Death Valley: Badwater Basin

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Location: 

Visited: April 13, 2014 and September 5, 2015

Description: Lowest elevation in North America

Length: 0 to 1 mile (depending how far you want to walk)

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Elevation: About 10 feet

Terrain: Ground is covered in crusts of salt so if you need any, it’s organic here ;P

Difficulty: Easy

Parking: Lot (36.230005, -116.767099)

Best time to go: Anytime, avoid going in the summer or when the weather conditions are bad.

Bring: Camera, tupperware to store your organic salt


Death Valley is a place full of illusions and Badwater Basin is no exception. The moment you arrive, you are surrounded by a landscape of snow-like salt flats that seem to stretch on for an eternity. These salt crystals are the remnants of evaporated rain that flood the valley every year. If you are lucky you’ll see a small pool of water. However, the water here is undrinkable, hence the name “badwater”.

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As you make your way down the wooden planks, you are now officially in the lowest elevation in North America; 282 feet below sea level to be exact!

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Feel free to wander and take in the views. You can continue to walk out of the basin towards the mountains.

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We’re not sure if low altitude sickness is a real thing… It certainly made Alice and John want to try the crusty, dirty salt.

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Yummm!!!

Since Badwater Basin was such a short trip, HikeSnobs spotted something else that looked like it might be fun. Right behind the basin and parking lot, you can see a crack (36.229974, -116.765860) in the canyon that we decided to explore.

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Into the hole, we go! But it doesn’t go in too far……

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What now? Time to attempt some rock climbing!

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Linda strategizing

Okay… didn’t go too far either but it was enough!

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“I’m over it!”

It was fun while it lasted… Onto the next Death Valley destination!


@HikeSnobs Tips:

  • If you decide to lick the salt, make sure you find a clean-looking spot 😛

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Leave us a message below!

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