Magnificent views aren’t particularly rare in the American Southwest. The Grand Canyon is mind-bogglingly expansive when seen from the south rim, the memorial bridge on the Nevada/Arizona border offers a bird’s-eye-view of Hoover Dam, and several points along the Las Vegas Strip provide folks with a perfect vantage-point from which to enjoy the sparkling landscape below.
And the views at Death Valley National Park in California deserve a mention right alongside these impressive, better-known vistas.
Located just off the main road that leads into the park, Zabriskie Point seems to be the overlook of choice for most Death Valley visitors. The overlook can be reached by taking the short(ish) trek up the paved walkway. Although this overlook is certainly worth a stop, I prefer Dante’s View.
Visitors drive about 10 miles off the main road to reach the Dante’s View overlook. Although this is a two-lane paved road, it is winding and shoulderless in most places. Thank goodness for guardrails, because near the top, the road seems to cling precariously to the mountainous terrain.
Those who take the time to venture to the top are rewarded with a stunning view of the Badwater Basin salt flats. The ground below holds undulating patterns of salt that almost make the valley seem like it is in motion.
For more information on Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point, and other noteworthy spots within Death Valley, check out NPS.