“I don’t pay much attention to scenery, but I know one view that made me stop and look.”
These words were spoken in 1926 by Charles Brown, a local man from Shoshone, when asked by the governor of Nevada for his opinion of the best view of Death Valley. As true today as it was then, Dantes View affords visitors an unparalleled view of the swirling white salt flats of Death Valley below (or if you’re a Star Wars fan, Mos Eisley), and the Panamint Range to the west.
Towering 5,575 ft (1,699 m) above Badwater Basin, on the ridge of the Black Mountains, Dantes View is a favorite spot for photographers. Sunrise and sunset are especially magnificent here, and although this area is popular, it is easy to find solitude and set up the perfect shot with a short hike along the ridge to the north. More adventurous hikers can continue along the ridge to Mt. Perry, an 8 mile round-trip journey with approximately 1,200 ft (366 m) of elevation gain.
Not only is Dantes View incredible during the day, it is absolutely breathtaking at night. Death Valley National Park is an International Dark Sky Park, so don’t forget to bring your telescope (or just use your naked eyes), because a visit during a new moon will provide a humbling glimpse of the Milky Way and stars above. A visit during a full moon is equally as grand, as the salt flats below glow a ghostly white.
A 45 minute drive from Furnace Creek, Dantes View is well worth the detour off the main Highway 190 route.