Titus Canyon Road is a rugged drive in Death Valley

Titus Canyon Road is a rugged trail located to the east of Death Valley in the Mojave Desert of the US state of California. It’s one of the challenging backcountry roads in Death Valley National Park.

Titus Canyon Road

Why is it called Titus Canyon?

The canyon is named after mining engineer Morris Titus, who died prospecting the canyon in 1905, a year in which 13 others died here from heat and dehydration.

How long is Titus Canyon Death Valley?

Straddling the border between Nevada and California, the road, also known as Leadfield Road, is totally unpaved. It is 42.80 km (26.6 miles) long, running from Nevada Highway 374 (Daylight Pass Road), 2 miles east of the park boundary road, to Scotty's Castle Road. It’s said to be the most popular backcountry road in Death Valley National Park.

Is Titus Canyon Road one way?

It’s one of the most famous trails in the area. It’s a well-maintained gravel one-way road but steep and narrow in a few places. Normally suitable for 2WD-HC vehicles, four-wheel drive is seldom necessary under dry conditions: many sections are steep and rocky that a passenger vehicle would not be able to pass. The road becomes steeper and narrower as it approaches Red Pass, aptly named for its red rocks and dirt. The final 1.5 miles of the canyon are the narrowest part. 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. Portions of the road inside the canyon are very narrow; a lot of time it's only about 10 feet wide, so another reason to slow down if you don’t want the canyon wall to scrape your car.

Is Titus Canyon Open in Death Valley?

Set high in the Grapevine Mountains within the Mojave Desert, the road tops out at Red Pass at an elevation of 1,589m (5,213ft) above sea level. Stop here to enjoy the grand view in both directions. The road is closed during the winter months when there is snow in the pass to the canyon. The road is closed when rain is expected due to extreme flash-flood danger through the narrowest part of Titus Canyon. Avoid entering when rain threatens and ask at ranger stations for current road and weather conditions. Sometimes the road is wet, icy, or washed out.

How long does it take to drive Titus Canyon Road?

Tucked away in the southeastern part of California, driving the road without stopping will take most people between 2 and 3 hours. The road is a one-way road from the east; this dirt road is rough, steep, and narrow; often closed due to snow, mud, or washouts; a two-way section from the west is a graded dirt road. Infrequently patrolled, summer travel is not advised.
Pic: rich cirminello