Dante's View - Death Valley National Park, California

When one thinks about Death Valley there are two things that usually come to mind: the scorching heat and the lowest point in North America. There is no dispute on either claims. The average summer temperature is about 120° Fahrenheit, with the hottest day on record hitting an unbelievable 134° Fahrenheit. The lowest point in North America is pictured in this photo, Badwater Basin at 283 feet below sea level. This view, known as Dante's View, is from the north side of Coffin Peak (the location names in Death Valley are cool, but I am sure that there are many sad stories of how they got them). Dante's View is actually at 5,476 feet above sea level, giving you an idea of how far we were above the basin.

A few of us visited this overlook on a pre-photo tour scouting trip. It wasn't a particularly cold morning and we had some great clouds. I hiked from the parking lot far enough to get a full shot of the salt flat down below. The clouds had a great pattern to them and I was lucky to get a shot of the sunrise hitting the tops of the Amargosa Mountain Range at the end of the basin to the right. Just another great day in Death Valley.