Major Death Valley Roads Have Reopened
After October’s flash floods, hundreds of miles of park roads were closed, fortunately, the National Park Service’s road crews have finished repairing West Side Road and opened it just in time for the holidays! West Side Road, a 40-mile-long graded road that parallels Badwater Road on the west side of Death Valley, is now passable by two-wheel drive vehicles, the road provides access to multiple high clearance, four-wheel-drive roads, including Hanaupah Canyon, Johnson Canyon, and Warm Springs Canyon. Warm Springs Canyon Road provides a route into remote Butte Valley and the rugged Mengel Pass.
Furnace Creek had the wettest October on record, with 1.3 inches of precipitation, while over three inches of rain and hail fell over a five hour period Grapevine Canyon, creating a flash flood that damaged utilities and three historic structures at Scotty’s Castle. These storms were the most expensive natural disaster in the history of Death Valley National Park. The silver lining of all of the unruly precipitation, however, is that the park service is expecting a great wildflower bloom early next year.
For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, visit Death Valley’s website at nps.gov/deva, or follow www.facebook.com/DeathValleyRoadConditions. For more information on the 2016 Death Valley Bloom visit our Furnace Creek Blog.