The Devil’s Golf Course is a vast salt pan located in Furnace Creek within the Death Valley National Park.
While its boundaries are not well defined, the salt pan extends from the Salt Creek Hills to the area around the Ashford Mill Site.
Devil’s Golf Course, Elevation & Parking, Death Valley National Park, CA
So jagged is the surface of the pan that a guide book described the geologic feature as a place that ‘only the devil could play golf,’ earning its peculiar moniker. This is an interesting phenomenon because research has shown that the salt beds extend to a depth of more than 300 feet below.
This short stop on the route between Furnace Creek and Badwater gives visitors the chance to marvel at the giant salt formations in the arid landscape. Devil’s Golf Course is accessible through a 0.5-mile dirt road, with signage to guide you along the way. There are a couple of plaques with information to read about the site’s history.
Once on the ground, it is advisable not to steer too far from the course as the jagged spires of salt make the region hard to traverse on foot. Listen carefully and you will be able to hear what sounds like distant popping sounds. For the thrill-seekers, bending your ear to the ground makes the sounds even louder. This otherworldly experience has a scientific explanation behind it – the sound is produced by the millions of salt crystals as they contract and expand in the desert heat.
The Devil’s Golf Course is an exciting experience and a chance to learn more about the region’s geologic past. Since the terrain is rather serrated and the salt slabs hard to navigate, this stop may not be suitable for pets and small children.