Driver ID’d Who Defaced Death Valley Dry Lake Bed

It seems nothing is sacred anymore. In the latest incident of visitors having no respect for nature, the driver of a car that defaced a famed Death Valley landmark with tire tracks has been identified.

An Associated Press story announcing the investigation did not reveal the person’s name or what exactly might be the penalty. Roughly 10 miles of swerving tire tracks were carved into the dry lake bed at Death Valley famous for its otherworldly plains of thin crust.

That precious layer of cracking ground was shattered by one person’s joy ride leaving its mark on the landscape until the next rain fall, which does not happen very often around these parts.

The site within Death Valley National Park is known as the Playa Racetrack, but is off limits to motor vehicles. It is here that wind and ice slowly move large rocks across the surface, which for years had baffled scientists by the sight of what looked like snail trails behind the rocks.

This latest incident is just one of many examples in recent months and years of tourists defacing natural features. Last month, a group of teenagers pushed over an iconic boulder in Oregon. Others have vandalized archesimmortalized their love where it didn’t belong and tagged their names at the Grand Canyon.