It might be only January, but if you're anything like us, you're already planning out your dream spring break and summer destinations. While flights for your bucket list destinations might not be cheap, there's one gorgeous spot that's sitting right in The Golden State's backyard. You can visit actual salt flats in California!

When the conditions are right and water collects on the surface, it turns into a giant mirror, reflecting the vivid desert sky colors. It also makes a great photo op spot, tbh. So, text all your friends and get ready for the road trip of a lifetime.

So, what makes this spot so cool?

Badwater Basin holds the record as the lowest point in all of North America and its terrain seriously looks out of this world.

If Death Valley has been on your list of things to do in California, then chances are, you'll love this seriously underrated natural wonder.

To plan out your visit, it's important to know the best times to see the park. It can get scorching hot here in the summer.

Winter and spring are the best times to come if you want to enjoy the cooler temperatures. The park costs $30 to enter per vehicle and you don't need a pass in order to visit.*

When you arrive, you'll find a long boardwalk leading you out to a huge lakebed that looks like snow.

It's actually salt that's evaporated from the water. Be sure to check out the history sign before heading out on the flats. The salt stretches five miles long, so most people don't walk all the way across.

A short quarter-mile trail will bring you to the famous polygon-shapes the region is known for and a seemingly endless landscape.

It's important to note that pets are not allowed here due to the presence of wildlife and extreme weather conditions. So, make sure to leave them at home and plan accordingly.

It has so many amazing sights to see and it's only a short drive from the famous 9-mile rainbow mountain drive, Artist's Palette too.


After you've walked for a couple of minutes, turn around to see how far you've come and have your BFF snap some fun pics. There are so many unique photo ideas for illusions and scale you can try out there.

Badwater Basin is truly a unique natural wonder. You won't need to spend a lot of time here, but it's definitely worth its weight in salt (sorry, we had to).

Badwater Basin

Price: $30 park entrance fee per vehicle.

Location: Death Valley National Park, California

Why You Should Visit: You can explore five miles of crazy salt formations that make you feel like you're in Mad Max.


* This article has been updated.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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