Daylight Pass Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Daylight Pass


A very challenging but less scenic Death Valley climb.

Page Contributor(s): Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA, USA; Stacy Topping, Tacoma, WA, USA

Explore this Climb

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Climb Summary

Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley - view of road and valley below

View back down to Death Valley from Beatty Road/Daylight Pass Road while cycling up Daylight Pass.

Ride 12.8 miles gaining 4,131’ to elevation 4,314’ at 6.1% average grade.

For more information on rides in the area, visit our Death Valley National Park page.

The climb begins in the heart of Death Valley National Park and ends just west of the California/Nevada state line. The first several miles of this climb are on a long, straight road that can be demoralizing in the heat. Views along this route, while not as spectacular as Dantes View or Artist Drive, are still scenic and this is a climb well worth your time if you are travelling to Death Valley for a cycling trip. There is no water along this route and bringing enough, or even too much, is highly recommended.

Bike climb Daylight Pass Death Valley - road and mountains 

Start climb at the intersection of Daylight Pass and Scotty’s Castle Roads.

cycling - Daylight Pass Death Valley roadway and mountains 

There’s more straight on climbs in Death Valley than anywhere else in the US.

climbing by bike Daylight Pass Death Valley Titus Canyon and Beatty Junction sign with bike

The signs fade fast in this furnace.

Mile 6.6 is the merge of Daylight Pass and Beatty Cutoff Roads (Hell's Gate -- view on banner photo, above) where there is a picnic table and shade.

Bike ride Daylight Pass Death Valley - mountains and road

View towards Beatty Road (northeast) as we approach the junction.

Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley - aerial drone photo of daylight pass and beatty road junctions

Junction of Daylight Pass Road (left) and Beatty Road (right).

Daylight Pass is six miles through the canyon above the junction.

Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley - PJAMM Stacy Topping on road with bike

Stacy taunting Death Valley at Hell’s Gate.  😈 

cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley - junction hwy 190 east and west signs

Beatty-Daylight Pass Junction.

Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley , road and mountains

The only shade in 13 miles comes at the junction of Beatty and Daylight Pass Roads.

Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley , road and mountains

Stark desert scenes and formations along the climb.

cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley - bike leaning against corkscrew peak sign

Mile eight -- Corkscrew Peak upper right third of photo.

climbing Daylight Pass Death Valley by bike - bike leaning against mile marker

Mile markers from the start of the climb to the pass.

Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley , road and mountains

Bring lights if you start mid afternoon or later.

There can be a brutal headwind climbing Daylight Pass.

    Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley - cyclist at pass sign with bike

PJAMM finishing up #6 of our 10 DV climbs in 2014.

Cycling Daylight Pass Death Valley - bike leaning against state border nevada sign 

Finish is at the California-Nevada border.


National Park Service Death Valley Weather Chart.

As you may expect, Death Valley is dangerously hot during the day from June through September with average monthly highs during that time ranging from 106° to 116.5°.  Cycling is not recommended during the summer and certainly never without good SAG support.  The heat can be stifling (if not truly dangerous) and supplies are few and far between.  

The hottest temperature ever recorded on earth was in Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913 (134℉/56.7℃) and, while that record has been challenged, the “alternate” record is also held by Death Valley (2013 in a tie with Mitribah, Kuwait in 2016 at 129.2℉/54.0℃).

Traffic and Roadway Surface Report:  As of October 2019, the roadway surface was excellent throughout this ride, but the shoulder is fairly narrow.  There is minimal but fast moving traffic along this climb.

That’s a wrap!