Rachel Hopkin

Folklorist and Radio Producer

Death Valley Wilderness – Radio Documentary

5 March, 2015

A radio documentary I made last year from Death Valley is now available to listen to at PRX.  It was part of a short series called Untrammelled that marked 50 years since the Wilderness Act was put in place.

Here’s the PRX link and lowdown:-


“In this show, we explore the largest American wilderness area in the contiguous 48 states. Because of the fresh perspective someone from a contrasting climate could provide, we sent England-born Rachel Hopkin to explore the Death Valley Wilderness, located within the vast expanse of California’s Mojave Desert. Rachel watches the sunrise with Barbara Durham, historic preservation officer of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, the first people to live in Death Valley. She visits Scotty’s Castle and talks with National Park Service ranger, Abby Wines, about the 1920s-era house built by Albert Johnson, a wealthy businessman. She takes a short walk while talking with the Park’s wilderness coordinator, Charlie Callagan, to find out what there is to explore in the more remote recesses of the Park’s wilderness. After seeking Ranger Callagan’s advice, Rachel sets out on a hike to explore the dry falls of Fall Canyon. She ends her day trip by exploring the night sky above the Park with park ranger and night sky specialist, Dan Duriscoe.”