One of the most popular attractions in Death Valley National Park is the 200-square-mile salt pan that spans Badwater Basin. Among the largest protected salt pans in the world, Badwater Basin is a fascinating and beautiful stop. Although Death Valley National Park is essentially a free hike area, there are a few designated points of interest to check out within the salt pan itself.
The location called Badwater is 18 miles south of Furnace Creek along Badwater Road. Here you will have easy access onto the salt flat, where there is plenty of room to explore. Notably, this is the location where water from the underground aquifer rises out of the ground, giving the area it's name. At 282 feet below sea level, you will also be standing in the lowest spot in North America.
The ground is relatively flat with no elevation change for miles. The main path out into the salt pan is worn flat and smooth. If you walk out past where most people stop, you can see the salt pan in it's natural state. Here the halite salt formations look like they have bubbled up and popped, leaving holes in the tops of the domes. From the middle of the basin there is an amazing, 360-view of the Panamint and Amargosa Mountains that tower above you.