A High Clearance, One Way Adventure For The Ages in Death Valley.
Death Valley National Park – Titus Canyon – Titus Canyon is one of the most used and popular back country dirt road experiences in Death Valley. A deep and rugged canyon drive that travels up and over the Grapevine mountains into a carved out canyon section that is only wide enough for a single vehicle.
Titus Canyon has it all—rugged mountains, colorful rock formations, a ghost town, petroglyphs, wildlife, rare plants and spectacular canyon narrows to finish up your trip.
What type of Car do you need to travel Titus Canyon:
Titus Canyon is a well travel one way dirt road. You can make the trip in a two wheel drive vehicle most seasons, but some clearance is needed. Event thought the road is graded, there are sections of rock and ruts that a low clearance vehicle just is not going to make. The road travels through various canyon stretches with steep grades and washout type dips.
- Distance: 27 miles; last 3 miles on west end are two-way
- Time needed: 2 to 3 hours
- Start: Nevada Highway 374 (Daylight Pass Road), 2 miles east of park boundary Road
- Conditions: One-way road from east; this dirt road is rough, steep and narrow; often closed due to snow, mud, or wash outs; two-way section from west is graded dirt road.
Red Pass (5250’elev.)
The highest point on the road is this divide between Titanothere and Titus Canyons. Stop to enjoy the grand view in both directions.
Thimble Peak Hike: This 6381′ peak is the most prominent in the southern end of the Grapevine Mountains. Although not visible from Red Pass, it provides the easiest access. From the left bank of the road-cut, make your way south along rounded ridges. Thimble Peak soon comes into view across a saddle. Climb the north face to the summit.
The ghost town of Leadfield “boomed” for less than a year in 1926-27 because the lead deposits bottomed out quickly. All that is left today are a few shacks and a number of mines. Many of the mines are open, but enter at your own risk. Loose rocks, rotten timbers, unexpected vertical shafts, and animals seeking shelter are potential hazards.
The final 1.5 miles of the canyon is the most narrow. The walls squeeze down to less than 20 feet apart in some places. As the road enters the narrows it detours out of the wash and descends what is often the roughest part of the entire trip. It’s a good idea to scout this section out before driving it. From there you enter an area of shadow and echoes that is best appreciated on foot. Hikers may walk up from the parking area at the canyon mouth, easily accessible via the final two-way stretch of the road.