Death Valley Crews Reopen Nearly 400 Miles Of Roads Closed Since August

Nearly 400 miles of Death Valley roads that had been closed since flooding last August reopened this week/NPS file

Crews in Death Valley National Park continue to repair hundreds of miles of roads that were damaged last fall by heavy rains, with the park having reopened nearly 600 miles that had been closed to traffic.

On Monday the park announced that 382 miles of roads damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Hilary last August were reopened, less than two weeks after another 195 miles had been reopened. In the wake of the storm, crews have been working on environmental and archaeological assessments, emergency repairs, and other clean-up to get damaged areas open for the public to visit, a park release said.

“While there is still more to do it is important we let people know that their park has just become a bit more accessible,” said Death Valley Superintendent Mike Reynolds. 

Just under 250 miles of park maintained roads remain closed, the park release said. Crews will continue to work through the spring with hopes of getting most roads open in the next two months. Some roads like Titus Canyon and Salt Creek had extensive damage and are expected to be closed much longer.

In the six months since the hurricane’s remnants hit and an atmospheric river that battered the park last month, Death Valley has received 4.9 inches of rain, more than double the annual average of 2.2 inches per year.

Roads reopened this week include:

  • South Crater Mine, Crater Mine Spurs, Little Sand Springs and Cowhorn Valley. These are located in the northeast and northwestern reaches of the park.
  • South Park Road and South Park Cutoff. These roads are recommended high clearance 4 wheel drive.  Other roads in that general area Rogers Pass Road, Middle Park Road Bypass and Rita’s Cabin Road are also open.  
  • Virgin Spring Road and Upper Confidence Wash Road. These roads are located near the southern end of the park. Both roads require high clearance 4 wheel drive. Ashford Canyon road remains closed.

*This is not the complete list. For additional information, look at the open and closed roads map on the park website, which the park keeps updated as conditions change.
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