Spectacular Dantes View

It was well worth a long drive (a lonely road) to Dantes View. This was our last stop on our first day of journey to Death Valley National Park California. It was already 3:30 pm when we left the main road and it took us about 20 minutes to get there. A 13 mile paved road but the last quarter mile is 15% grade. A steep climb up but so beautiful. Vehicles over 25ft or longer are prohibited on this road. Please watch our short video Road to Dantes View to see the road. 

There were few cars when we arrived at The Dantes View but those people were out exploring around. It wasn't crowded at all in fact we were the only ones there enjoying the 360 degrees of breathtaking view of Death Valley from 5475 ft high above Sea Level. 

We didn't stay long because it was windy and cold.  It would have been nice to explore the area but it was also getting late in a day. There was a Bee Hazard caution sign on the road but we didn't even get the change to see any. Maybe it's because we visited there in January, it might be too cold for them to be out and about. 

Seeing the dramatic panoramic view of Death Valley National Park, the Badwater Basin, the Salt Flats, the valleys below,  the peaks,  and mountains are definitely an experience worth having. Also Dantes View is one of the locations where they filmed Star Wars Movie in 1977. Check the National Park Service Plaque below for more information.

Also, please don't forget to check the other places we have visited on our first day in Death Valley National Park California. 

view of Death Valley from Dantes View
Dantes View

Road up to Dantes View
Start of 15% grade 
Vehicles 25ft and longer are prohibited

View of Badwater Basin from Dante's View
Spectacular view of the Badwater Basin ,Salt Flats and the valley below

The red truck in the parking lot at Dante's View
Pretty much an empty parking lot. Amazing view from 5475 ft. above sea level

Map of Death Valley at Dante's View
Telescope Peak 11049 ft above sea level
Badwater Basin 282 ft below sea level
Dantes View 5475 ft above sea level

Dantes View and Badwater Basin below

A Hidden River

The Bed of the Amargosa River is dry for most of its 185-mile length. The river flows underground until it encounters solid rock layers that force it to the surface, or the occasional flash flood fills the channel. Its name is shortened from the Spanish agua amargosa (bitter water). The Amargosa River originates in the hills north of Beatty, Nevada, and flows south before making an abrupt turn west and north near the Dumont Dunes, California, ending its journey in Badwater Basin, directly below you.

One of several rivers that once flowed into Death Valley, the Amargosa contributed to the creation of prehistoric Lake Manly. Isolated populations of desert pupfish in Death Valley, Amargosa Valley, Owens Valley, and the lower delta of the Colorado River suggest that all these river systems were linked at one or more stages of the last major Ice Age, which ended 10, 000 years ago. 

The main channel of the Amargosa River flowing northwest on the floor of Death Valley.
(From National Park  U. S. Department of the Interior Plaque)

Basin and Range

Standing on the spine of the Black Mountains at Dante's View, the mountain range is one in a series of alternating and parallel north-south trending mountains and valleys, forming what geologist call the Basin and Range Geologic Province. It stretches from Utah to California and from Idaho to Mexico.

The satellite image shows the basin and range topography of the Western United States.

The basin and range topography reveals the story of the earth's crust, stretched from east to west and cracking along north-south lines. Parts of the earth were forced upward, forming mountain ranges, while others dropped creating deep valleys. The floor of Death Valley is dropped fault block that is also tilted to the east toward the Black Mountains. As the mountains rose upward, gravity and water began to wear away at them, slowly filling in the valley floor with sediment at the same rate the mountains were uplifted. 
(From National Park Service  U. S. Department of the Interior Plaque)

Sweeping vistas are often essential to a national park experience, inspiring visitors with silent, timeless grandeur and refreshing their spirits. The remoteness of Death Valley helps preserve its excellent air quality, although increasing pollution from distant sources, including cities in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, is more evident each year. Air tends to be clearest in winter, when the prevailing northerly winds from less populated areas sustain good visibility. The occasional dust storm or wildfire may diminish quality for days or weeks at a time, but generally have come to take its unsoiled panoramas for granted. Can we count on always unblemished views?

Looking west, Telescope Peak, the highest point in Panamint Range, is 20 miles away. On a clear day Mt. Williamson, further north in the Sierra Nevada, is sometimes visible at 100 miles.
(From National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior Plaque)

A Window into the Universe
Death Valley's remote location and minimal light pollution reward us with one of the country's best night skies. The unsurpassed beauty and mystery of the night sky, uncompromised by artificial light, is something most people rarely experience...but it tugs at our primal instincts. The opportunity to view countless stars, fabled constellations, and the trail of the Milky Way is as much a national park experience as grand peaks or deep canyons. In the silence and solitude, the cosmos seems almost close enough to touch.
Despite its isolation, the pristine dark night sky of Death Valley is vulnerable to encroaching urban glow. One hundred fifty miles to the southwest, the smudge of light on the horizon is from the suburbs of Los Angeles, and Las Vegas glows 120 miles distant to the east. You can join efforts to reduce light pollution by directing outside lighting downward and using lower wattage lamps.
(From National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior Plaque)

View of salt flats and badwater basin from Dantes view

Watch our short video driving to Dante's View


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