Access to Panamint Valley Open, Most of Death Valley Closed

Photo: State Road 190 as visible from the Father Crowley vista, part of the few miles of road that have reopened. NPS photo.

DEATH VALLEY, CA – State Route 190 is open to the western portion of Death Valley National Park. The road remains closed from the Trona/Wildrose Junction in Panamint Valley through Death Valley Junction. Additional areas are expected to open no earlier than August 19 as work to clear debris and repair roads continues.

This partial opening allows for access to limited areas, including:

  • Panamint Springs Resort (a private inholding)
  • Father Crowley Overlook
  • Lee Flat

The most highly visited areas of the park, including Furnace Creek Visitor Center, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, Dantes View, Mesquite Sand Dunes, and additional paved roads remain closed due to extensive flood debris and damage.

While areas of the park are still wet and muddy following Friday’s storm, it is important to give these areas time to dry out. Walking onto wet playas can leave footprint scars for years to come and driving on muddy dirt roads can cause deep ruts adding to the damage and time to repair these areas.

Some navigational apps are routing travelers onto primitive backcountry dirt roads to avoid the paved road closures. Park Rangers have responded to aid stranded motorists. Some had all four tires on their vehicle flat. Park staff have been diverted from flood operations to start re-searching backcountry roads, add additional closures signs, and respond to stranded visitors. No injuries have been reported.

“We urge visitors to stay off dirt roads, even if apps are directing them there,” said superintendent Mike Reynolds. “While we are working with various map platforms to report these issues, please be smarter than your smart phones.”

Backcountry dirt road travel is strongly discouraged in the summer under normal conditions, as there is increased risk of being stranded in a remote location in extreme heat. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Death Valley have been 114-117 in the past days, and are forecast to continue in the 111-114 range. At this time, all dirt roads that have been assessed have had damage, and some are unpassable. Not all roads have been assessed for current conditions due to the scale of the flooding impacts.

As areas slowly reopen, current conditions will be updated on our park’s website. Photographs and videos of storm damage can be seen here.

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

(From Death Valley National Park)

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