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Death Valley National Park getting ready to celebrate 25th anniversary

Death Valley National Park is hosting special programs and events in celebration of the park’s 25th birthday Oct. 26 –Nov. 2. On Nov. 2, the park will waive entrance fees, the park said in its news release announcement.

Death Valley was first protected as a national monument in 1933.

On Oct. 31, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the California Desert Protection Act, which created Death Valley National Park, designated over 90% of the park as wilderness, and added 1.3 million acres to the park. The act also redesignated Joshua Tree as a national park and established Mojave National Preserve.

Geologists, biologists, astronomers, and other specialists will share their knowledge of desert ecology, dark skies, and natural history from Oct. 26 through Nov. 2.

A ranger-led sunrise hike will meet at Zabriskie Point at 7 a.m. on Oct. 27. Astronomy programs will be offered at Harmony Borax Works from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 28.

Park entrance fees will be waived on Saturday, Nov. 2. The public is invited to join Superintendent Mike Reynolds for a 5-kilometer fun run/walk at 8 a.m. at Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

“Wish the park happy birthday with cupcakes at noon in Furnace Creek Visitor Center,” the news release stated.

Neighboring organizations and partners will have exposition booths set up at the Visitor Center from noon-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Former Death Valley superintendents will answer questions and speak about the California Desert Protection Act from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. in the auditorium.

“This is one of the largest celebrations Death Valley National Park has hosted,” notes Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “We are fortunate to have a number of knowledgeable guest speakers who are coming to the park specifically for this series of events. It’s a unique opportunity for the public to learn about this incredible park.”

All programs are free and open to the public. Close-toed shoes are recommended for hikes, which are on uneven terrain.

Bring sun protection and water for daytime programs, and a headlamp, warm clothing, and a chair for evening programs. For the full schedule, visit nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/anniversary.htm

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