Views from Dantes View. (well, near Dantes View)

The floor of Death Valley tilts gently eastward. From here, one can see that the alluvial fans on the west side of the valley are far larger than on the east side. This difference results partly from the eastward tilting of the valley floor. On the west side, alluvial material spreads laterally and extends far onto the valley floor because it accumulates on a surface that is gently inclined away from the range; on the east side, the material becomes trapped near the mountain front because it accumulates on a surface that is inclined gently towards the mountains.

Death Valley Salt Pan as seen from Dantes View. Looking west. Note the difference in size of alluvial fans on the west side of the valley when compared to those on the east side. The fans on the east side are much smaller because the valley floor tilts gently eastward.

By contrast, when looking east...

It's so steep on the west side because the fault zone which uplifted the mountains is on the west side. During movement on the fault, the Black Mountains rotated eastward--so in the view immediately above, you are looking essentially at the top of the rotated block.

Further evidence for the tilt of the valley floor comes from observations by Hunt and Mabey (1966). They noted that zonation of minerals on the salt pan reflects tilting and that shorelines from Lake Manly tend to be higher on the west side of Death Valley than east side.

This eastward tilting of the Black Mountains, the Panamint Range, and the floor Death Valley typifies much of the Basin and Range Province. Through crustal extension, the region broke into a series of tilted fault blocks. In general, these blocks tilted away from the faults along which they rose and towards the faults along which they sank.