Dean M. Chriss
Badwater Sunrise, Death Valley
(Click image to enlarge)
In this photograph the snow capped Telescope Peak and mountains of
the Panamint Range glow at sunrise and reflect in the saline pool at Badwater in Death Valley National Park. Badwater is a small
spring-fed pool made undrinkable by the accumulated salts of the surrounding
basin, giving it the "bad water" name. The pool supports animal and plant life
including pickleweed, aquatic insects, and the Badwater snail.
With an elevation of 282 feet (86 m) below sea level the Badwater Basin is the
lowest point in North America. Telescope Peak rises 11,325 feet above Badwater. This extreme elevation difference is something that must be seen to be appreciated.
This photograph was captured on Kodachrome ISO 25 film before the National Park Service
erected a parking lot, overlook, deck, and benches that make this view
impossible to see or photograph today.