Death Valley National Park

‘The World's Toughest Foot Race' Opens in Death Valley

The Badwater 135 crosses from very low to very high (yep, Mt. Whitney is the goal) over three summer days.

David McNew / Stringer

What to Know

  • Badwater 135 is called "The World's Toughest Foot Race"
  • July 11-13, 2022
  • The 135-mile race begins in Death Valley National Park and finishes at Whitney Portal at Mt. Whitney

ADVENTURING IN CALIFORNIA? Drive from Point A to Point B and you may come across Point M, Point S, Point J, and a few other breathtaking points along the wondrous way. That's just what happens in this large state of varied topography, a giant place where the lowest point in North America and the highest point in the contiguous United States sit cheek-by-jowl, or rather basin-by-peak. We're talking about Death Valley National Park and Mt. Whitney, of course, the sky-high-iest of the Sierra Nevada's sky-reaching mountains. This desert and this mountain are an eons-old pair of neighbors that are just jaw-droppingly different and yet, all told, are fairly close to one another. It's a quirky topic that regional road-trippers think about often, but it is in mid-July when we ponder this matter most keenly. For the...

BADWATER 135... takes to the hot roads of the state's famously arid national park each July, and it proceeds to head up, up, up into the mountains, withWhitney Portal at Mt. Whitney as the gargantuan goal. Over the course of several hours, which are spread out across three days, supermarathoners cross from Death Valley to the Sierra Nevada as they compete in "The World's Toughest Foot Race." And while most people won't ever run in the Badwater 135 (indeed, 135 miles is the race's staggering length), they can look in on what's happening with these endurance athletes from afar by checking the Badwater site.

JULY 11-13... are the 2022 dates, and the weather outlook? It's 116 in Death Valley on the first day of the race, which is not unusual for the middle of July. AdventureCORPS presents the happening, which is marking its 45th anniversary in 2022. As for the iconic attractions the runners will pass by or visit along the way? They're some of the most storied spots in the Golden States, with the Devil's Cornfield and the Alabama Hills on the list. Interesting to note: Runners will face a trio of mountain ranges during the event, "for a total of 14,600' (4450m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100' (1859m) of cumulative descent." For more on AdventureCORPS and the organization's regional events, such as the Badwater Salton Sea, visit this site now.

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