Greenwater Townsite Road (South) – Death Valley National Park

  This is not a Verified Hike and has been provided for your convenience. While the information here has been thoroughly researched, travel at your own risk and follow signs, regulations, and the trail over the information presented here.
Greenwater Townsite Road South, Death Valley National Park, California
Greenwater Townsite Road South, Death Valley National Park, California
Greenwater Townsite Road (South), Death Valley National Park, California
Greenwater Townsite Road (South), Death Valley National Park, California
Greenwater Townsite Road (South) 1
Greenwater Townsite Road (South)
Location map for hikes in Death Valley National Park, California, including Dantes View, Greenwater Valley Road, etc.
Greenwater Townsite Road (South) 2
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Greenwater Townsite Road (South), Death Valley National Park, California
Greenwater Townsite Road (South), Death Valley National Park, California
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This is the southerly of the two roads leaving the Greenwater Valley Road to approach Greenwater Townsite. From Greenwater, it continues northwest to meet the Furnace Townsite Road.

Total Distance: 5.6 miles point-to-pointElevation Gain: 1,077ft. up, 192ft. down (3,880ft. to 4,765ft.)
Road Difficulty: 1.8 (high clearance required)Bicycle Difficulty: More Difficult
View Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 starsAuthor’s Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 stars
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Pets: LeashedHorses: Yes
Best Seasons: October-MaySpecial Permits: None
Water Availability: NoneOvernight Options: At least 1 mile from the Greenwater Valley Road
Amenities: NoneCrowd Factor: Solitude
Uses: Day hiker icon Backpackers Icon Horses Permitted Icon Dogs on Leash Permitted Icon ATVs Not Permitted Icon Dirt bikes Not Permitted Icon Bicycles Permitted Icon Vehicle Hazard / Jeeps allowed IconRoad surface: Gravel Trail Surface Icon Wash Trail Surface Icon Dirt Road Trail Surface Icon
Features: Views Trail Feature Icon Historic Interest Trail Feature Icon Mine Trail Feature Icon / Trail Hazard Icon Ghost Town Trail Feature IconHazards: Hot Day Icon No Water Icon High Clearance Required Hazard Icon Flash Flood Icon Mine Trail Feature Icon / Trail Hazard Icon

Mile-by-Mile: Greenwater Townsite Road (South)

0.0 Greenwater Townsite Road (South) Junction on the Greenwater Valley Road (3,880ft.). Take the dirt road west. (36.170867°, -116.577234°)

1.25 Road Junction on left (south) (4,084ft.). Continue straight (west) on the main road. (36.175440°, -116.598732°)

2.3 Greenwater Townsite Road (North) Crossroad (4,280ft.). The site of the town of Greenwater is nearby. While you can explore, there isn’t a whole lot to see. To continue on the Greenwater Townsite Road (South), drive straight to continue northwest. (36.179308°, -116.616704°)

2.8 Road Junction on left (west) (4,210ft.). The road on the left goes to some old mine areas. Continue straight (north) on the main road. (36.184585°, -116.621002°)

4.3 Cross Greenwater Townsite Road (North) (4,388ft.). Cross the road and continue west. (36.193461°, -116.644628°)

5.6 Furnace Townsite Road (4,768ft.). Turning left would take you to the townsite of Furnace, while turning right would take you out to the Greenwater Valley Road. (36.191456°, -116.664876°)

History & More

Greenwater – like most towns in the area – was founded for the miners prospecting and working in the area. Two other towns in the area (Ramsey and Kunze) merged to make one larger town named Greenwater, which soon overshadows other nearby camps such as Furnace.

It’s said that water was scarce in Greenwater – a barrel of water cost $15 (about $500 in 2020).

Greenwater was famous for its bimonthly magazine, The Death Valley Chuck-Walla. The publication claimed to be, “A Magazine for Men… Giving the truth about the miner and the men of the Greenwater and southern Nevada Mining Districts… The Death Valley Chuck-Walla is written in a vein to please. It is entertaining as well as valuable. It exposes the crooks, the wildcats and frauds, and roasts the knockers.”

Copper was found in the area in the 1880s, but when rail service came to Rhyolite, the Greenwater Valley became accessible enough to make mineral strikes profitable.

The copper strikes in Greenwater Valley came at a convenient time – right as the United States was under electrification. Copper was in high demand, so rumors of copper strikes brought in investors including two of Butte, Montana’s “Copper Kings” and Charles Schwab, who also had holdings to the north in the Funeral Mountains.

Despite a positive outlook, the copper reserves were not as numerous or productive as many had hoped. Greenwater was mostly a tent city with only a few wooden buildings. Within 2 years, the town was mostly abandoned.

Today, very little remains of the town at the Greenwater Townsite. Most of the “buildings” were nothing more than tents, hastily constructed and quickly taken down to move on to the next rich strike.

Keep your eyes open for various items of junk, waste, or mining equipment left behind by those who once lived and worked here.

Download Route Map

Driving Directions

The Greenwater Townsite Road (South) begins on the Greenwater Valley Road, 8.4 miles south of Dantes View Road and 19.9 miles north of Jubilee Pass Road.

Additional Warnings & RegulationsSpecial Permits & RegulationsFees
It is illegal to enter any mine, shaft, tunnel, or adit if gated or signed.
It is extremely dangerous to enter a mine due to unstable shafts, gasses, and more. Do not enter mines, even if they are apparently open!
Walking on, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing any mine, structure, feature, or ruin is prohibited.
Toxic chemicals or ore may be present around mine sites. Enter at your own risk.
Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging, or disturbing any mine, structure, feature, or ruin is also prohibited.
Camping is not allowed within one mile of a paved road, developed area, or dirt road that is closed to camping.
Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of a flowing stream, spring, or other natural body of open water.
No camping is permitted on the floor of Death Valley, within one mile of Darwin Falls and Greenwater Canyon, on the active/shifting sand dunes, and certain other canyons and backcountry areas.
Camping is also prohibited within one mile of the Ubehebe Lead Mine, Leadfield Mines, Keane Wonder Mill, and Skidoo Mill.
Camping is limited to 30 days per calendar year within the park.
Fires are permitted in NPS-provided fire grates or grills ONLY.
Remember to take food & water!
Leave No Trace Principles are enforced
Drones and model aircrafts are prohibited
Camping is permitted only in designated sites or in areas open to dispersed backcountry camping
All park rules and regulations
7 Day Pass: $30/private vehicle. $25/motorcycle. $15/individual (bicycle or on foot).
12 Month Pass: $55/Death Valley Annual Pass (valid at Death Valley National Park). $80/America the Beautiful Annual Pass (valid at all national park and federal fee areas). $20/Annual Senior Pass (62 years or older US citizens; valid at all national park and federal fee areas). Free/4th Grade Pass (Valid Sept. 1-August 31 of the child’s 4th Grade school year). Free/Military Pass (valid for all active military personel and their dependents with a CAC Card or DD Form 1173).
Lifetime Pass: $80/Lifetime Senior Pass (62 years or older US citizens; valid at all national park and federal fee areas). Free/Access Pass (available to all US citizens with perminent disabilities). Free/Access for Veterans and Gold Star Families Pass (valid for all military and veterans with a CAC card, Veteran HJealth Identification Card, Veteran ID Card, or veteran’s designation on state-issued drivers license or identification card.)