For spring break this year we went on a overlanding adventure in Death Valley National Park. There were two 3rd generation Toyota 4Runners, 4 adults, 3 little boys and 2 dogs. We did almost 200 miles of dirt driving and two nights spent dry camping in the remote north end of Death Valley National Park. A great and dirty time was had by all!
This was not our first rodeo, but we did experience our first legit Goat Rodeo. Our camp site the first night was Bailey’s Hot Springs near Beatty, Nevada. Camping with hot springs access was $25 per night. They have all the services, water, bathrooms, showers, hot springs. They also have a farm and the boys enjoyed the morning wrangling baby goats.
Beatty is the last fill-up for this trip. We stopped at the Death Valley Nut & Candy Co for fuel. Inside they have a lot of nuts and candy and cheap die cast toys.
HWY 374 heads straight out of Beatty to Death Valley National Park through the bone dry ,and beautifully named, Amargosa Valley. Incidentally, the name Amargosa comes from the Spanish amargo, meaning bitter and referring to the alkaline water (agua amargosa) of the so named Amargosa River.
But before you get too far into that you hit the Titus Canyon Road. But before you get even that far there’s a turn off for Rhyolite, NV. This is a cool tourusty ghost town often instagrammed and hashtagged for various tourism authority campaigns. So we skipped it.
Titus Canyon Road is a 27 mile dirt track that is easy by overlanding standards, though for the times when it’s washed out or flooded, there is a sign recommending high clearance and 4 wheel drive.
The road crosses the rest of the way across the Amargosa valley, then climbs up into the Grapevine mountains. It becomes a shelf road with a steep drop off (though not the steepest, or the narrowest we saw on this trip) before it attains the summit of Red Pass.
Part two of this adventure is coming. Please subscribe!
Death Valley Overlanding Maps and Guides
- California Desert Byways: 68 of California’s Best Backcountry Drives by Tony Huegel
- Death Valley Overland Adventure Part I Map
- National Parks Service