The most spectacular viewspot overlooking Death Valley, Dante’s View, has reopened, according to the Pahrump Valley Times:
Visitors to Death Valley National Park can once again stand at the edge of the precipice called Dante’s View and look out over the breathtaking expanse of the salty, dry valley below.
Although actual repairs to the road only took five weeks, the popular attraction remained closed for nearly 18 months after it was wiped out by a deadly flash flood in August 2004.
Because the road runs right through what little desert tortoise habitat can be found in Death Valley, said National Park Service spokesman Terry Baldino, construction was delayed while experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service evaluated the damage done by the flood and the potential impact repairs might have on any tortoises in the region.
The view is more than a mile above the valley floor: 5,745 feet. The same intense rains that washed out the road — and killed two people in a van — also contributed to a prolific desert flower blooms last spring. March and April 2005’s park visits broke records.