Death Valley National Park Recovers From Flash Floods, Reopens Popular Areas

by Megan Molseed

Late August and early September proved to be disastrous for Death Vally National Park as flash flooding devastated some favorite areas. These flash floods lead to some major closings over the last few weeks. However, the area is slowly rebounding, and officials have announced that some areas of the popular national park are beginning to reopen.

The National Park Service Slowly Reopens Some Areas Of Death Valley National Park

While many areas remain closed surrounding the popular California national park, some areas of Death Valley are beginning to once again welcome visitors. The Badwater road in Death Valley National Park is now open from CA-190 to the Badwater Basin area. This section was reopened to allow access to the long-iconic salt flats. These famously sit about 282 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin area. An area which, incidentally, remains the lowest point within the entire United States.

Additionally, the areas between Death Valley’s Golden Canyon Trail and Artists Drive are now open. All of these reopenings are great news for parkgoers, no doubt. However, some areas affected by the flash floods remain closed, even as the area begins to rebound.

The Natural Bridge area, the Devil’s Golf Course, and West Side Roads remain closed. Pending repairs related to the flash floods. Sections of Badwater Road also remain closed in the areas from Badwater Basin to CA-178 and Shoshone, CA.

Park Visitors Are Urged To Check Current Conditions When Visiting The Park

To allow access to four of Death Valley’s free campgrounds landing on the high elevation areas such as Emigrant, Wildrose, Thorndike, and Mahogany Flat, officials have opened the Emigrant Canyon and the Upper Wildrose area, as well.

Some areas are opening just in time for peak hiking seasons, such as the Wildrose Peak Trail and the Telescope Peak Trail. These also sit at some of the areas highest elevations, setting the scene for some amazing sights.

Despite the multiple reopenings throughout the park, officials note that there are still no through roads in the Death Valley National Park. Furthermore, most of the entrance roads leading to Death Valley remain closed. Visitors are urged to check the park’s website regularly for area updates and conditions. Officials also note that mapping apps may not be up to date as many have been regularly marking closed roads as being open.

Areas Continue To Suffer Damage From Late-Summer Flash Floods

Some of Death Valley National Parks’ backcountry roads were so damaged in the floods that the corridors have not yet been cleared. These areas will remain closed until the National Park Service can re-establish safe passageways.

Death Valley National Park saw devastating flash floods through late July, all of August, and parts of September. During these times, park officials have worked tirelessly to keep up with the damage, clearing roads as soon as possible.