After leaving Badwater, I had to make a choice: either head south, connect with the West Side Road, and circle the valley, or head north back to the center of the park. Depending on the time of day, you may have enough time to make the loop. I probably did, but I decided not to chance it. However, I did choose to turn off onto the West Side Road when I came to its northern end.
I found a couple of interesting places to stop along the first 3-4 miles of the West Side Road, before turning around. Above you see a combination of dirt and salt that formed a kind of “sand bar”, stretching out onto the salt flats.
After my brief excursion on the West Side Road, I continued north to Ca. Rte. 190, then turned west to Stovepipe Wells Village.
Before you reach the gas station, restaurant, and campsites at Stovepipe Wells, you’ll pass two attractions: the Devil’s Cornfield (pictured above) and the sand dunes (below). I didn’t find the cornfield to be all that exciting, so I took a quick picture and moved on.
The sand dunes are much more interesting, especially just before sunset when the light plays off the sand’s ripples and curves.
Note: This trip was first published in 2005. I spent much more time in Death Valley during the Superbloom of 2016.