Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Beyond the Main Road at Death Valley National Park

The Narrows of Titus Canyon at Death Valley National ParkMuch of Death Valley’s beautiful scenery is located beyond the park’s main road. More than 800 miles of unpaved, backcountry roads provide access to wilderness hiking, camping and historical sites. You’ll need a licensed, street-legal vehicle with high clearance for all backcountry roads, some of which may also require 4-wheel drive to traverse.

Farabee’s Jeep Rentals, located across from the Inn at Furnace Creek, offers daily rentals of Jeeps outfitted for rugged backcountry road use. Visitors can take these vehicles out and explore more remote areas of the park. For more information or to make reservations, please call (877) 970-5337 or (760) 786-9872 or visit farabeesjeeprentals.com.

Be aware that 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. Be sure that your rental vehicle has a good spare tire, that the tire is accessible and not “locked” into a keyed holder, and that the tools to change the tire, including jacks and wrenches, are in the vehicle and accessible.

If you decide to travel into the backcountry on your own, make sure you have a detailed backcountry road map, as many remote roads do not appear on the official park map. Inquire at the visitor center about availability of maps. Backcountry roads are susceptible to washouts after storms and may close or require chains in the winter. Always check for current road conditions at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or other ranger stations, or on the daily Death Valley National Park Morning Report. Backcountry camping is restricted to certain areas, so please check in at a visitor center before planning an overnight trip and fill out a voluntary backcountry camping permit. Remember to carry plenty of water and never to rely on backcountry water sources. Do not depend on GPS devices, as they may show roads that have been closed in recent years.

Image: Titus Canyon is one of many backcountry roads that can be explored using a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle. Source: NPS.gov. Photo by Alan Van Valkenburg.