The Death Valley is perhaps the most popular desert region in the United States. Situated in the southwestern part of the country between the borders of the states of California and Nevada, the Death Valley is the lowest, driest and hottest region not just in the United States but in the entire North American continent. Contrary to its name, the Death Valley is actually a very much alive region with a unique range of flora and fauna. In fact, many tourists visiting the southwestern region of the United States can be found spending some time in this seemingly desolate region. One of the prime tourist destinations in the Death Valley region is the Death Valley National Park. Located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Death Valley National Park covers a land area of 5,262 square miles. More than 700,000 visitors visit the national park each year to explore the diverse geological features of the valley as well as the rich desert flora and fauna, historical sites, clear night skies, and the chance to be able to escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolis and enjoy the silence and the wonders of the desert, especially during the night time.The Death Valley was placed under federal protection back in 1933 and was designated as a national park in 1994. Before this, the Death Valley was a favorite destination for travelers desiring to strike it rich through mining. While some small portions in the valley where gold was found, the miners here primarily mined for borax, a mineral that is commonly used as an ingredient to make soaps.