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Death Valley Natural History Association December Newsletter

death valley natural history association


DVNHA Updates

Now Offering Private Tours of Scotty’s Castle and More!

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Pick Your Highlights and Make a Day (or Night) of It! Embark on a personalized journey through the mesmerizing landscapes of the Death Valley region! Tailored to your unique preferences, our private tours include everything from engaging half-day explorations to extensive full-day adventures. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of Scotty’s Castle, the awe-inspiring night sky, or have a special, dream adventure in mind, our team is ready to bring your idea to life. Our private tours offer personalized exploration at its finest, where your curiosity leads the way in one of America’s most captivating landscapes. If your idea is not featured above, have no fear! Our mission is to turn your most ambitious Death Valley dreams into reality. Share your vision with us, and we will dedicate ourselves to creating a spectacular, one-of-a-kind experience for you.

To Book a Tour or Learn More, Contact Our Executive Director:

Email: [email protected]

Death Valley NP Updates

Fall 2023 Pupdate!

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Recently, a collaborative team of biologists from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, along with volunteer safety divers, conducted a fall survey for the endangered Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis). The survey revealed a stable population of 263 fish, identical to the count from the previous fall. This consistency in numbers is also reflected in the spring estimates for both 2022 and 2023, which were 175 fish each. Such stability is significant, especially considering the species has come close to extinction twice in the last twenty years. Since 1972, Death Valley NPS staff and collaborators have been using SCUBA and surface counting techniques for these surveys, witnessing a steady increase from record lows of 38 fish in 2006 and 35 in 2013. Learn more about conservation efforts for the Devils Hole pupfish here. 

Motorcyclists Rescued & Charged After Driving on Closed Titus Canyon Road

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NPS employee walking through an eroded section of Titus Canyon Road.

Two men were rescued by helicopter in Death Valley National Park after illegally driving on the closed Titus Canyon Road. They bypassed closure signs and barriers, believing the road was open based on a map app. One of the men crashed his motorcycle, sustaining a broken collarbone and other injuries. Due to the inaccessible road conditions, park rangers called for helicopter assistance, and the men were transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. Charges are now pending against the men for their actions, which violated the park’s safety protocols. These protocols were put in place following extensive flood damage from Hurricane Hilary, highlighting the importance of adhering to park closures for visitor safety. Read the full NPS press release here. 

Additional 60 Miles of Backcountry Roads Now Open

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NPS employee Chris Bradley operates a bulldozer on Cottonwood Canyon Road. NPS photo by AJ Becraft

Death Valley National Park has reopened 60 miles of backcountry roads, including Echo Canyon and Greenwater Valley Roads, for camping and backpacking. Free, mandatory camping permits are available at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Despite road damage from Hurricane Hilary, Inyo County has improved some roads, but areas like Deadman Pass remain challenging for non-4×4 vehicles. Warm Springs Road is open, offering access to attractions like the Warm Spring Canyon Historic District. However, West Side Road and parts of Harry Wade Road, a 4×4 route, are still closed or under interim repairs. Efforts by the NPS, Federal Highway Administration, Caltrans, and Inyo County are ongoing to repair all 1,400 miles of park roads.

View All NPS Road Updates and Alerts

Ash Meadows NWR Updates

Join the Ash Meadows NWR Christmas Bird Count!

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Roadrunner. CC Rod Colvin

The 2023 Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Thursday, December 28, welcoming bird enthusiasts of all levels. This citizen science event, set in the picturesque Ash Meadows NWR, offers a chance to spot and record various bird species in a desert oasis setting. Both novice and expert birders are encouraged to join in this blend of birdwatching and nature appreciation. Participants contribute to important bird conservation efforts and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow nature enthusiasts. To join this enriching experience and uphold a bird counting tradition, sign up on the Red Rock Audubon website.

Happy Holidays from DVNHA!

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Experience the allure of the desert with our hand-painted, globe-style Christmas ornament, showcasing the iconic Death Valley National Park. Transform your holiday decor into a scenic desert vista! This collectible piece comes in a beautifully designed keepsake box, making it the perfect gift for nature lovers and adventurers. Add a touch of wild beauty to your Christmas tree with this one-of-a-kind Death Valley ornament, a tribute to America’s natural wonders.

Shop Online


Death Valley Natural History Association |

Education ● Preservation ● Partnership ● Accountability

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