Death Valley has hundreds of miles of backcountry dirt roads and 4x4 trails to explore and enjoy. Here you'll find descriptions, maps and trail reports to consult in planning your trip.
(22 miles to Teakettle Junction; 28 miles to the Racetrack)
The road begins at Ubehebe Crater and ends at the Racetrack playa, an ancient lakebed famous for its "moving rocks". Although this road is often passable to 2-wheel-drive, conditions can vary. Beyond the Racetrack, the Lippencott Mine Road is still severely washed out. From Teakettle Junction, a road leads south and west through Hidden Valley, over Hunter Mountain, and finally to Highway 190. No camping along Racetrack Road.
The Saline Valley Road runs from State Highway 190 on the south to the Death Valley-Big Pine Road on the north, skirting the base of the Inyo Mountains lengthwise through the Valley. Both the South and North Passes may be closed during winter due to snow, but generally the road is open and in good graded condition. The Saline Valley Road provides access to the Hot Springs, Hunter Canyon, the old Salt Works and Tramway, and the lush Salt Lake Marshlands. This can also be one of the worse washboard roads in the Park. The road is fairly well-travelled, but still very remote -- occasionally you can drive its entire length without seeing another vehicle. Avoid the temptation for high speeds -- mistakes can disable your vehicle. Also note that during winter months, the North and South Passes are frequently impassable due to snow and ice.
This rough 4x4 road begins at Saline Valley Hot Springs and slowly climbs northeast to the top of Steel Pass. The road continues across a high plateau, then decends Dedeckera Canyon to the magnificant Eureka Sand Dunes. This is a very remote and rugged region of Park that is best travelled with more than one vehicle. Longer-wheelbase vehicles may find the canyon challenging. The Eureka Sand Dunes giant in size, quietly nestled against the picturesque Last Chance Range.
This popular road is ONE-WAY from east to west. To find the beginning of the drive, follow the highway toward Beatty, Nevada. Turn left 2.7 miles east of the park boundary. The road re-enters the park and winds through the Grapevine Mountains, then drops down through one of Death Valley's most spectacular canyons. Along the way watch for the ghost town of Leadfield and petroglyphs at Klare Spring. A self-guided booklet describing geology and trip highlights can be purchased at the visitor center. Although this road is often passable to 2-wheel-drive vehicles, conditions can vary, so check at a visitor center for current road conditions. No Camping Along Titus Canyon Road.
Thanks to my friend Jeffrey Sipress for permission to use this exceptional photo.