Tourists, extreme heat fans flock to Death Valley

Posted at 9:22 PM, Jun 21, 2017

When the sun peaked over the Amargosa Range Wednesday around 6:00 a.m. it was already 100 degrees and quickly climbing.

By the height of the afternoon, Death Valley, Calif. would be pushing record temperatures once again. The forecasted high was between 115 and 120. Tourists and extreme heat fans were hoping for bragging rights and a souvenir photo when the big thermometer outside the visitor center hit 130 again.

Death Valley is very popular with European tourists who want to experience heat like they never would at home.

Alexia Dangelo and her husband, from France, were spending part of their honeymoon in Death Valley, Tuesday evening.

When asked if they liked the hot weather, Dangelo laughed and simply said "it's great."

Troy Baker is a little more versed in the heat. He was touring the area on his motorcycle, but lives in Phoenix.

"I planned this trip two months ago," he said. "I didn't realize today was going to be so hot."

Baker was one of many who ventured out onto Badwater Basin. It's the lowest point on Earth, and one of the hottest.

"The rangers warned me when I stopped by not to hike out on the flats," Baker said. "I know where my limitations are. I got three miles out on the flats and said that's enough. I turned around and came back."

There aren't many places to stay in Death Valley. The Furnace Creek Ranch was nearly booked solid. This reporter got one of the last rooms available.

Some hot weather fans take conquering the extreme conditions as a challenge, but even they have their limits.

Baker tried getting a selfie with the thermometer sign and caught it at 129.

When asked if he wishes he had gotten 130 he responded with a laugh, "no."