Last week, the World Meteorological Organization named Death Valley officially the hottest place on the planet. The record of 136°F was actually set on Sept. 13, 1922, but it was it was eclipsed a few years later by a measurement 0.4 ° higher in El Azizia, Libya. Recently, it was determined that temperature was measured incorrectly and it was struck down.
You'd think 136 would be hot enough, but the folks who work in Death Valley tell me that it was probably a couple of degrees hotter at Badwater on that record-setting day. According to the Associated Press, the hottest day this year was July 11, with 128 degrees. That's why we don't recommend visiting in the summer.
This time of year, it's starting to cool down and if you'd like to visit one of California's most starkly beautiful and fascinating spots, start with this introduction.