About Badwater Basin
Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the western hemisphere, at 282 feet below sea level. Salt flats extend for miles across Death Valley, and on their eastern edge a small pool of salty water lies at the base of the cliffs of the Black Mountains. Badwater Road passes between the pool and the cliffs. A sign on the cliffs above indicates where sea level is. On the other side of Death Valley, Telescope Peak rises 11,331 feet above Badwater Basin. In winter a bit of snow often caps the peak.
The pool at badwater is fed by a spring, but the salt which dissolves into it makes it undrinkable. An early surveyor, whose mule wouldn't drink the water, marked on his map "bad water," unintentionally naming the place. Pickleweed, insects and the Badwater Snail live in the water.
Unseen to visitors to Badwater Basin, a viewpoint named Dante's View, 6000 feet above them atop the Black mountains, offers an overlook of the basin.
A turnout on Badwater Road provides access to the basin. A boardwalk skirts the pool, and a path extends quite a distance out into the salt flats.