Valley of Death

The Badwater Basin is the lowest elevation in the United States at about 280 feet below sea level. The basin gets the name because there is actually a spring fed pool that leads out to it but the water is ‘bad’ since horses and other animals refuse to drink it (it is salty because of the salt deposits that surround the basins) thus the name ‘badwater’. The freezing and thawing of the water combined with the rapid evaporation of the water push the thin salt crust into these unique hexagonal shapes that I used in the foreground of this photograph. The clouds I simply lucked into as the valley was surrounded all day by storms overtop of the mountains. This was actually the last photo I was able to take before the rain finally crept into the basin and sent me scrambling the mile or so back to the car.

Photo of the Day – Valley of Death

Death Valley Badwater Basin

Throughout the day I was hoping the clouds would clear and I’d get some interesting colors in the sky. I returned the next day under perfectly clear conditions and while I do like the colors in some of the photos the sky in the above really made it standout to me. It creates that ‘Death Valley’ look that is ominous and imposing.


4 thoughts on “Valley of Death

    • Appreciate that Viveka. My wife suggested it just needs a lightning bolt and a possessed horse rearing up in the middle and it could look spectacular. Unfortunately, I’m not good at composite images.

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