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to pick up maps, Junior Ranger booklets, and if it looks like rain, ask about possible flash flooding. In the auditorium, watch a big screen movie about how Death Valley was formed and people who lived here. Outside the visitor center are shaded picnic tables.
The Museum has exhibits about the plants, animals and minerals, and native people of Death Valley. Stop at the touch table to feel a big horn sheep ram, date palm frond, coyote skull, and fossils.
Furnace Creek Ranch -
Check out the Borax Museum with mining exhibits, stagecoach and locomotive, plus old steam tractor and weathered wooden wagons out front.
Go for one and two hour horseback rides (kids 6 years old and up), and evening horse-drawn carriage rides.
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