Photo Girl Travels

Taking the Road Less Traveled

Death Valley: Badwater, Lowest Pt in N. America

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Inverted photo taken at Badwater in Death Valley, California

Inverted photo taken at Badwater in Death Valley, California

If you love salt like I do…then Badwater is the place to go. Also, it’s the lowest point in North America – 282 feet below sea level to be exact.

That's me jumping at Badwater!!!

That’s me jumping at Badwater!!!

To get to Badwater you take a back road that is located off 190. You won’t have any cell phone reception and you’ll feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere. In fact, I’m not even sure I saw a car the entire time I was driving (until I reached the parking lot). The scenery is beautiful, mountains, desert, and then, stretching out in front of you is this vast white ocean of salt. It’s quite spectacular. As you pull into the parking lot you’ll see a small “pond” of water and a wooden deck.

View from the parking lot out over to the observation deck at Bad Water in Death Valley

View from the parking lot out over to the observation deck at Bad Water in Death Valley

Here is a photo a little closer:

View in Badwater salt beds in Death Valley, California

View in Badwater salt beds in Death Valley, California

Me standing by Badwater sign in Death Valley - don't forget a hat!

Me standing by Badwater sign in Death Valley – don’t forget a hat!

I thought that was pretty cool, but what was even more impressive was over to the left of the observation deck. Where it stops, you’ll see people walking out over the packed down layers of salt. (photo below)

Walk out over the salt beds in Badwater in Death Valley, California

Walk out over the salt beds in Badwater in Death Valley, California

So how did they come up with the name Badwater? The early travelers came across a spring. I’m sure it was a scorcher and everyone was thirsty. They say the horses wouldn’t drink the water which is when they discovered it was a thick, salty liquid. Obviously undrinkable, they gave the area its name – Badwater. Badwater is about 18 miles south of Furnace Creek where I stayed. Also, if you remember our trip to Dante’s View where I showed you the vast ocean of salt beds that stretch out in front of you. Badwater is included in part of that view. https://photogirltravels.com/2013/04/19/death-valley-dantes-view/

When you are driving back, you can take a one-way road called Artists Drive. I did a really stupid thing and I had 3/4 of a tank gas when I headed off to Badwater (badgirl!) I was pretty sure I had enough gas to drive along Artists Drive, but in Death Valley, you don’t want to take chance. So here’s a quick tip. Anytime you see a gas station, fill up. Regardless of how much gas you have. There are only very few places to get gas and an 18 mile drive can take an hour.

Next I’ll show you where I stayed – Yes, we’re off to the Ranch!

A couple of quick tips: First, bring a hat. Second, consider wearing a light, long sleeved shirt to keep your skin protected. I know everyone loves the look of a Coppertone tan but bronzer can be just as nice (and your skin will stay younger looking…longer) Seriously, you don’t want to mess around with the intensity of the sun in Death Valley. It’s harsh!

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If you’d like to purchase a print to remind you of this beautiful area, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

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