Because a hike from Dante's View to Badwater had never before been documented, we decided to do some special things which would allow us to remember the hike for years to come.  The hike is so exceptional because Dante's View and Badwater are two of the most famous and popular destinations to visit in Death Valley.  But it had long been incorrectly assumed that it was impossible to hike from one to the other without using ropes or climbing.  Thus, to celebrate the accomplishment, T-shirts were printed up to be given out to all who were involved.  The yellow T-shirt says "I Hiked From Dante's View to Badwater in 1 Day" and lists the beginning and ending elevations.  There is also a picture of the Dante's View sign and Badwater sign on the shirt.  In addition, Gold Cup engraved trophies were handed out to those who wanted them once the hike had been completed.  You can see a close-up sample of the shirt on the right.  Later, I ended up wearing the shirt as I embarked on other Death Valley hikes.
At the end of part 1, our group was enjoying the geology and scenery which is found at the Hades Fault.  There are nice views from there of upper Bad Canyon and upper Hades Canyon.  But now it was time for our journey to continue.  From the Hades Fault, we had to climb up one of the steeper and more difficult uphill portions of the hike.  It's a very short section which is made hard because of the slippery small rocks you are trying to keep your balance while hiking across.  We all took it slow and soon we were at the small peak above the Hades Fault.  From there we had to cross over and hike to a peak that was even higher.  This peak would be the high point along the Bad-Hades Ridge and provide some of the most outstanding views of both the ridgeline and Death Valley basin.  It was here where our second group stopped for lunch to take in the views and enjoy the moment.  When it was time to continue, we simply followed the Bad-Hades Ridge as it slowly (and sometimes quickly) dropped in elevation.  There were impressive views most of the time down into Hades Canyon.  Since a majority of Hades Canyon is accessible only to climbers, this was a perfect way for a hiker to have a tour and bird's eye view of the spectacular canyon and magnificent dry falls which are found there.  Thus, we had Hades Canyon off to our left as we headed down and we had Bad Canyon off to our right.  The views of Bad Canyon included a nice overlook of the lower narrows, something which is also accessible only to climbers (or canyoneers).  But by far the most overwhelming views were of Death Valley and the Badwater Basin.  We could see people looking like ants as they walked out from Badwater onto the salt pan.  Imagine seeing the view from Dante's View at progressively lower elevations and different viewpoints, and it will give you an idea of how amazing it was.  The views are so good that they can actually become a hazard, as they can distract you and cause you to lose your footing during the very steep descent.  This part of the route (from the Hades Fault to the mouth of Hades Canyon) requires extreme caution and full attention at all times.  This is because of the steepness, the loose rocks and rough terrain, and the cliffs which are often found on each side of you.  I think just about all of us from both groups ended up with minor cuts and bruises when it was all said and done.  As we continued to get lower, we needed to follow the Bad-Hades ridge as it turned sharply to the left and headed down towards its terminus.  This was one of the steepest portions of the entire hike.  When we were almost to the bottom, we reached an area that had a small cliff, and we had to navigate around to a natural opening in the cliff where we could get through.  A short time later, we were deposited at the mouth of Hades Canyon.  It was a huge relief to reach that spot and know that we had now safely made it down without any serious injuries or falls.  We followed the fan down to Badwater Road and soon were walking down the road towards Badwater.  This final 1.5 miles is called "The Victory Lap", because the hike has already been successfully completed the moment you reach Badwater Road.  Taking The Victory Lap gave us time to reflect on the magnitude of our accomplishment and discuss some of the challenges we had overcome and enjoyed during the day.  Soon we were all the Badwater sign, posing with our trophies and bringing our history making hike to an appropriate final conclusion.
View of Telescope Peak as we begin the climb up from the Hades Fault:
Curtis working his way up the tricky steep part:
Looking back down on the Hades Fault and rockslide below:
We finished hiking up the steep section and then could see the high point of the Bad-Hades Ridge a short distance away:
One of our hikers arriving at the high point with a majestic view of the snow-capped Panamints:
Arriving on the high point and looking back at what we just crossed over:
At the high point there was a stack of cairns marking the spot:
This was the view back down into upper Bad Canyon:
And past where we stood the ridgeline continued winding around:
A panoramic of central Death Valley taken from the high point of the Bad-Hades Ridge (click to enlarge):
Panoramic view from high point on Bad-Hades Ridge
After a 20 minute break and some lunch, it was time to move on and continue our journey:
Looking down at the mouth of Bad Canyon thousands of feet below us:
The next two pictures show Joe and Curtis keeping the pace behind me as we headed downhill:
Looking over towards the head of Hades Canyon at the colorful red rocks:
Zooming in on some of the red rocks down by the canyon wash:
Passing by one of many rock outcroppings along the top of the ridge:
Moving along the ridge.  We all pretty much hiked at our own pace and just kept within sight of each other:
If you look behind Curtis  and up to the left, you can see that we have just dropped down a really steep section of the ridge:
Several more bumps in the ridge off in the distance:
Another shot of the steep section of the ridge that we had crossed through:
Zooming in on the flat area on top of the mountains above us.  By using a special zoom lens we could see people up there and we knew it was Dante's View:
Sometimes the ridgeline would have some level sections which provided for a quick breather:
Awesome scenery below us in a side canyon which flowed into Hades Canyon:
Beautiful cactuses growing along the ridgeline:
Another panoramic of central Death Valley taken from our lower spot on the ridge than before (click to enlarge):
Panoramic of Death Valley taken from the ridge
Heading slightly uphill across the rocky terrain towards the outcropping in the distance:
Fellow hikers keeping pace as we made excellent progress:
We couldn't always hike directly in the center on top of the ridge, as jagged rocks sometimes made us stay to one side or the other.  Basically, we hiked wherever it felt safest:
Look closely and you can see two members of our group heading downhill:
From this spot, we had majestic views into the narrows of lower Bad Canyon, as seen in the next two pictures:
In the next three pictures, our group continues to make progress along the ridge:
Some fog rolled into Bad Canyon, providing for a nice picture:
Notice the colors on display here-- red, dark grey, light grey, and white rocks:
Joe standing at a great overlook point with Telescope Peak in the background:
A picture of Steve with central Death Valley behind him:
Notice here that we were now able to see further north along the Badwater Road:
Very gentle walking for a short time.  It was always a nice break when we didn't have steep downhill:
As you can see here, sometimes we had to zigzag and make our own cross country switchbacks because it was just too steep:
Two more pictures working our way down the ridge.  We are now a little over halfway down the Bad-Hades Ridge:
Outstanding view into lower Bad Canyon and the white walking trail at Badwater heading out onto the salt flats:
Working our way across small bumps in the next two pictures:
Our hikers have just dropped down yet another steep section:
Stunning look at a massive dry fall in Hades Canyon:
Looking at middle Bad Canyon far in the distance now:
The views of the Badwater Basin and salt flats continued to impress:
Nice look at the slopes coming down from the Black Mountains north of our ridge:
Finally we had a panoramic view looking towards the south from the Bad-Hades Ridge (click to enlarge):
Panoramic looking to the south from the ridge
First real view of what would be our final descent to the bottom:
Zooming in on the last part of the ridge.  We still had a ways to go:
From here on down the hike got progressively steeper:
After dropping a little bit, we walked up to the rocks to look at what was coming next:
It was more steep downhill ahead of us.  This picture gives me a little bit of vertigo:
Our group carefully making their way down the loose scree slopes:
Two more views as we continued to drop:
Looking straight down into Hades Canyon and the wash below us:
A picture of Steve at this spot as we closed in on the last ridge:
Looking down into Hades Canyon, we could now see a flowing waterfall (which is probably usually dry):
Our group continuing to walk along the ridge as it flattened out for a short time:
Taking a moment to stop and admire Telescope Peak once again:
The ridgeline got rocky once again which complicated matters a little bit:
Very carefully staying to the right of the ridge here, as there was a steep dropoff to the left into Hades Canyon:
The next three pictures show the view from here into Hades Canyon below:
Crossing a part of the ridge which had steep dropoffs on both sides:
The towering dry falls of Hades Canyon were impressive.  Before our hike, seeing this beauty firsthand had been limited to canyoneers:
Again staying to the right as we were crossing by some rocky parts of the ridge:
The next two pictures reveal the route down as we were getting ever closer to the finish.  It is critical at this point in the hike to stay to the left next to Hades Canyon, because other routes can get cliffed out:
Joe carefully working his way down one of the steepest portions of the entire hike:
A view of Hades Canyon which reveals that it is a climbers canyon:
Two more pictures as we headed down the final steep part:
Curtis and Joe smiling because they have almost made it:
Dave and Greg have arrived at the flat area just above the canyon wash and alluvial fan:
Curtis and Joe heading down as the final ridge stays very close to Hades Canyon:
The small cliffs area is easy to bypass at the opening in the middle:
Looking back at the cliffs area.  It's good to avoid getting too close to the edge when standing above, because sections could break off at any time:
Our hikers crossing the flat plateau close to the bottom:
Looking back up at the cliffs area from the flat plateau we were standing on:
Peeking over the edge into Hades Canyon:
Curtis and Joe on their final descent to the mouth of Hades Canyon:
Taking a moment to appreciate the view.  Heavy rains had caused a lake to form out on the Badwater Basin:
Portrait of Steve before he made the final descent to the bottom:
And this shows the final drop onto the alluvial fan which comes out of Hades Canyon:
Heading across the fan towards Badwater Road in the next two pictures:
Once we reached the road it was time for The Victory Lap.  As we passed mile markers 18 & 17 in the next two pictures, we were in a celebratory mood:
Arriving at the Badwater parking lot and railing:
A picture of all the hikers from our 2nd group.  Everyone had successfully hiked from Dante's View to the boardwalk and sign at Badwater:
We close this report of our historic journey by leaving you with two pictures of Curtis and Joe as they raised their trophies in the air:
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