Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Southwestern Sojourn - Day 23: Death Valley: Dante's View and Badwater Road

Work took longer to get through today so didn't get all my riding objectives accomplished.

First, Scarlett and I rode over to Dante's View which is about 13 miles along the Furnace Creek Wash Road.  Nicely paved, very twisty at times and the last quarter mile is pretty steep.  (Sign said 15% slope)

You emerge onto a medium sized parking area with an observation balcony.  It's truly quite the view.

I elected however to move away from the slight crowds and walked along a ridgeline path down to better (read less crowded) viewpoints with what I thought was better angles of Death Valley.

I walked almost to the end of the ridgeline, something only a few of the people at the site decided to do as well so it was not crowded at all along the steep and slippery path.  Lots of loose gravel, it paid to watch one's step!

I then took more pics as I trudge my way back up to the parking lot, it was a long walk.

Here's a couple of panos to hopefully give you an idea of the views from Dante's View:

An explanation of the terrain features before you:

I then moved Scarlett out of the parking lot and posed her where I could get some portion of the view:

I returned back to CA 190 and continued heading towards Furnace Creek to check out the visitor center, get a map (they ask to see your park pass to ensure you paid the fee I guess), and check for cellular signals in the RV campground located there.  Extended 3G is the best I could find, so until I'm free of the bonds of Internet usage....this campground isn't for me.

I'd spotted on the map and as I went into Furnace Creek a road called Badwater Road.  Turns out its the road you can see from Dante's peak, running along the mountains that form the east side of Death Valley.

Badwater, 18 miles away on this road, is the lowest point in Death Valley at -282 ft below sea level.

So of course I rode Scarlett to see this spot called Badwater.  Turned out to be a bit anticlimatic, just basically a parking lot where you can then walk over to the white salt flats that you could see from Dante's View.

Near the Badwater Parking area, I elected not
to trudge out there amongst all the selfie-taking people

Retracing my route, I detoured onto a drive loop called Artists cruise past colorful (in the right light conditions) rock formations in this one way loop.

Finishing with Artists Drive, I retraced my way back to the gas station at Furnace Creek and paid $4.15/gallon for the cheap gas!  Luckily, it only took 2.37 gallons to fill Scarlett's tank.

We then just took CA 190 back out towards Death Valley Junction as the sun set lower in the sky and the road became dusky and shadowy.  It also got very cool as the sun went away, chilly at speed!

Got back to the campsite with no issues, have to monitor the oil level on the Final Drive closely, I've got a leak in the front seal I think, hoping I just overfilled the drive during the recent 60K km maintenance.


RichardM said...

Nice photos from Dante's View.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks RichardM

SonjaM said...

The photos speak for themselves. Do you know how lucky you are? I am sooo envious.

redlegsrides said...

Yep, pretty lucky

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I would like to be there. When I do, I'll be sure and leave the hammock at home.

Anonymous said...

I’m loved this whole ride report

redlegsrides said...

Yeah not too many trees Doug....

redlegsrides said...


Ian McIntyre said...

Too bad you did not walk out to the Badwater flats...very magical place. I was out there three weeks ago. Also suggest a ride out to Aguereberry Point; the view beats Dante’s Peak, but most Park visitors never hear about it. Camping at Wildrose camp is great, and there is water there. It is the best camping within Death Valley Park, unless you backpack in, and carry water. Many superb places in the Park...the Titus Canyon road is beautiful, if a bit challenging.

redlegsrides said...

Ian, magical or not, crowds aren't my thing. I'm somewhere else now, so the points you mentioned to visit will have to wait till next time. Thanks.

Mr. Cob said...

Howdy Dom,

Thanks for your ride report, sure wish I was down there with you I could show you some cool things and neat old roads, mines etc. I am like you in that I like to stop and take photos so I think we would be compatible on the trail, someday maybe we can meet up in Death valley and I can be your tour guide I have been everywhere a Ural can go and some places where we should have never ventured but we did it anyway.


redlegsrides said...

Thanks Dave for all the info you provided, made the exploring much easier and safer. Merry Christmas to you and yours.