The name Death Valley conjures up visions of a vast desert that can reach temperatures as high as 134˚ Fahrenheit. While these visions are true today, picture the landscape above being underwater some 5 million years ago. That's right, the whole area was once covered by Furnace Creek Lake at one time. During several million years of the lake's existence, sediments such as lava from nearby volcanos, gravel from nearby mountains and saline muds formed on the bottom of the lake. When local mountains began to be formed, they impacted the weather to become more arid, causing the lakes to dry up. Over time, erosion began to carve the rocks to what it looks like today.