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Reader Melanie Nevill from Abingdon, Oxford describes the stunning vistas on a road trip to Death Valley National Park, California in our letter of the month
Death Valley National Park in southern California and Nevada is a place unlike any other in the world. Part of its beauty is the isolation. The world could cave in around you and you wouldn't have a clue.
I took a driving trip from Fresno to Death Valley, a six-hour journey through mountain ranges, valleys and deserts. As we drove, the city gave way to more urban areas and typical small-town America.
The interstates lead to freeways, which lead to highways, which lead to cross country mountain roads with majestic views and plunging valleys. The Tehachaoi Mountain Pass, which crosses the vast and high Sierra Nevada mountain range, was simply stunning. We climbed higher and higher until the peaks of the mountains became shrouded in snow.
One of the most imposing sites was the wind-power farm at the very top of the mountains. It is baffling to understand how they built it.
The way down was just as grand and lead to the vast and flat Mojave Desert. The views were incredible. Miles and miles of nothing stretch before you. It is barren scrubland surrounded by the mountains.
Heading north again took us through a narrow valley called Indian Wells with snow-covered mountains with their own weather systems on all sides. The last leg of our journey took us east, this time between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Coso range.
We were only 40 miles from Death Valley but still 4,000ft high. As Death Valley is one of the lowest places on earth, we knew the way down would be steep. Just 10 miles before you arrive, the land suddenly drops below you and you plummet down 3,000ft of spectacular but twisty roads.
As if to welcome us the sun set behind the mountains and the clouds behind us lit up red and orange, giving the desert a warm, golden glow. What a welcome.
Have you got an amazing travel experience to tell? Write our letter of the month and win two nights in a Hyatt hotel.