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Big Pine Road / Death Valley Road

by JEF_VL Online Now Mar 10, 2007 at 2:07 AM

End of may we will drive from Las Vegas through Death Valley to Yosemite NP. We have two days for this trip and we re driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Our first plan was to drive :

Shoshone - Furnace Creek - Stovepipe Wells - Big Pine - Yosemite

But after reading about the Big Pine road / Death Valley Road we were thinking about driving :

Shoshone - Furnace Creek - Scottys Castle - Big Pine Road - Big Pine - Yosemite

We will sleep in a tent somewhere along the road. Does someone have experience driving the Big Pine road ? We know it s a dirt road ... Can somebody tell us more about it ?

Thanks in advance !

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2 Answers
  • oldtrailmaster's Profile Photo

    Re: Big Pine Road / Death Valley Road

    by oldtrailmaster Online Now May 22, 2009 at 8:38 PM

    Hello there! My name is Steve Greene, and I have been a Death Valley regional enthusiast since 1955, and have driven nearly every road, dirt and pavement. Your adventure will be heightened by taking the DV/BP road. Pavement will take you just past the Scotty's Castle turn-off, and then the graded dirt road begins. It is wide and flat, and poses no problem whatsoever for a Jeep of any kind. The only concern, albeit a minor one, is the fact that there is a washboard surface to the road from people who drive too fast. Since the road is straight, many people do not adhere to the legal speed limit, although most folks I've seen on the road do keep the speed down. In a stock Jeep, the ride should be fairly nice, as the suspension is soft enough to absorb most of the bumps.

    At the northern end of the straight portion of road is Crankshaft Crossing, a quaint little sign post that is adorned with, yes, old rusty crankshafts. You may even notice an engine block or two, depending on the year. Stay to the left (west) at the junction, where the wide graded road heads up and over some small mountains, and keep your camera ready if you enjoy desert landscapes! On the way down the other side, you will travel through Hanging Rock Canyon, a very short but dramatic slice in the rock. Here for a bit, the road has some pavement, as workers from an old sulfur mine used to use the road years ago.

    Then it's westward through the Eureka Valley. The Eureka Valley Road cuts off here, and ten miles south brings an explorer to the Eureka Valley Dunes, over 689 feet tall, three miles long, and one mile wide, with a primitive campground on the north side (outhouse only). If you have the time, and like hiking great dunes, it may be worth the 20 mile roundtrip sidetrip to see the dunes, but the graded dirt road to them is also very washboarded. If you don't wish to see the dunes, just continue on westbound where the road takes off, and as you ascend up the western side of Eureka Valley, you can look back to the southeast and see the Eureka Dunes National Natural Landmark off in the distance.

    After the Eureka Valley, the road again rises and snakes through some picturesque mountains before dropping you on the descent towards Big Pine. Yes, this is a very cool roadtrip indeed! You can learn more by visiting my Death Valley websites if you wish:

    WildDeathValley.com and oldtrailmaster.wordpress.com

    Have a wonderful trip. -Steve

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  • oldtrailmaster's Profile Photo

    Re: Big Pine Road / Death Valley Road

    by oldtrailmaster Online Now May 22, 2009 at 8:38 PM

    Hello there! My name is Steve Greene, and I have been a Death Valley regional enthusiast since 1955, and have driven nearly every road, dirt and pavement. Your adventure will be heightened by taking the DV/BP road. Pavement will take you just past the Scotty's Castle turn-off, and then the graded dirt road begins. It is wide and flat, and poses no problem whatsoever for a Jeep of any kind. The only concern, albeit a minor one, is the fact that there is a washboard surface to the road from people who drive too fast. Since the road is straight, many people do not adhere to the legal speed limit, although most folks I've seen on the road do keep the speed down. In a stock Jeep, the ride should be fairly nice, as the suspension is soft enough to absorb most of the bumps.

    At the northern end of the straight portion of road is Crankshaft Crossing, a quaint little sign post that is adorned with, yes, old rusty crankshafts. You may even notice an engine block or two, depending on the year. Stay to the left (west) at the junction, where the wide graded road heads up and over some small mountains, and keep your camera ready if you enjoy desert landscapes! On the way down the other side, you will travel through Hanging Rock Canyon, a very short but dramatic slice in the rock. Here for a bit, the road has some pavement, as workers from an old sulfur mine used to use the road years ago.

    Then it's westward through the Eureka Valley. The Eureka Valley Road cuts off here, and ten miles south brings an explorer to the Eureka Valley Dunes, over 689 feet tall, three miles long, and one mile wide, with a primitive campground on the north side (outhouse only). If you have the time, and like hiking great dunes, it may be worth the 20 mile roundtrip sidetrip to see the dunes, but the graded dirt road to them is also very washboarded. If you don't wish to see the dunes, just continue on westbound where the road takes off, and as you ascend up the western side of Eureka Valley, you can look back to the southeast and see the Eureka Dunes National Natural Landmark off in the distance.

    After the Eureka Valley, the road again rises and snakes through some picturesque mountains before dropping you on the descent towards Big Pine. Yes, this is a very cool roadtrip indeed! You can learn more by visiting my Death Valley websites if you wish:

    WildDeathValley.com and oldtrailmaster.wordpress.com

    Have a wonderful trip. -Steve

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
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