Badwater

Badwater featuring desert views, views and hiking or walking
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Stand on the lowest elevation in North America when you visit this spectacular salt flat beside the Black Mountains in the heart of Death Valley.

Snow-white crystals of salt fill the immense pan of Badwater Basin, a crater-like salt flat in the middle of the valley. Flanked by dusky-pink mountain ranges and purple-hued ridges, Badwater Basin is a dreamlike destination. Explore the moonscape saltpan on foot for the chance to say you’ve walked across the lowest point in North America, at 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level.

Wander around the platform that extends down into the basin. Here read about the history and science behind the fascinating formation before you. Between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago, a lake dried up and left behind only salt crystals and dust. You can see a remnant of this lake at Badwater Pool nearby.

Learn the story behind the area’s name. At one time a traveler was exploring the Black Mountains with his mule and came across the basin filled with water. His mule refused to drink, so the traveler named the place “Badwater.” Unlike the Devil’s Golf Course nearby, Badwater Basin is regularly flooded with rainwater. This thin sheet of water rapidly evaporates, depositing sparkling snow-white crystals of salt on the surface.

Step off the platform and walk across the crunchy saltpan. You might see the naturally formed hexagonal-shaped saucers that are dotted across the landscape. This formation is created when the saltpan begins its evaporation and the salt crystals begin to expand. The saltpan stretches for 5 miles (8 kilometers). Look out across the remarkable Black Mountains as you wander across the flats. Take photographs of the monumental mountain range in the distance, contrasting with the glimmering white saltpan in the foreground.

Badwater Basin is located at the southern end of Death Valley National Park. It is accessible by one major road and is a 2-hour drive from the town of Baker. Enjoy the short, flat walk from the parking lot outside the basin. Note that this destination is very popular and can become busy on weekends. There is an admission fee to enter the national park.

Top Hotels Close to Badwater

The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park
2.5 out of 5
Highway 190, Death Valley, CA, 92328
The price is $219 per night from Jul 8 to Jul 9
Stay at this golf resort in Death Valley. Enjoy free WiFi, 3 restaurants, and a golf course. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
3.9/5 Good! (1,632 reviews)
"Good location for travelling."

Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park
4 out of 5
Highway 190, Death Valley, CA, 92328
The price is $383 per night from Jul 19 to Jul 20
Stay at this 4-star golf hotel in Death Valley. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and 24-hour room service. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (699 reviews)
"We visited off season and most of the hotel was closed. Thoroughly enjoyed the facilty without crowds. Staff was very friendly and accommodating. Star gazing on the terrace was amazing. The spring fed pool was a great pitstop after 2 long days in the car."

Reviewed on Jun 21, 2022

The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Ranch at Death Valley
The Ranch at Death Valley
2.5 out of 5
CA-190, Death Valley, CA, 92328
Stay at this hotel in Death Valley. Popular attractions Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Golden Canyon Trailhead are located nearby. Discover genuine guest reviews ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (5 reviews)
"Nice enough for the very limited area it is in, very minimal, non appetizing, and over priced dining options on site"

Reviewed on Jun 29, 2022

The Ranch at Death Valley
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Badwater

Amargosa Opera House
Amargosa Opera House
2.5 out of 5
HR-C 608 Death Valley Junction, Death Valley, CA, 92328
The price is $89 per night from Jul 28 to Jul 29
Amargosa Opera House
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park
2.5 out of 5
Highway 190, Death Valley, CA, 92328
The price is $219 per night from Jul 8 to Jul 9
The Ranch at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park
4 out of 5
Highway 190, Death Valley, CA, 92328
The price is $383 per night from Jul 19 to Jul 20
The Inn at Death Valley – Inside the Park
The Ranch at Death Valley
The Ranch at Death Valley
2.5 out of 5
CA-190, Death Valley, CA, 92328
The Ranch at Death Valley
Longstreet Inn & Casino
Longstreet Inn & Casino
3 out of 5
4400 South Highway 373, Amargosa Valley, NV, 89020
The price is $109 per night from Jul 14 to Jul 15
Longstreet Inn & Casino
Stovepipe Wells Village
Stovepipe Wells Village
3 out of 5
51880 CA-190, Death Valley, CA, 92328
Stovepipe Wells Village
Glamping outside of Death Valley National Park
Glamping outside of Death Valley National Park
Amargosa Valley, NV
The price is $95 per night from Jul 17 to Jul 18
Glamping outside of Death Valley National Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.