Death Valley has more miles of roads than any other national park. Though 91% of the park's 3.4 million acres are protected in roadless wilderness areas, nearly one thousand miles of paved and dirt roads provide ample opportunities for recreation and exploration.
This is remote territory. Using the following tools and doing your homework before venturing out into the wilderness could save your life.
Don't rely on GPS, instead take a map. Detailed maps are available from the Death Valley Natural History Association.
Warning: Weather changes the road conditions regularly. Check the currently known conditions before your trip.
Travel Prepared to Survive
Things can go wrong quickly in the backcountry. Pre-trip planning could save your life. Bring basic tools, a shovel, extra water and food with you. In the higher elevations, snow and ice conditions may require tire chains. Top off your gas tank before starting a trip. Flat tires are a common problem for backcountry visitors due to rough road conditions or from having unsuitable tires. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with "off-road" tires rather than highway or street tires. Carry at least one inflated spare tire (preferably two), a can of fix-a-flat or tire plug kit, a 12-volt air-compressor, a lugwrench, and be sure all parts of your jack are on hand. Know how to use your equipment before you head out.
If your vehicle breaks down
Be a good road neighbor
Safety in numbers
Don't expect road signs
Stay on established roads
Most vehicle rental agreements restrict vehicles to paved roads. Check your contract and be aware that the rental company can charge you for damage to the vehicle outside of the contract agreement specifications.
Farabee's Jeep Rentals now have an outlet located in Furnace Creek. These jeeps are outfitted for rugged backcountry road use.
Last updated: January 13, 2018