Death Valley National Park
Auto Tour Northeast: Nevada Route 374
At Beatty, Nevada, U.S. Route 15 intersects Route 374. From the ranger station here, it is 41 miles to Furnace Creek Visitor Center. This, the primary route from Reno, passes over Daylight Pass (4316 feet) providing a striking view of Death Valley and Hell's Gate.
Two miles west of Beatty is the turnoff to the ghost town of Rhyolite. During the gold rush of 1904, this town prospered with two railroads and 6000 inhabitants. Today, only the rail station, cemetery and rock foundations remain, except for the abandoned mines dotting Bullfrog Hills above the town.
Three miles further west is the turnoff to Titus Canyon Road (see video), a 4-wheel, 26-mile drive through the abandoned town of Leadfield and beautiful Titus Canyon, rising 500 feet above the road and revealing fantastic geologic upheavals of stratified rock.
If you remain on the highway, take the Daylight Pass Cutoff Road south (about 19 miles from Beatty). A few miles further on the left is the road to Keane Wonder Mine, the location of a few old buildings and some dangerous tunnels.
The Cutoff merges with Route 190 and, another 5 miles south, the spur road to the Harmony Borax Works appears on the left. A short trail leads past the ruins of the refinery and some other buildings and machinery.
Borax was processed in these structures in the 1880s, then was shipped by mule teams 165 over the rugged desert to Mojave, California. A one-way dirt road north of the Borax Works runs through Mustard Canyon, a series of low hills colored by salt and oxidized minerals, including iron.
The Visitor Center is only 2 miles further south.
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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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DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. Learn about desert biomes while you discover how desert plants and animals learn to adapt to the harsh desert environment. Find travel information about national parks, state parks, BLM land, and Southwest cities and towns located in or near the desert regions of the United States. Access maps and information about the Sonoran Desert, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert.