Artist Drive is well worth experiencing when touring the lower elevations of Death Valley National Park. This side road is located just a few miles south of Furnace Creek on Badwater Road. The Devils Golf Course is across the street and Badwater Basin is nearby, so there is plenty to see and do in this area. This end of Death Valley boasts the lowest elevation in North America, yet there are tall mountains to explore all around the edge of this vast salt basin. Artist Drive winds its way through some of the most colorful mountain landscapes in this National Park and the trek is only a few miles long, so this definitely is a little side trip that is well worth logging on the books!
Artist Drive is a narrow one way street, so there is no oncoming traffic to worry about. This is a good thing because the multi color mineral deposits that paint the scenery are so beautiful, that it is easy to take the eyes off the road. Artist Drive certainly is the ultimate driving distraction, so be prepared to cruise along real slow!
As the road climbs to higher elevations, the surreal views of Death Valley literally stretch out forever. Some of the most picturesque barren ridge lines and mountain crests that can possibly be imagined can be seen along this road. The landscape becomes more colorful the further one goes and the grand finale definitely is the Artist Palette landmark. The roadside viewing area at Artist Palette overlooks an entire mountainside full of blazing bright colors. The eroded mineral deposits literally paint the landscape with a full spectrum of chromatic colors and rich earth tones, which are amazing to see!
Artist Drive may only be only a few miles long, but the pace of the tour is guaranteed to be slow enough to take several hours, simply because there is so much eye candy to see. There are several roadside overlook parking areas and there are a few foot trails to explore along the way. The sheer beauty of the Artist Palette is captivating enough to lure visitors into a timeless state of mind, so be sure to just relax, set the seat back and enjoy the slow ride on Artist Drive!
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