Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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. 

 

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Short drive from Furnace Creek. Beautiful views. Lowest elevation in North America.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

-282.00 ft (-85.95 m)

Features

Big vistas
ADA accessible
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

04/06/2016
A great salt flats that can get quite popular, but with plenty of room and lowest point in the United States, the drive out from the inn is well worth it.
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