Death Valley National Park
Auto Touring - Southwest: California Route 178
About 50 miles south of California Route 190, U.S. 395 intersects California Route 178 near Ridgecrest and China Lake. Turn east here to enter the park along this scenic route. It passes near the unique geologic formation of the Trona Pinnacles at about the 20 mile mark.
It is another 25 miles before Highway 178 enters Death Valley National Park and ascends scenic Wildrose Canyon along a steep, winding road. (Longer vehicles are advised to take Panamint Valley Road to Route 190 before entering the park.)
Turn east at Wildrose Campground to visit the Charcoal Kilns, constructed more than a century ago to manufacture charcoal for use in nearby ore smelters. Chinese laborers built the kilns without mortar, and Shoshone Indians tended them with pinyon pine and juniper from the surrounding forests.
This is also the access point to trailheads for Wildrose Peak (9054 feet) and Telescope Peak (11049 feet), the highest point in Death Valley National Park.
Back on the highway, Route 178 passes through Emigrant Pass (5547) 8 miles to the north. A couple miles further, turn right onto the 7-mile dirt road to Aguereberry Point (6433 feet) for a panoramic view of Death Valley from the west.
Route 178 then descends into Emigrant Canyon. At the upper end of the canyon is the geologically interesting Harrisburg Flats. Immediately thereafter is the 7-mile dirt road to the ghost town of Skidoo, another abandoned mining town from the turn of the century. It derived its name from a common saying of the time, "Twenty-three Skidoo."
Back on the highway, Route 178 completes its descent through Emigrant Canyon and converges with Route 190 (35 miles from the Visitor Center) and descends to Stovepipe Wells Village near the valley floor.
|Southeast: California Route 178|
|East: California Route 190|
|Northeast: Nevada Route 374|
|North: Nevada Route 267|
|West: California Route 190|
|Southwest: California Route 178|
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Ballarat, and the Rainbow Chasers
Ballarat, California.At the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold. Parked at the base of the Panamint Mountains are the remains of Ballarat, California. Founded in 1876 as a supply center for gold mines and prospectors, Ballarat lasted 21 years.
Death Valley - Overview
Take the Death Valley grand tour - see the Badwater Basin, the lowest place in North America; the dramatically eroded Sabriski Point; Artist’s Palette, with its unusual tonal colors; Salt Creek and its pupfish, Titus Canyon and more! See why Death Valley is such a spectacular National Park!
Death Valley - Scotty’s Castle
Find out how Scotty's Castle came to be, when Albert Johnson met Walter Scott, later known as Death Valley Scotty. Take a tour of the magnificent rooms and see the castle's fantastic furnishings. Hear the organ in the music room as you experience this place of legend first-hand.
Titus Canyon, drive through Red Pass
As Titus Canyon Road in Death Valley reaches the foothills, it starts to climb and meander among the sagebrush and red rock outcroppings. The road becomes steeper and narrower as it approaches Red Pass, amply named for its red rocks and dirt. Enjoy the ride!
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