Drive Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Multi-hued eroded badlands with a dirt road through them.
Twenty Mule Team Canyon Road.

NPS photo/Hoerner

Take a drive along this beautiful unpaved road through colorful, eroded badlands. Enjoy scenic views along this 2.5 mile, one-way road. The unpaved road is good for most cars and drivers, but check road conditions before you travel. Afternoon and morning light will provide a delight of contrast, as the erosion in the hills becomes highlighted and shadowed.
Star Wars Fans? There are scenes from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, filmed here. Recognize the landscape around Jabba the Hutts palace? You can find this location a short distance down the road in the canyon. The Blu-ray deleted scenes of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi also include a scene from Twenty Mule Team Canyon. Do you recognize it? It is a small cave (which for safety reasons, is now not accessible) where Luke Skywalker finishes his light saber. There are also a few shots from outside the now defunct cave.

Star Wars, a New Hope, was filmed in the national park a few decades ago, when that type of filming was permitted. We would not allow the vast majority of the filming that was done now because of the prohibition on commercial filming in wilderness. More permit information can be found on our permits page.
Details
You may take your pet along roads, to campgrounds, picnic areas, and other developed areas of the park, but they must be restrained or kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Other than service animals, pets are NOT allowed inside most buildings or on trails (including to Zabriskie Point and Harmony Borax Works), but you also can not leave them in your car while you are away. Pets are NOT allowed in the Wilderness. 

Twenty Mule Team Canyon Road is a good choice in the cooler weather for a leashed-walk with your pet. Just stick to the road, watch for vehicles and remember to clean up! This road is 2.5 miles long, so it makes for a mellow 5 mile round-trip hike along the road with your pet. 
Included with entrance fee or acceptable pass.

Last updated: May 25, 2018