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Badwater Basin – Death Valley National Park, California

Badwater Basin - Death Valley

Salt flats at Badwater Basin, lowest elevation in the U.S., in Death Valley National Park, California

You won’t get any lower than this. Not in North America, anyway.

Badwater Basin is an open expanse of sand and salt flats 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point on North America. And if you want to know exactly how low you are, scan the rock cliff to the east until you see the sign reading “Sea Level” bolted at the appropriate height.

It is desolate – but far from empty. Given its extreme status, this is one of the most visited spots in the vast Death Valley National Park, where temperatures can reach 130 degrees in the summer. Winter brings more tolerable temps, but the air chills dramatically once the sun goes down.

The salt flats stretch far into the basin, so visitors can walk around at their own pace and direction. And the basin is almost perfectly flat so there is no elevation gain from the bottom of this side of the Earth.

  • Badwater Basin - Death Valley
  • Badwater Basin - Death Valley
  • Badwater Basin - Death Valley
  • Badwater Basin - Death Valley
  • Badwater Basin - Death Valley
  • Badwater Basin - Death Valley

Directions: From Furnace Creek, take Highway 190 south and after about a mile, turn right onto Badwater Road. Follow this road for about 16 miles until you see a busy parking lot on the right. This is the parking area for Badwater. Nearby geocaches

Elevation profile:

Badwater Basin Death Valley