Timelapse of of the sun setting over Death Valley, as seen from Dante's View.

©Kelly vanDellen/Shutterstock

Dante's View

Top choice in Death Valley National Park

Dante's View is an overlook that sits perched at 5475ft atop the Black Mountains, affording stunning panoramic views of the entire southern Death Valley basin. On very clear days, you can simultaneously see the highest (Mt Whitney) and lowest (Badwater) points in the contiguous USA. As the highest point in Death Valley National Park, you'll also get a slight respite from the valley's famous heat, if you're lucky. 

If it looks a little familiar, that might be because it was used for a brief establishing shot in Star Wars: A New Hope when the characters first approach Mos Eisley. But Dante's View has an older pop culture connection – the overlook got its name from visiting members of the Pacific Coast Borax Company, who thought it evoked the Italian poet's vision of nine circles of hell in The Divine Comedy.

Indeed, the Borax industrialists hoped the vivid moniker would help establish Dante's View as the best view in the area for visiting tourists. While the vantage point from the parking lot is indeed splendid, you can also hike half along Dantes Ridge to the top of Mount Perry for even more unobstructed views and different angles. It's an eight mile trek, however, that can involve strenuous bolder scrambles and should be completed before 10am in the summer months, as there's no shade.


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