LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The National Park Service (NPS) has released maps recommending travel routes for people who want to get into Death Valley when it reopens, including a route for travelers from Las Vegas.
The maps are part of Death Valley’s plan for a partial reopening on Oct. 15.
If you’re up for a new adventure, the suggested route from Las Vegas will take you on roads you probably haven’t seen before. People who are used to entering the park on the Nevada side from Pahrump or Beatty are being advised to continue north on U.S. 95 to the Lida turnoff at State Route 266. That will take you north of the park to the town of Oasis, where a turn south on CA 168 will take you to U.S. 395 and on to Lone Pine. From there, CA 136 takes you to CA 190 and into the park.
“By this route the distance from Las Vegas to lodging within the park is 345 miles to Panamint Springs Resort, 371 miles to Stovepipe Wells Resort, and 399 miles to The Oasis at Death Valley,” according to the Death Valley National Park website.
Gas stations and EV charging stations are available in Beatty and Lone Pine.
Inside the park, EV chargers at The Oasis are free — but they are slow, park officials said. There are four chargers each at The Inn at Death Valley and The Ranch at Death Valley, both at Furnace Creek. They are best for overnight use. The park has two gas stations, one at Furnace Creek and one at Stovepipe Wells.
And the park service warns it might not be a good idea to take big RVs on that route. Parts of SR 266 are “extremely steep and windy” and there is currently construction on the road. Travelers with big vehicles might want to wait awhile to get to Death Valley or consider coming up U.S. 395 from the south.
Before you start your road trip, check to see that Death Valley makes its target for the Oct. 15 goal. Access inside the park will be limited to the main road. Only the west entrance on CA 190 will be available, and Badwater Road will only be open to mile 17, according to NPS.
RAISING FEES: While the park remains closed, NPS is proposing changes for backcountry permits and campgrounds in Death Valley.
The deadline to submit public comments is Oct. 25. For complete information, visit https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/news/proposed-rate-changes-for-campgrounds-and-backcountry-permits.htm.
The NPS made permits mandatory for overnight use of the most popular backcountry areas in the park starting last year. Death Valley National Park is proposing backcountry permits be $10.
Currently, these permits are free but are only available on the same day and in person during business hours at Furnace Creek Visitor Center or Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station. The NPS seeks to issue these backcountry permits online through Recreation.gov, and no longer issue them in person at visitor centers.