Death Valley is a former US National Park located in California and a small part of Nevada. Prior to the war, it was nationally known for being the hottest place in the United States, reaching a record high temperature of 144 degrees Fahrenheit on July 24th, 2076. This status as the hottest place in the country resulted in a tourism boom in the area, with the largest town, Furnace Creek, containing a hotel, casino, and several restaurants.
The area was not hit during the war due to it's remote location and low strategic importance. Despite this, Furnace Creek and the surrounding towns quickly fell to raiders escaping from Reno. Despite the early takeover by raiders, the town of Furnace Creek was eventually abandoned due to the scorching temperatures, only being visited by scavengers and looters.
With the expansion of the New California Republic, interest in the area has been reinvigorated, and several businesspeople have returned to the area to capitalize off of the newfound tourism interest by NCR citizens. Despite the relative safety of the Furnace Creek area, raiders have returned to the area to take advantage of tourists traveling in the area. In addition, the relative lack of humans for decades has led to populations of deathclaws, geckos, and radscorpions to grow, providing for a harsh environment.
Prior to European settlement, the area was inhabited by Native Americans, who lived in the area up until the Great War. The first European explorers to the area arrived in 1849 during the California Gold-Rush. The group became trapped in the area for several weeks, resulting in the death of one man. Eventually, the group escaped by hiking through the mountains. Upon looking back, one woman sarcastically remarked, "Goodbye, Death Valley", giving the area it's name.
Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several boom-towns were established to capitalize off of the California Gold-Rush. Following the decline, it was made a national park and attracted reckless travelers hoping to make a name for themselves by surviving in Death Valley. In 1913, the temperature reached 134 degrees Fahrenheit. This was later broken in 2020, and later in 2076, reaching a high of 144 degrees.
In the 21st century, the area began to receive a tourism boom due to the 2020 record temperature being international news. Suddenly, tourism grew in the area and the town of Furnace Creek grew from a population of 52 to 1,785 in five years. This boom led to economic activity in the area skyrocketing. Two new hotels and one new casino were built in the town, as well as a small shopping district.
Despite renewed economic attention, the area was not hit by the bombs during the Great War, and the area remained largely unaffected by radiation and nuclear fallout. Despite this, some radiation did seep through the area due to a routine flooding of the Badwater Basin in 2078, causing the mutation of some animals, including Bighorn sheep and scorpions.
Following the Great War, the townsfolk of Furnace Creek banded together and defended their town from tribals and raiders for several years, but migration out of the area due to food scarcity led the town to be overrun by raiders from the Reno area. For several years, the raiders occupied the area, rationing food and water, until they moved on due to rumors of a large untouched city in Nevada.
Over the years, radiation continued to seep into the area due to the recurring flooding of Badwater Basin. Additionally, a group of deathclaws migrated to the area, becoming vicious and attacking anything in sight. Humans continued to temporarily occupy parts of Furnace Creek, looking for scrap and useful materials. Scavengers eventually took most useful items in the power plant, causing the automated systems in the plant to malfunction. This led to the automated lights in Furnace Creek to shut off, resulting in plants and animals occupying the town.
In the 2250s, the area once again went under a boom due to the expansion of the New California Republic and the nation's growing middle class, which was causing tourism demand. Death Valley began to receive renewed attention. Unfortunately, many of the tourists ended up being killed by deathclaws and raiders, who took advantage of unprotected tourists.
Due to the many deaths that would occur in the area, a group of mercenary's known as the 45's took over the town of Furnace Creek and restarted the power plant. In additional, they patrolled the roads. The reason why they did this was because of the NCR paying them a good amount of caps to protect the area. Eventually, most of the facilities in Furnace Creek were re-established, and people began to move back into the town.
As of 2287, the town of Furnace Creek is the main population center of Death Valley and is relatively safe compared to the surrounding area. The town's 563 residents enjoy a strong economy due to tourism and the numerous tour groups which have popped up in the town, who protect wealthy tourists. Despite the safety of Furnace Creek and the main highways, many people and groups still disappear in the desert, likely being killed by thirst, deathclaws, or raiders.
The economy of Death Valley is reliant on trade and tourism. Thousands of NCR citizens travel to the Death Valley area every year to experience the hottest part of the West Coast. Along the 190 highway in California, many bars and small hotels have been established, leading into Furnace Creek. These areas are often raided, but are well defended. As the road gets closer to the Long 15 road, NCR officers and troops become more common.
Before the war, Death Valley was known for it's scorching hot temperatures. Though wind and rain patterns have changed since the war, the area still remains scorching hot during the summer's with the winter's being far milder compared to the summer. Rain sometimes comes to the area, though it is very limited. Every few years, the Badwater Basin (the hottest area in Death Valley) is flooded by rainwater. Due to the Great War, the rain is radioactive, leading to the area to occasionally be very radioactive. It has snowed in the mountains before as well.
- Furnace Creek
Several radio stations can be picked up in the Death Valley area, but only one is broadcasted in the area itself. Furnace Radio is a station broadcasted from Furnace Creek. Occasionally, the station needs to be repaired due to overheating. It broadcasts rock music from the 1960s and 1970s.
- Furnace Radio
- Mojave Music Radio (small portion)
- Inyo County Radio