Racetrack Playa
Racetrack Playa is located in the southern Cottonwood Mountains of the Panamint Range in Death Valley National Park. At just over 3,800 feet in elevation, the playa experiences more precipitation than most playas in the region. The playa covers about 5 square miles and is slightly higher at its north end (near a small rocky outcrop called The Grandstand visible on this image). The Racetrack Playas' "sliding rocks" are found mostly at the lower southern end. The force behind the movement of the rock is the wind, but whether the rocks move imbedded in ice, or move directly by air and/or water flow interactions has been investigated for nearly a century. The playa is in a very remote wilderness section of the park. Ink markings on the image are from original USGS mapping in the region in the late 1940s (used for McAllister, 1956). Ubehebe Peak is on the bottom edge of the image. Scale (1:48,000); north is to the left; to see ground-based images of this area, click here.
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Last modified: 11/30/2010