Death Valley, the home of nothingness. It is of course a desert.
So why visit?
Well, beyond the dry desert heat, what Death Valley lacks in living things, it more than makes up for with its incredible scenery. And that my friends, is more than reason enough to go, especially if like me you’re making your way by car from the California coast to Las Vegas.
When I was reading up about what there was to do in Death Valley, time and time again Dante’s View came up as a top location. So having read so many positive reviews I headed there myself in 2016 to take a look – if you’re planning to make the same trip this year, here’s what you should expect.
Dante’s View location
Making my way to Dante’s View was really easy for a small number of reasons. The biggest reason however is that Death Valley simply doesn’t have that many roads!
Approaching from the CA-190 the road is sign posted so you can’t really miss the turning (on the right):
This will take you onto Furnace Creek Road which is then 13 miles to Dante’s View. From this junction you basically just need to stay on the road. After 7.5 miles however the road you’re driving on changes into Death Valley Road and Furnace Creek Road disappears off to the left, so just be sure to keep driving ahead:
Once you’re then on Dante’s View Road, you simply keep following the tarmac to Dante’s View which as per the image, overlooks Badwater.
As you head towards the mountains, the road really doesn’t offer you much to look at as everything is quite enclosed:
From the junction to Dante’s View it’s around a 5.5 mile drive however near the end of the road you arrive at a sign instructing vehicles with trailers to detach them in a lay-by as the road gets a little steep.
Continuing the drive up the road, things really start to come into view as you near the top. Once you do reach the top however there’s plenty of parking available.
At Dante’s View you suddenly get a real sense of how high up you are with the view stretching for miles across the Badwater Basin salt flats.
From the car park there are a few options for exploring the area, with paths heading off in opposite directions. There isn’t of course anything to really walk to however it is a nice opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy the view from a different angle.
If you choose to explore the paths that head off from the car park and you’re with children, be warned that there are no barriers, the paths are quite narrow and the drop is very steep. You’re best advised to avoid letting them go near the edge!
With all of the sights taken in I called it a day and headed back down to below sea level at Badwater.
Would I recommend Dante’s View?
Yes. My overall experience of Dante’s View was a positive one. The drive up was quite interesting and the views from the top were really special. I certainly didn’t go anywhere else in Death Valley which offered something better.
Then again there aren’t that many places in Death Valley to see so if you are going to take the time to see something, make sure this is one of your stops!