Sunset Hike (and Manly Lake Vista!) at Dante's View

Sunset Hike at Dante's View and See Manly Lake in Death Valley National Park

A woman stands at Dante's View in Death Valley, looking out to Telescope Peak and Manly Lake, Badwater Basin below.

It’s one of the world’s best places to watch a sunset. Dante’s View is a 5,476-foot vantage of the whole southern basin of Death Valley from the top of the Black Mountains. On clear days you get views of both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous U.S. 

Arrive before sunset and from the large parking area head north and up a spur trail overlooking the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin—currently graced with a temporary oasis, Manly Lake (pictured below); the lake was created (and is being replenished) by atmospheric river storms that have occurred over the past few years. It could be called Mirror Manly Lake because of the incredible reflections the water mirrors from the surrounding mountains.

Within a few minutes on the trail you’ll see a spur trail to an obvious outcropping where you can take a seat or give a standing ovation to the storied scenery.

Epic is not an understatement here as you scan the panorama: Badwater Basin’s temporary and luminous Manly Lake reflects the day’s sinking sun rays while mirroring the massive Telescope Peak in the background. And the views keep going: a valley-to-peaks layered expanse as far as your eyes can see—from mountains to the east in Nevada all the way west across the Panamint range and to Mount Whitney—the highest point in the Lower 48.

The viewpoint has enough safe and flat space to enjoy the view without climbing on top of the jagged outcroppings, though if you insist, mind your footing and knot your shoelaces. The sky settles into an ember glow, and then turns Barbie pink and marigold before navy sets in and stars start winking. Head back to your car before you lose too much light—bring a headlamp or flashlight for extra assurance.

Directions to Dante’s View: Turn off at Hwy. 190 east of Furnace Creek, and follow the signs for Dante’s View. Map. No dogs.

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