Getting Around

California Highway 190, the Badwater Road, the Scotty's Castle Road, and paved roads to Dante's View and Wildrose provide access to the major scenic viewpoints and historic points of interest. More than 785 miles of paved, unpaved and 4-wheel drive roads provide access to wilderness hiking, camping, and historical sites. All vehicles must be licensed and "street legal".

There are a few hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, but most backcountry areas are accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicle and crosscountry hiking.

Do not attempt to cross a flash flood.

Many of Death Valley's roads were built in the 1930s. They are narrow and serpentine and cannot be driven at high speed. The most dangerous thing in Death Valley is not the heat. It is the "single car rollover."

Travel on the park's hundreds of miles of backcountry roads requires the correct type of vehicle for the road conditions, a vehicle in good repair with all necessary tools and replacement parts, and some knowledge of driving on rough dirt, gravel and 4-wheel drive roads. Backcountry travel in the summer months, April through the middle of October, can be dangerous and also requires plenty of water and supplies stored in the vehicle and knowledge of how to survive a failed vehicle in desert summer conditions! Ask the Rangers.

Cell phones do not work in Death Valley! Do not depend on them. In some cases there is spotty reception, but dependence on a cell phone in an emergency situation can be fatal. Check with the Rangers for specific recommendations on travel safety.

Last updated: February 5, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328


(760) 786-3200

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