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A Large Part of Death Valley National Park Will Reopen in Time for Christmas

Another major section of Death Valley National Park will reopen just in time for the holidays. According to park officials, 95 miles of park roads will reopen on Saturday, December 23, after crews complete more repairs.

The park completely shut down for four months again as the remains of Hurricane Hilary tore through Southern California and brought widespread flooding. The water damaged many roadways and washed out others altogether. 

Crews and volunteers from other parks got to work immediately on repairs. The park reopened to the public on October 15, but many parts of Death Valley remain off limits due to the damage. 

Roads that are reopening include: 

  • North Highway 
  • Ubehebe Crater Road 
  • Old Stovepipe Well Road 
  • Lower end of Titus Canyon Road 
  • Racetrack Road 
  • Lippincott Road 
  • Hidden Valley Road 
  • Lost Burro Mine Road 
  • White Top Mountain Road 

Visitors should know some roads in the park are considered off-road and require high clearance. Despite all of this reopening, parts of the park remain closed, and visitors should avoid those areas. Last month, two motorcyclists passed a closed-road sign and needed a helicopter to rescue them.

The process of reopening has been a long one, but officials say they’re happy with the efforts, and luckily, visitors can still experience one of the best times of the year in Death Valley.

“The hiking in December and January is superb,” says Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “Added to that, there’s a temporary lake at Badwater and some wildflowers are out.”

(Source: NPS)

As Reynolds mentioned, one positive from all the flooding was a rare lake left behind in one of the hottest, driest places in the world.

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