Badwater Basin Salt Flats Trail

EASY 129 reviews

Badwater Basin Salt Flats Trail is a 1.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Death Valley, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from October until March.

DISTANCE
1.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
9 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Hike to the lowest point in the US.

26 days ago

Very cool, went far out and the flats get nearer and more defined. Hot though!!!

Follow me on Instagram for pictures of the hikes and other adventures @wildrumpfie

hiking
1 month ago

Walking on salt flats. Feel the heat at the lowest point in North America!

hiking
1 month ago

Neat to see, but not one of the best in Death Valley.

walking
1 month ago

A very unique walk on the salt flat! flat, can go as far as you want...must do!

1 month ago

Beautiful

hiking
2 months ago

A must see place in the park.

2 months ago

This area is worth the time it takes to see. Hiked a little ways out past the rest of the people there. The pattern made by the Salt and the view of the entire valley is awesome. On your way back to the car be sure to find the sea level sign perched high above the road in the rock.

walking
3 months ago

Very cool spot!

3 months ago

Very interesting walk out on the flats. It was 92 degrees in early February so go in the Winter!!

3 months ago

I really wanted to wander out into the salt flats, and this is the place to do it. Trail is really just a path most tourists take from the parking area. Thousands of people have worn the salt into what looks like a white road. But after a half mile the salt flats become more untouched and after a mile they become almost pristine. I kept walking until I couldn’t hear or see anyone behind me toward the parking area. This was about two miles out. The silence left my ears ringing and the ground become more interesting the further out I went. Be warned, even in February it was warm. It’s the lowest elevation in North America and obviously no shade or drinkable water.

hiking
3 months ago

Went during the summer. Surreal salt floors that crack and form bigger, crazier patterns the more one walks out. The surrounding mountains add some majesty, with the wall of the mountain to the direction of the parking lot used to measure where one is at versus where sea level is via a nifty sign. Early, the shadow of the mountain added shade, but soon starts to recede as the day reaches afternoon. An iconic, must visit spot in Death Valley.

4 months ago

Short walk out to the lowest point and along some salt flats. Must see when in Death Valley. Great to say that I’ve been there!

hiking
4 months ago

Scenic and interesting. Also a little weird. Not worth driving across the state for but definitely a well kept park land. Day pass is around $20. Definitely recommend stopping by here but don’t plan and spend more than an hour.

4 months ago

Super cool , and weird

5 months ago

We stopped by the trail after completing the Golden Canyon hike and glad we did. It was quite neat to be able to visit the lowest point in North America.

As other ls have commented, it’s a little busier at the beginning of the trail, but if you make your way down the crowds thin out.

hiking
5 months ago

Just was up there recently and weather was perfect! Wrote a little trip report too. The trail is short, but it's cool to see this place, at least just once.
http://www.shedreamsofalpine.com/blog/2017/12/6/a-weekend-in-death-valley-visit-the-racetrack-mesquite-flat-sand-dunes-and-badwater-basin

hiking
6 months ago

A must see for anyone's first visit to Death Valley. You can walk as far out into the salt flats as you want. There's usually a crowd but seeing the lowest point in North America is cool. Be sure to see the "Sea Level" sign on the rocks 282 ft. above you.

7 months ago

Neat place to go! Always want to see it! Not much of a hike but worth it! 9-20-17

9 months ago

Worth it mostly because it's the lowest point in the US. You can walk out to the middle, but the scenery doesn't change.

10 months ago

Beautiful

walking
10 months ago

This is your chance to say you've been at the lowest point in the US! You don't have to walk all the way to the center, if you don't want to, to get the gist. Take some close-up photos of the salt honeycomb surface; they turn out really cool! On your return, be sure to look up at the cliff to see the "Sea Level" sign -- that's when you really realize how far below sea level you are.

10 months ago

very neat place. Bring water, it's very hot!

11 months ago

go out very far to get past the people and actually see the polygonal salt structures

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Short flat trail, but wear a hat, take water. The heat will get to you quick out here

hiking
Friday, May 19, 2017

It gets unbearably hot, so try to do this earlier in the day. There is not much of a scenic difference, since the area is a large open space, but it is definitely worth visiting. Do not need to spend more than 30 minutes here.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Flat, easy walk. We went late April at sunset and there were a total of 8 people on the flats. Very cool to walk so far below sea level. Waking back to the parking lot, take a look at the rocks just behind the parking lot. There is a sign that marks "sea level" which gives a very different perspective!

Friday, March 24, 2017

This trail is an experience.

I don't agree with the lightly trafficked rating on this one. We went in March and it was packed.

The trail has its own parking lot and vault toilets. It actually begins on a designated boardwalk, but that soon transitions to open salt flats you can wander off on. You pass Badwater lake at the start and the salt flats follow. There are informational placards at the beginning.

The salt is fascinating and reminded me of hot crunchy snow.

This is the lowest spot in the US, so beware of heat depending on the time of year you go.

We went at sunset specifically to get the shot of the colors above the flats. It is well worth it and I definitely recommend this experience.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I licked it

walking
Monday, November 14, 2016

So weird! Look up high on the mountain above you there is a sign that says sea level. Looks like you are walking on snow, but it's white salt!

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