Dante's View Trail Professional Review and Guide
"If at all possible, take this hike in the early morning so that the sun is at your back for better photography and for enhanced enjoyment of the superlative vistas and astounding 5,755-foot drop to the salt flats of Badwater, which sit at 282 feet below sea level. The temperature at Dante’s View averages 25 degrees cooler than that of Badwater. This exposed location is usually windy, necessitating a windbreak garment during the hike. This lofty vantage point in the Black Mountains enables one to almost see, or at least visualize, how the mountains are both slowly moving to the left (south) and rising relative to the surrounding terrain. Looking across Death Valley to the highest point in the park, 11,049-foot Telescope Peak, it is easy to note the major vegetative life zones stretching westward like a giant map. Bristlecone and limber pines thrive high in the Panamint Range. Below is the pinyon-juniper zone. Dante’s View is situated in a hotter, drier midslope of blackbush and sage. Floods from the mountains result in graveled fans with spreading root species such as creosote bush. Freshwater displaces salt from the edges of fans, allowing mesquite to grow. Pickleweed gains a foothold in the brackish water below these edges. The muddy tans and grays of the valley floor grade into white beds of almost pure salt—a chemical desert."