Death Valley, California

Badwater Professional Review and Guide

"This is a perfectly flat hike on a boardwalk that leads you
onto the salt flats at the hottest and lowest point in the
United States and the lowest elevation you can drive to in
the Western Hemisphere. This vast bed of salt lies 282 feet below sea level.

As bleak as it looks, the popular hike onto the salt flats at
Badwater is arguably the ultimate Death Valley experience. If you have been to Dante’s View or Telescope Peak, you probably saw the human ants on the white expanse of valley floor and wondered what could be so fascinating. Here you will find individuals, especially families, cavorting like they’re at the beach or enjoying a spring snow. To gain a genuine sense of the enormity of the salt flats, hike beyond the heavily traveled section. The hike begins at the parking area beneath the cliffs that soar up to Dante’s View, 5,542 feet above."

Badwater Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon5 Total
Probably the most touristy spot I saw in the valley but still worth seeing.
Short walk out on to the salt flats from the parking lot. 282 feet below sea level. Very interesting salt formations, with Telescope Peak looking down on you from ovver 11,000 feet on the west side of the basin. Nice for the sights, it is a must-go, but definitely not a hike!
Badwater basin is a focal point in Death Valley, but don't believe many people cavort here as the review says, this is an extremely hot & unforgiving region & families should absolutely not think this would be physically pleasant. The day I visited the basin there were 40MPH sustained winds, sand pelting your exposed skin in a hard painful way, whiteout conditions on the road due to the blowing sand storm where visibiltiy was 20-50 feet at best, and all of this not mentioning the excessive heat at all. Enjoy the salt flats & the Basin, but always respect mother nature, people should not entertain hiking very long of far at all, it is dangerous.
Review Submitted by Bill & Teresa Kettler Very beautiful and interesting area, The actual lowest point (-282 feet) is located several miles from the road and is not easily accessible - in fact its position varies, but a sign in front of the pool proclaims it too to have an elevation of -282 feet, and it is here that everyone comes to take photographs. An enlarged parking area and other new facilities were constructed in fall 2003 to cope with the ever increasing visitor numbers at the site.

Trail Information

Death Valley
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
Under 1 hour
Best: November through March
NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley National Park Map; USGS 1:24,000 topo map Badwater-CA
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jun 2018