Death Valley National Park

This Famous Thermometer Just Got a ‘Cool' New Addition

A beautiful and educational mosaic can now be seen next to the Death Valley thermometer, one of the national park's must-get photos.


What to Know

  • Death Valley National Park's Furnace Creek Visitor Center
  • $25 entrance fee to Death Valley National Park; the thermometer and mosaic are free to see once you're inside the park
  • The thermometer records the hot spot's temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius while the new artwork shows temperature changes at various elevations around the park

SO HOT, SO COOL: If you're toodling around Death Valley, and you've reached Furnace Creek, and the temperature is not only toasty but well into three-digit-dom, say, for example, 110, 115, or, eep, 125 degrees Fahrenheit, let's get right to it: You're going to want photographic proof. And since heat doesn't appear on film all that well, being something sensed but not seen, you'll need to find a thermometer, preferably one with large and readable numbers. And you can, at the Visitors Center at Furnace Creek, which just happens to have a large and readable thermometer right outside its doors, an attraction that's become one of the must-get snapshots in the stunning and spacious national park.

A CELSIUS READING... recently joined the Fahrenheit display, and now a beautiful mosaic is adding further interest, and education, to the much-visited site. The exhibit "... represents some notable park locations found at different elevations and the corresponding changes in temperature they experience due to differences in altitude." Artist Rebecca Lowry of JTLab is behind the intriguing and science-smart piece, which draws some of its design inspiration from the nearby center's Mission 66 look. It's the perfect artwork to show first-time visitors that the park can boast a range of temperatures, with the lower spots sometimes experiencing searing afternoons and the tippy-top mountain peaks getting wintertime snow. (Of course, regular park visitors can also benefit from knowing more on this topic, too.)

THE ARTIST... shared a statement about the cool piece in a hot place, which was posted on the official Death Valley Facebook page and Instagram on Aug. 26, 2021: "For such an important site in the park, we wanted to do something really special that respected the characteristics and history of the site. Mosaic as an art form saw a resurgence in the 1950s and 1960s using inventive plays of color and abstraction. This, plus its extraordinary capacity to weather harsh conditions makes mosaic a perfect fit for Death Valley’s iconic mid-century visitor center." For information on calling upon this extraordinary national park, its world-famous thermometer, and the new mosaic, click.

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