Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Racetrack Playa

Racetrack Playa is a seasonally dry lake (a playa) located in the northern part of the Panamint Mountains that is famous for rocks that mysteriously move across its surface. During periods of heavy rain, water washes down from nearby mountain slopes onto the playa, forming a shallow, short-lived lake. Most of the so-called 'sailing stones' are from a nearby high hillside of dark dolomite on the south end of the playa. Similar rock travel patterns have been recorded in several other playas in the region but the number and length of travel groves on The Racetrack are notable. Racetrack stones only move once every two or three years and most tracks last for just three or four years.