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Badwater Basin Salt Flats Trail

EASY 275 reviews

Badwater Basin Salt Flats Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily 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 bird watching and is best used from October until March.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 9 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

views

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Hike to the lowest point in the US.

Pretty cool. Hot though, still in October. Lick the salt I dare you

hiking
19 days ago

Easy walk. Very interesting to walk on salt. Go at sunset

walking
28 days ago

Solid walk to the lowest point in America, with some really bizarre views (in a good way). Very crowded.

walking
no shade
1 month ago

Gorgeous views from the bottom of the Western Hemisphere. You can walk as short or as far onto the salt flat as you like, but bring plenty of water. The persistent salt pond right at the beginning is crazy beautiful with so many various colors. The farther you go out, the more natural the salt flat becomes. Close to the entrance, it is completely flattened by the numerous tourists. Once you get a couple hundred yards or more away from the boardwalk, the real salt flat and it's beauty are on full display with the buckling nature of the plates, and the crystalline structure underneath.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

A neat place to see but a very busy area. If hiking after 10am bring plenty of water and sunblock as the reflection off the salt is pretty harsh

hiking
1 month ago

A must see just due to the uniqueness of the area! There really isn't much to do but walk out onto the salt flats, but it us pretty amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

This is more a hot walk rather than a hike. I brought my camelbak and drank over a liter and walked about 2 miles/40 minutes total. Honestly: wear a sun hat and whatever sun protection you need: it’s hot here and it’s farther than it looks and bring more water than you think you’ll need. Outside of that: it’s pretty cool if you get far enough out to see how the salt has oozed up (or whatever happens). It’s also very, very quiet and it’s just kind of cool to be really hot and also really quiet. Spoiler alert: I tried the salt. It was about what you’d expect. I have died from it (yet?)

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

It's what you would expect.

hiking
2 months ago

Do not miss this in DVNP! The hottest place on earth!

hiking
3 months ago

Obviously there aren’t too many places like this around to take a hike, and for that reason it was spectacular. However, once you get out away from everybody else, I’m not sure going farther adds much, and it is blisteringly hot. Just pause and pretend you’re alone on another planet. Also, don’t forget your sunglasses, either salt in the air or a form of snow blindness had my eyes burning for quite a while afterwards.

hiking
3 months ago

Very unique and interesting place! Worth a visit!

hiking
3 months ago

Surreal locale. My only regret is not seeing the hike all the way through (hiking partner was not up for it). Most of the crowd will keep to the first quarter mile so the further you wander, the more surreal and isolating the experience. It's flat and you mostly feel like you're just walking out into the void, which is cool. Just bring a fair amount of water. Turns out Death Valley's kind of hot.

hiking
3 months ago

good enough

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

I really recommend getting there early in the morning, line 6.30am early (even before if needed). A good part of the basin is under shade until 7.30am tops. The heat can be difficult to handle and even at 6.30am the temperatures are around 93-95F (33 - 35C) - today, June 6th. As you walk further away from the parking lot, you get to enjoy the salt flats and the immensity of the valley! It is really worth walking a bit more than a mile out to enjoy it to its fullest! Parking lot can have at least 20 cars and some RVs.

hiking
4 months ago

We came badwarter on a really windy day! Almost flying in bad water. One of the best spot I have been in my whole life. Highly recommended to experience something different.

hiking
4 months ago

Bring extra water.

hiking
4 months ago

Heck yes!

hiking
4 months ago

Its a nice trail very unique formations of nature.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Nice salt flats, take water and go early. It gets really hot.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy but long when it's too hot, beautiful place

Very easy out and back. But the terrain is unlike anything I have ever seen. Looks like you are on a different planet. You can go as far out as you desire.

hiking
5 months ago

Very unique.

5 months ago

Very cool! Below sea level! Not much of a hike just a walkway! It was really crowded here when we went in March, but nonetheless beautiful!

walking
6 months ago

This was my favorite spot in the park! Park in the lot & walk out away from the crowds to get amazing photos without people & with the intricate design on the salt. TIPS: 1. Not a lot of parking so be prepared for that. 2. Walk out past the crowds for excellent photo opportunities. 3. No shade. Sun screen or a hat is highly recommended.

hiking
6 months ago

A little crowded but great nonetheless

hiking
6 months ago

This walk is a really interesting experience; I had never seen rocks worn away by salt like they are here. But if I found myself back in Death Valley, I would not be inclined to walk out at Badwater again. I would only go if I was with someone who hadn't done it before. Worth doing, but not twice.

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

Fun little walk out on the salt plains. Very low elevation. Be sure to look to the mountain behind the parking lot to see where “sea level” is. The landscape here is definitely unique! Enjoyable walk that felt like you could choose your own adventure as far as how far you wanted to go. Definitely bring plenty of water because it is deceptive how far you are walking away from the cars. All in all it was a fun outing!

hiking
7 months ago

This is one that you just gotta do. I was skeptical about the crowds but, once you get out to the salt flats, you can easily walk far enough to be isolated; and let me tell you -- it is so worth it. I felt like I was on the moon. I tasted the salt and can confirm: tis salt. I did not want to leave when I was out there. Unfortunately some storms were rolling in and the wind was literally knocking me over. Gotta do it if you're in DV!

walking
no shade
7 months ago

easy walk and very interesting. loved this

hiking
7 months ago

To be honest, this is only an out and back walk on the salt flats. I liked it for a few reasons. First it is the lowest spot in North America. Secondly, the contrast of the massive salt flats with the snowcapped 6,000’ peaks was very beautiful. I don’t think I broke any rules, but I also ran out on the salt flats for an additional .75 miles. Then also ran 5 miles further down the paved road. The trailhead would be a good spot to road run/bike from.

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