LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A lake nestled in sand dunes at Death Valley National Park is one of the unexpected sights left by devastating floods that wiped out roads in the park.

“Some spectacular things happened in Death Valley following the floods we received from remnants of Hurricane Hilary back in August. Ephemeral lakes popped up around the park, which is both pretty rare and amazing! They disappear fast, so they most likely will not be there when you visit,” according to a weekend post on the park’s Facebook page.

Pockets of water collected in low spots in the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. (Photo: N.Bernard/National Park Service)

A week after Death Valley welcomed visitors back after closing for nearly two months after the floods, schedules are starting to emerge on the next steps in returning to normal operations. California Highway 190 (CA190) reopened Oct. 15, with entrances open on the west in California and in Nevada through Death Valley Junction. A portion of Badwater Road also opened, along with Dantes View Road, Artists Drive, Natural Bridge Road and Mosaic Canyon Road.

Now, just a week later, Twenty Mule Team Road, along with roads to Mustard Canyon, Grotto Canyon and Greenwater Valley have already opened, and the park continues to update its map on the Alerts & Conditions page on the Death Valley website. Greenwater Valley Road (aka Furnace Creek Wash Road) and its side roads including Deadman Pass and Gold Valley opened on Friday.

More openings are penciled in as soon as next week and extending out to March 2024:

  • Daylight Pass: The entrance to the park southwest of Beatty, Nevada, is likely to open with a gravel section and a lowered speed limit by the end of next week (Friday, Nov. 3), according to park spokesperson Abby Wines. But theres a chance it could be sooner. Wines said the road could open by Oct. 30. A second round of repairs to replace pavement is likely to begin in February or March 2024.
  • Father Crowley/Rainbow Canyon Vista Point: Access remains closed within an active construction zone along CA190.
  • South Badwater Road/CA178: The southern part of the road will be repaired by contractors, expected to open late November or early December. The road provides access to Ashford Mill.
Tractors move debris in preparation for Death Valley’s reopening in mid-October. (Photo: S.Poster/National Park Service)
  • North Highway: Permanent repairs will take until sometime after February 2024. The road provides access to Fall Canyon Trail, Old Stovepipe Wells, Lower Titus Canyon, Ubehebe Crater and Racetrack Road.
  • Wildrose Road / Emigrant Canyon Road: Permanent repairs are expected to by completed sometime after February 2024. The road provides access to: Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, Wildrose Peak Trail and Telescope Peak Trail.
  • Beatty Cutoff Road: Contractors will make permanent repairs and isn’t expected to reopen until after February or March 2024. The road provides access to Keane Wonder Mine.

The National Park Service notes that motorcycles and all other motorized vehicles are prohibited on closed roads. Bicycles and foot traffic are still permitted.

Bonnie Clare Road and Scotty’s Castle remain closed due to flood recovery work and are unlikely to open before late 2025. No access permitted, including foot traffic, bicycles, motorcycles or any other kind of vehicles.