Located nearly 150 feet below sea level where temperatures can exceed 100 degrees by mid-morning and water salinity is higher than the ocean, most people don’t expect to find animals living here. Yet you might be surprised at what you can find as you explore the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. The harsh salt marsh environment of Death Valley National Park provides habitat for a variety of flora and fauna to survive. One in particular is the Salt Creek Pupfish (Cyprinodon salinus), which is found nowhere else in the world. It’s story is one of environmental change and an animal’s adaptation to that change. During the last Ice Age, about 15,000 years ago, Death Valley was actually a land of large lakes and marshes. Over the years the geology and climate has changed, and consequently so has the life of the pupfish.
This short and ADA-accessible loop trail provides a wonderful opportunity to view wildlife such as the rare pupfish. Springtime is the best season, and the boardwalk allows you to get right up to the water’s edge. Interpretive signs are located along the trail, and these describe the different plants and animals found in this unique desert environment. A few benches are scattered around the boardwalk as well.
Help protect the fragile ecosystem by staying on the boardwalk. Dogs are not allowed.