Kayaking in Badwater Basin on February 9, 2024.

View of a kayak on Death Valley’s temporary lake on February 9, 2024

Michael Koehler/NPS

California has experienced heavy rainfall in recent weeks, resulting in an unusual, temporary lake. death valley – The driest place in America.

Record-breaking levels of rainfall have drenched California over the past month. A large number of Environmental rivers Storms – Narrow bands of intense moisture in the air have exacerbated wet conditions, putting up to 37 million people at risk of flooding.

Heavy rains have also affected Death Valley National Park, which is located along the border of California and Nevada. In fact, so much rain has fallen that the park’s Badwater Basin, normally a dry salt flat, has temporarily turned into a shallow lake.

At 86 meters below sea level, the basin is the lowest elevation in North America and tens of thousands of years ago was the site of an ancient body of water that researchers have named Manly Lake.

Over recent decades, the lake has been filled a handful of times. In August 2023, rainfall associated with Hurricane Hillary created a lake 11.3 km long and 0.6 m deep, which shrank over the next several months. Now, it has been filled once again. In its present form, the lake is about 10 km long and 0.3 m deep.

Last year was Death Valley National Park. Closed for several weeks after Hurricane Hillary Because its road network was damaged by floods, limiting visitors’ access to the temporary lake. This time, the park is open, and the reemergence of Lake Manly has attracted tourists, including swimmers and even kayakers.