The hottest cycling climbs in the world - Cycling Death Valley!
Death Valley, California -- it’s about to get HOT!
Chart: Wikipedia - Death Valley
From June through September, Death Valley, California is dangerously hot during the day, with average monthly highs during that time ranging from 109°F to 116.5°F. 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.
Death Valley National Park encompasses 3,373,063 acres (5th largest NP) and was established in 1994 by President Bill Clinton
Interesting statistics for Death Valley:
OUR FAVORITE BIKE CLIMBS IN DEATH VALLEY
#1 DANTE'S VIEW
Cycling Dantes View, Death Valley, CA
Ride 24 miles gaining 5,453’ at 4.3%
Photo: Zabriskie Point (mile 3)
Dante’s View overlooks Badwater, Death Valley.
For this climb, we start just across the highway from the "Sea Level" sign at the intersection of Badwater Road and the lightly traveled Highway 190, and then begin a 24-mile journey that offers some of the most exceptional views in Death Valley.
Cycling Emigrant Pass East, Death Valley
Ride 22.8 miles gaining 5,308’ at 4.4%
You run into all forms of critters out there -- from tarantulas to . . . Peter!
The real climbing portion of this ride begins around miles 7-8, as the first few miles seem almost flat. This climb is definitely in an arid, desert setting, and you can expect very little vegetation and stark views throughout.
14.6 miles gaining 4,415’ at 5.7%
The first nine miles are on a very rough and closed road. This is an epic ride, but beware it is in Death Valley and completely unsupported.
If you are going the last two miles to the kilns, bring a gravel bike.
There’s a lot of straight in Death Valley
Ride 9.3 miles gaining 3,405’ at 7%.
Town Pass West is definitely one of the more scenic Death Valley climbs. Around mile three, we leave the desert floor behind and begin to enter the more hilly terrain, offering exceptional views of the valley as we climb. When we reach mile six, we’re entering stark, vegetation-less terrain that call to mind images of the planet Mars -- all part of Death Valley’s otherworldly allure.
PLACES TO STAY IN DEATH VALLEY
Our favorite place to stay in Death Valley is The Ranch at Death Valley, Furnace Creek, CA. We have stayed here twice and found that it’s reasonably priced and has a store, restaurant, and even bike shop (at least in 2016 when we last stayed there). For more 5 Star accomodations near Furnace Creek, try the Furnace Creek Inn (now called the Inn at Death Valley), just a few miles south of The Ranch at Death Valley. While very nice, it’s just too rich for our blood.
If you’re riding Towne Pass West, Emigrant Pass West and/or Wildrose, the closest place to stay is Panamint Springs Resort (don’t let the name fool you). This is a spartan venue, but does the trick in a pinch -- it also has a gas station and restaurant.
Another option is the Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel, which is at the start of Towne Pass East and Emigrant Pass East.
Getting gas in Death Valley is VERY EXPENSIVE. We highly recommend getting gas outside the park. If you need gas, the best spots are in Panamint, Stovepipe, and Furnace Creek.