These pictures from Dantes View were taken during a Death Valley camping and backpacking trip in November of 2009. This point was the location used in the original Star Wars movie (Episode IV: A New Hope) for the shot overlooking Mos Eisley- that most “wretched hive of scum and villainy”.
Dantes View is at the top of a mountain rising from the floor of Death Valley National Park. The peak sits at 5,475 feet high, and affords an incredible view since the valley floor lies at just about sea level. You can see for miles in just about every direction from the top of the mountain.
As I stood overlooking Death Valley below, I had the odd sensation that what I was seeing was entirely familiar, yet I couldn’t quite place it in my repertoire of memory. It wasn’t until I returned from the trip and did some research on the history of the area that I found out this was one of the many Death Valley locations used in the original Star Wars movie. The shot above is quite similar to a scene when Obi Wan points out Mos Eisley to Luke.
Dantes View is one of the most spectacular of all locations in Death Valley National Park, and a convenient drive from the Furnace Creek Visitors Center, situated just about 15 miles to the South. There are multiple short hiking trails leading from the parking lot, offering even more interesting overlooks in different directions than “Mos Eisley”.
I got lucky and accidentally ended up here relatively early in the day (just after visiting Zabriskie Point) and before the sky had been completely blown out. There’s no shade at the top, so make sure you’re prepared to deal with the elements. And if my visit was anything to go by, prepare to face quite a bit of wind while you’re up there.
Dante’s View is certainly worth the short side-track, and one of the absolute coolest locations in the entire National Park. Make sure to check out some of Death Valley’s other incredible locations by clicking the links below.