News Release

Death Valley National Park will partially re-open October 15

Desert mountain landscape surrounding a salty flat valley with a thin layer of water on the valley flood reflecting the landscape.
Temporary lake at Badwater Basin, as of September 11, 2023.

NPS/ K. Bott

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News Release Date: October 13, 2023

Contact: Abby Wines, 760-786-3221

Contact: Nichole Andler

Contact: Matt Lamar, 760-786-3284

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Death Valley National Park will partially reopen on Sunday, October 15. Visitors will be able enter the park via CA-190 from the west via Lone Pine or from the east via Death Valley Junction. All other park entrances will remain closed. 

“This was longest closure in Death Valley National Park’s history,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “I am excited to welcome people back to enjoy their park!” 

The roads that are being opened are not yet fully repaired. Collapsed road segments have been filled in with gravel. Travelers should expect loose gravel on roads, lowered speed limits, and traffic delays. CA-190 will have one-hour delays due to an extensive section of one-lane traffic control between Panamint Springs and Father Crowley Vista. Several other places will have delays of up to 20 minutes for traffic control.  

The following roads will be open starting October 15: CA-190, Badwater Road (only from CA-190 to Badwater Basin), Dantes View Road, Twenty Mule Team Canyon Road, Artists Drive, Natural Bridge Road, Mustard Canyon, and Mosaic Canyon Road. These roads provide access to many of the park’s most popular viewpoints and hikes. This includes Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Zabriskie Point, Golden Canyon, and Mosaic Canyon.  

All other roads in the park are closed to vehicular traffic.  

“This is a really special time,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “It’s pretty rare to see a lake in Death Valley!” Badwater Basin has a temporary lake that is several miles long. The lake is only a few inches deep and may dry up within a few weeks. 

Lodging, food, and fuel will be available at Panamint Springs Resort, Stovepipe Wells Village, and the Oasis at Death Valley. Many NPS campgrounds will also be open. 

On August 20, the park received over 2 inches of rain in one day, which is more than the area typically sees in an entire year. Extensive flooding washed away trails and undercut pavement, causing catastrophic damage to roads and trails throughout the park. 

Over the last eight weeks, Caltrans, National Park Service (NPS), and contractors have made major repairs to many of the paved roads, including CA-190 running east-west through the park. More park roads will open as repairs continue.

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at  

Broken pavement along a road leading into a desert mountain landscape. Broken pavement along a road leading into a desert mountain landscape.

Left image
Broken pavement along California Highway 190.
Credit: NPS/ A.Wines

Right image
Gravel filled area in pavement along California Highway 190.
Credit: NPS/ A.Wines

A wooden boardwalk stops at the edge of a salt flat that has a shallow green lake on it with mountain landscape in the background.
There is a shallow lake at Badwater Basin. It’s only a few inches deep but is an unusual and beautiful sight. NPS photo taken on October 12, 2023.

Last updated: October 13, 2023

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P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328


760 786-3200

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