Hunter Mountain is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.185m (7,168ft) above the sea level located in the desolate northern section of Death Valley National Park, in California, in the southwestern United States. The trip will take you to some of the most remote and extraordinary parts of northwestern Death Valley.
The road to the summit is called Hunter Mountain Road. It’s 40 miles long from Teakettle Junction to Hwy 190. High-clearance vehicle to Hidden Valley required; 4x4 recommended over Hunter Mountain. This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The route is unmaintained and extremely bumpy at times. Due to frequent flooding in the area, road conditions often vary throughout the park. There are absolutely no services along this route so make sure you have fuel and supplies! The road is dirt all the way with many of the "standard" off-road challenges. There are narrow spots, steep inclines/declines, sharp drop-offs in some portions, possible soft sand and large boulders in the wash areas and, depending on weather conditions, you may also encounter mud and/or snow. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. The road passes several abandoned mining areas. The road climbs steeply up onto the wooded plateau that is Hunter Mountain. Snow and icy conditions may make this section impassable in winter. The road improves after it joins the southern end of Saline Valley Road to Hwy 190. For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, visit Death Valley’s website at nps.gov/deva. It’s one of the challenging Backcountry roads in the Death Valley National Park.
Pic: Yaodong Jia