Dead valley’s most significant claim to fame is not the lack of benevolence but its geography. This place happens to be the lowest point in the Americas or the whole of the Western hemisphere (rather diluted term but more imposing one). The point where this claim materialises is the so-called Bad Water basin. It is 86 meters below sea level (dutifully marked on the surrounding cliffs). Nothing compared to the Dead Sea mark of 396 meters or some other hot spots in Asia but due to lack of competition on this side of the Pacific the valley grabs all the accolades.
The low, salty pool at (Good)water as i like to call it, is probably the best known and most visited place in Death Valley. The actual lowest point (-282 feet) is located several miles from the road and is not easily accessible - in fact its position varies, but a sign in front of the pool proclaims it too to have an elevation of -282 feet, and it is here that everyone comes to take photographs. A parking area is avalible to park at. Beware of the wind wich blows hats into the water. There was 6 of them when i was there. If you look back toward the parking lot on the rock face you will see a sighn that tells you where sea level is. Enjoy.
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At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, and after the Dead Sea in Israel the second lowest in the world. Interestingly enough, the highest point in the lower 48 (Mount Whitney) is only 100 miles to the west. At this stop there is a boardwalk for viewing the “badwater” with a few interpretive signs to acquaint you with different features and facts about this spot. Along the edges of the water you may spot the rarest animal in the park the badwater snail, which only exists on the edges of the badwater. There is a short trail that leads out to the salt flats. The parking area fills up quickly, especially with tour buses, so I recommend coming here early in the morning.
This is the lowest point of elevation in the continental U.S. Wow! The highest elevation is not very far away...Mount Whitney in Yosemite, just a few hours away.
Water comes in to Death Valley (from winter rains and snow in the surrounding mountains), but does not go out. It collects at Badwater, then evaporates. Look at the ground here and throughout the valley...you will be amazed at how unique it is.
18 miles South of Furnace Creek.
The little pool (second photo) with trouble, salty water is the lowest point of the United States:282 feet below sea level (86 m).
The story tells that after a long walk, a man brought his mule to this pool. The mule refused to drink. Whereupon the man proclaimed that it was "bad water".
Did you know that there is a sign mentioning "sea level" on the flank of the rock above the road? Difficult to find. (see third photo)
Of course you need to take a look in the pool. There is a lot of life in it. The water is full of crawling creatures. Unfortunately I didn't see any of the famous DV purpfish, but I guess they didn't like tourists.
A little walk on the dry salt lake is quite an experience. We walked for about 30 minutes and I turned from white into crawfish-red, despite my sun hat and sun cream. It was early April and only 86°F (30°C), a very pleasant walk.
Before stepping back into the car, make sure you scratch the salt from your soles. It's sticky.
Badwater is the lowest point in North America. The area is so named as springs in the bottom of Death Valley bring water to the surface, however, due to the high salinity of the water, it is undrinkable. A sign at the boardwalk at Badwater notes that it is 282 feet below sea level, and if you look at the mountain behind you as you are looking at the sign, you will see the sign indicating where sea level would be. Everyone was taking pictures with the sign, and I would definitely recommend visiting, just to say that you've been to the lowest place on the continent! From the boardwalk, you can also walk onto the salt plain - there is a well trod path where lots of people were walking. The path is actually white due to the salt, but in some places you could see the mud underneath.
There actually is bad water at Badwater. A boardwalk allows you to stroll over the salty stagnant water. Mostly, however, Badwater is a huge salt flat that, depending on which direction you face, seems to stretch to the horizon or to distant mountains. You can wander off far onto the salt if you so desire. At 282 feet below sea level, it is the lowest point in North America. A few miles south of Furnace creek on Badwater Road, it is easy to find. Badwater is well worth a visit.
282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in the western hemisphere. Early travelers were delighted to finally find some water, then tasted chloride, sodium, and sulfate and the name fell into place. Here, you can take a picture of the Badwater Basin sign, then walk out among the salty desert as far as you are interested (note that you'll be tracking salt back into your car on your shoes.) If you do decide to hike out into the basin take plenty of water, because looks of distances is very deceiving!
There are also restrooms at this overlook, but due to the popularity of the site among tour buses, the wait can be a long one!
This is the lowest point in the US; after the Dead Sea in Israel, it's the lowest on earth. Looking up at the cliff nearby, one can see a small sign marking sea level. I added a notation to the photo to make it more visible.
The early explorers gave it this name because even the mules wouldn't drink the foul water. However, a few hardy plants, fish, and insects thrive in it. Follow the trail out into the desert--but be sure to bring water and wear sunblock, especially in the afternoon. You'll go past the Salt Flats, which become smoother and less broken up as you go farther out.
Badwater, the lowest spot on North America, is about 282 feet below sea level. It is a salt-encrusted area with a spring. It takes its name from the story that an early explorer in the area, happ to find some water, could not get his mule to drink the heavily saline water and dubbed it Badwater.
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