Badwater Basin Crossing
ElevationAscent: 25' 8 m
Descent: -12' -4 m
High: 0' 0 m
Low: -280' -85 m
GradeAvg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 1% (0°)
Popular hikes nearby
Desolation Canyon Trail
3.7 mi 6.0 km • Out and Back • 777 ft Ascent 236.76 m Ascent
Telescope Peak Trail
5.9 mi 9.6 km • Point to Point • 3,021 ft Ascent 920.65 m Ascent
Red Cathedral Out-and-Back
2.9 mi 4.7 km • Out and Back • 522 ft Ascent 159.18 m Ascent
Wildrose Peak Trail
8.3 mi 13.4 km • Loop • 2,283 ft Ascent 695.79 m Ascent
10.7 mi 17.3 km • Loop • 3,604 ft Ascent 1098.59 m Ascent
Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Loop
26.8 mi 43.1 km • Loop • 4,032 ft Ascent 1229.03 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“An off trail adventure through upheaved salt plates below sea level.”— Andrew Walters
Family Friendly Do not bring kids on the entire crossing However, that being said, the initial portion of this route includes bizarre geologic formations unlike anything most kids have seen.
Drink plenty of water: Drink at least one gallon (4 liters) of water per day to replace loss from sweat, more if you are active. Fluid and electrolyte levels must be balanced, so have salty foods or "sports drinks" too.
Avoid hiking in the heat: Do not hike in the low elevations when temperatures are hot. The mountains are cooler in summer, but can have snow and ice in winter.
Travel prepared to survive: Stay on paved roads in summer. If your car breaks down, stay with it until help comes. Carry extra drinking water in your car in case of emergency.
Watch for signs of trouble: If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or a headache, get out of the sun immediately and drink water or sports drinks. Dampen clothing to lower body temperature. Be alert for symptoms in others.
Depending on recent precipitation, there may be some soggy spots. As you near the West Side road there will be some shrubs and if you have stayed due west you should meet the road near a benchmark just south of Hanaupah Canyon Road. It is possible to arrange a shuttle and do this hike as a one-way adventure, but it works great as an out-and-back.
Salt flats are too harsh for most plants and animals to survive, yet are quite fragile. Delicate crystals are easily crushed and the relatively thin upper crust of salt can break through to the mud layer below, leaving tire tracks and even footprints. For this reason, vehicles are prohibited off established roads in Death Valley.
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.
Land Manager: NPS - Death Valley National Park