Death Valley West Side Road

EASY 4 reviews
#27 of 60 trails in

Death Valley West Side Road is a 35.8 mile point-to-point trail located near Shoshone, California that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for off road driving and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
35.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
498 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

off road driving

views

off road driving
14 days ago

West Side Road is a good way to experience the floor of Death Valley in relative seclusion. It also grants access to some areas you can't get to from the main paved road. The road is wide and easy, though rocky and heavily washboarded. However, the road is in Death Valley National Park, and traverses the valley floor where the park reaches its hottest temps, so be prepared to take care of yourself in the event of an emergency. There is no cell service, low likelihood of traffic coming by, and potentially dangerous temperatures many times of the year. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend any solo off-road exploration in the low elevations of DVNP during the summer months and definitely don't go without a lot of extra water just in case. The danger here comes not so much from the conditions of the road (as long as you're expecting a back country desert road), but the remoteness of the location and the extreme environment.

off road driving
2 months ago

West Side Road allows you to drive right through the salt flats, it's a pretty cool experience. But please, STAY ON THE ROAD. Please be respectful of the natural beauty of the flats and don't be that guy and drive off the designated road.

The road transitions between sand and rock with a few washouts. While 4wd is recommended, it is not required. I would say high clearance is mandatory, and I recommend airing down your tires, going with a group, and bringing plenty of water. It was around 120 degrees when we went and we didn't see a single person out there, or a park ranger for that matter.

off road driving
Monday, June 23, 2014

West Side Road is NOT paved--repeat--it is NOT paved. This is important to know because the conditions of unpaved roads throughout Death Valley can change, here, based on rain because portions of the road can get washed out. Also, before even thinking about taking this road, be sure you have plenty of water in your car because if anything happens to your car, it can get pretty hot out there and this road is not patrolled by park rangers very often (if at all???). Heck, I've seen more coyotes than anything else on this road. Why take it? Well, you might want to just get a different feel for Death Valley. You can take this road by catching it on Highway 190 (in Death Valley) just south of Furnace Creek and pretty much near where Artists Drive meets Badwater Road. West Side Road then runs south along the valley floor for about 40 miles. From this road you can access some other canyons to the west along the Paniment Range--but again, be sure you can change a tire and have plenty of water. Once you're on this 40-mile road, you can't get off it other than to meet up with Highway 190 further south. (We like to take West Side Road on our way back to Las Vegas as we're leaving Death Valley--makes it fun, and we count the coyotes along the way. Not recommended for families with a car full of young kids--there's just nothing out there except rocks!

off road driving
Sunday, April 07, 2013

Incredible views. Well worth the drive.