A perfect introduction to Death Valley.

Statistics

0 - 1

hrs

167

m

167

m

14

max°

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Easy

Description

This is a wonderful “first glimpse” of Death Valley National Park.

In fact, it provides sweeping views of the lowest and highest points in the park.

The iconic Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level and 11,049-foot Telescope Peak can both be seen from this vantage point. Dante's View is another national park experience that is generally crowded, but is well worth the lack of solitude.

As with any location, however, it is possible to lose the crowds if you go in an off-season month like December.

Also, when conditions seem like they might not be ideal, like a foggy day, the vast majority of folks will not even bother getting out of their cars.

Those with fortitude and patience may be rewarded with shifting clouds and parting fog to get breathtaking views that may only last for seconds, but seem almost sweeter for their brevity. The half-mile route to Dante's Peak is not an official marked one, but is clear and easy to follow as it heads north from the parking area.

From the 5,704-foot point, Badwater Basin is a dizzying 6,000 feet below.

On a clear day, the many people exploring the famous Salt Flats will look like swarms of ants on the stark white surface. Once done enjoying the grandeur of the expansive, colorful views of Death Valley from Dante's Peak, there is more to explore.

The quarter-mile ridge heading southwest allows for another perspective and takes hikers to a rock formation at the end.

While wandering along the ridge, be sure to look down at the various plants.

There is a lovely pink cactus that nestles between rocks in this area.

At over 5,000 feet in elevation, expect this outing to be as much as 25 degrees cooler than much of Death Valley.

As with most high ridges, also expect windy conditions.

Even for a short ramble, it is always a good idea to be prepared with an extra layer, hat, and gloves! To access the signed trailhead, drive southeast for 11 miles from Furnace Creek.

Turn right on Dante’s View Road and continue 13 miles to the parking area at the end of the road.