There are many amazing sites and views at Death Valley National Park in California, and one of those can be enjoyed from Dantes View high above Badwater. Far below you is the lowest point in the North America, while across the valley floor and up above you looms 11,043-foot Telescope Peak.
However, due to necessary maintenance and improvements, this viewpoint is expected to be closed into early April.
Park crews are scheduled to begin work Tuesday on improving parking and viewing platforms at Dantes View.
Perched at over a mile above the valley floor, Dantes View provides some of the most expansive views of Death Valley. The site was used as a part of the 1977 movie "Star Wars: A New Hope."
“Dantes View is one of the most popular sites in the park, and every year over half a million people make the drive up to the 5,475-foot high overlook," said Death Valley Superintendent Mike Reynolds. "However, the site is in desperate need of stabilization. We are very excited to work with a contractor so familiar with Death Valley’s unique needs and landscape.”
The National Park Service awarded the contract to S.T. Rhoades Construction, which also rehabilitated parking and the overlook at Zabriskie Point in 2015.
In addition to parking, new viewing areas will be constructed to provide the best views while protecting the native landscape. A new bronze tactile model of the area is also being constructed by artist Bridget Keimel and will be located at the overlook.
The project was made possible through private donations and park entrance fees. The Death Valley Natural History Association and The Fund for People in Parks have made significant contributions that were matched by federal funds to facilitate this project.
“So much effort has gone into repairing flood damage at Scotty’s Castle recently that other important projects have been in danger of significant delays," noted Superintendent Reynolds. "Without partners like The Fund for People in Parks and Death Valley Natural History Association, this work would have been pushed back indefinitely. Their contributions are invaluable to protecting park resources and enhancing visitor experiences."