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The secret to Death Valley is DON'T GO IN SUMMER. Seriously. 120 in the shade is 150+ in the sun. People have gone for short walks and died within sight of their cars.
Besides, the light is flat in summer. Go between October and March- but STILL take and drink plenty of water because you'll sweat a lot (you just can't tell because the dry air evaporates it so fast).
This image was taken after considerable rain had fallen in the surrounding mountains. The "river" flows through the salt beds seeking the lowest place, Badwater (but the lowest spot is several hundred yards from the parking lot).
The reflections are off the water AND the salt.
The similarity to ice was part of what prompted me to take the pic.