Landing ellipse of Mars Pathfinder in Ares Vallis, where the surrounding landforms show evidence of flowing water early in martian history.
Ares Vallis was the landing site of the Mars Pathfinder mission. Ares Vallis was selected by NASA scientists because of its apparent safety. It also offered the prospect of various rock types, thought to be deposited by catastrophic floods in Mars' past, for analysis.
Ares Vallis emerges from the hilly region of Margaritifer Terra, passes through the ancient Xanthe Terra highlands, and ends in a delta-like region of Chryse Planitia.