from The New York Times

In Death Valley, a Rare Lake Comes Alive

Visitors normally flock to Death Valley National Park to feel the searing heat and take in the barren landscape. This fall, they’ve been drawn by a different natural feature: water.

By Jill Cowan | Photographs by Mette Lampcov

The edge of a lake sitting under a partly cloudy sky.
A vast lake had appeared almost overnight in Death Valley.

Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells are among the roadside outposts inside Death Valley National Park, while Dante’s View draws tourists at sunset and Hell’s Gate greets visitors arriving from the east.

In the summer, it is so hot here, along California’s southeastern spine, that some of the roughly 800 residents — nearly all of them park employees — bake brownies in their cars. A large, unofficial thermometer in recent years has ticked up to 130 degrees, making it a destination for travelers, and the park has endured some of the highest temperatures ever recorded on Earth.

But none of that is what prompted Lata Kini, 59, and her husband, Ramanand, 61, to pack their bags and drive about seven hours to get here on a whim this month. They were drawn instead by the mystique of another natural force.

“I’m here because of the water,” Ms. Kini said at Zabriskie Point, a popular vista, as she watched the rising sun paint the undulating stone peaks in shades of pink and deep purple.

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