Harry Wade Road

Road trip guide: Conquering the Harry Wade Road

Harry Wade Road is a very exciting desert drive located in Inyo County, in the eastern central part of the U.S. state of California. The road leads visitors into the rugged and remote backcountry of Death Valley National Park. It’s one of the challenging Backcountry roads in the Death Valley National Park.

Located into the southern end of the Death Valley National Park, the road following the Amargosa River is a rough ride and switches between rocky and soft sand. The road passes through the Amargosa River bed which may present a 2-foot-deep water crossing when water is present. It can be impassable if there is deep water. Muddy areas develop quickly during times of heavy rainfall. Some patches of sand. Some mud at the river crossing, and lots of washboard throughout. Due to frequent flooding in the area, road conditions often vary throughout the park. High-clearance vehicle needed most of the time but 4WD when the Amargosa river is flowing.

The drive offers some great scenery along the way. It is 50km (31 miles) long. For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, visit Death Valley’s website at nps.gov/deva. It’s the possible route of the only Lost ‘49er pioneers to make it out of Death Valley with their wagons intact. This is a remote and seldom travelled route -- visitors must be well prepared.


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