Death Valley has a complex and lengthy
system of backcountry roads that are wide open to mountain
bikers. However, bike riding is verbotten cross-country
and on the hiking trails.
Trails are listed as strenuous (S), moderately strenuous
(MS), moderate (M), and easy (E).
Panamint Springs to Furnace Creek - 56 miles (S)
If you've heard of Towne Pass, it was probably in the
context of California's most brutal cycle ascents. (Don't
even think about doing this ride after early spring.)
Make it to the top and your reward is a downhill cruise
that drops you more than 5,000 ft. to Stovepipe Wells.
From there, gently rolling hills lead to Furnace Creek,
where showers and a swimming pool await your arrival.
Stovepipe Wells to Scotty's Castle - 38 miles (M)
This steady, gentle grade takes you on a "best
of" tour of the valley, starting at the village,
turning at the sand dunes, and finishing at the castle
(worth exploring if your legs aren't too wobbly). You
can backtrack a few miles to camp at Mesquite Spring,
saving the downhill return for the next day.
Mountain Bike Rides
Bikes aren't allowed on hiking trails, but don't let
that stop you from enjoying the dirt roads, where the
scenery makes up for the lack of single-track.
Auguereberry Point - 6 miles (E)
This non-technical climb up a wide dirt road takes you
to the best bike-accessible overlook of the park. From
your 6,433-ft. vantage point you'll look out over sand
dunes to the colorful mountains that wrap themselves
around the valley. Along the way, check out the Eureka
Gold Mine and the historic home once owned by the prospector,
Pete Auguereberry, who gave the spot his name.
Gold Valley - 11 miles (M)
The year-round spring at the end of this dirt road draws
lots of wildlife, including bighorn sheep. Ruins of
historic structures speak to the area's history as a
mining site. Smith Mountain towers above you to the
southwest, Funeral Peak to the north.
Titus Canyon - 28 miles (S)
Two 5,000-ft. climbs on sometimes-technical terrain
make this a very challenging ride. But the scenery
expansive views, a ghost town, petroglyphs, running
springs make it absolutely worth the effort.
Start from the town of Rhyolite, just outside the park,
and finish at Highway 190.
Avoid biking in canyons if there is a storm approaching.
Sunglasses, first aid kit, proper clothing, and
extra food and water are recommended for a safe trip.