Big Four Mine: The Ultimate Road Trip Guide

Big Four Mine, also known as the War Eagle Mine, is an abandoned mine located in Inyo County, in the eastern central part of the U.S. state of California. It’s one of the challenging Backcountry roads in the Death Valley National Park.

Big Four Mine

The road to the mine is totally unpaved. It’s called Lake Hill Road. It’s a very exciting drive in the Western Death Valley National Park in the Panamint Valley. The road is 10.94km (6.8 miles) long running north of Highway 190, along the east bank of Panamint Dry Lake. Provides access for hikers to Panamint Dunes. For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, visit Death Valley’s website at

The road is almost flat. Starting from Highway 190, the elevation gain is 199 meters. The average gradient is 1.81%. The first five miles of this trail are composed of easily passable washboard roads, but the last mile to the mine site is far more challenging, calling for the capabilities of a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle. Some vans and SUVs can carefully negotiate the 6 miles of bumpy dirt road to the Panamint Dunes hiking pull-off. Avoid travel during mid-day hours, and do not under-estimate heat and sun exposure.