Gravel/dirt road that gives access to Hole in the Wall and an old (mostly undeveloped) mining area.
|Total Distance: 6.0 miles point-to-point (dead end)||Elevation Gain: 1,573ft. up, 5ft. down (992ft. to 2,562ft.)|
|Road Difficulty: 1.2 for the first 3 miles; 2.0 beyond||Bicycle Difficulty: More Difficult|
|View Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars||Author’s Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 stars|
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|Pets: Leashed||Horses: Yes|
|Best Seasons: October-May||Special Permits: Free permit required for camping along the road|
|Water Availability: None||Overnight Options: At least 1 mile from the southern end of the road; free permit required|
|Amenities: None||Crowd Factor: Moderate|
Mile-by-Mile: Hole in the Wall Road
0.0 Hole in the Wall Road on CA-190 (992ft.). Turn north on the gravel road to pass under the first set of powerlines. A sign tells you that no camping is permitted for the first mile and that the road dead ends 6 miles ahead. Furthermore, fires are not allowed, and the road requires a jeep (the first couple of miles are actually high clearance, 2WD friendly). The road travels up a broad, gravelly wash, sometimes near colorful hills. The sides of the wash are sometimes higher than others and also sometimes more scenic and closer than others. Pass under a second set of powerlines about mile 1.6. In general, the further upcanyon you go, the narrower the wash. (36.404832°, -116.782823°)
3.6 Enter Hole in the Wall (1,864ft.). The wash and road pass through a gap in the hill and then turn east up a side wash. The road after the Hole tends to be more washed-out than the road up to this point, so you’ll only want to proceed with 4×4. (36.413644°, -116.724262°)
6.0 End of Hole in the Wall Road (2,562ft.). The old road continues (no vehicles permitted) to the left (north) up to some old prospects. There are multiple old roads in the area that can be explored. (36.407129°, -116.685890°)
History & More
Hole in the Wall Road is named for the formation known by the same name, a “hole” in the hills that allows access into the Funeral Mountains.
It’s said that the road can usually be driven by a 2WD vehicle (and often low clearance) up to the Hole in the Wall, as long as the roadbed is firm and the hump in the middle of the road isn’t too high. Beyond that, 4×4 is required due to washouts. If you’re driving a non-4×4 vehicle, stop before you get into a possibly hazardous situation.
Because the road follows a wash, storms can close the road at a moment’s notice due to damage from flash floods.
Don’t try sleeping along the road if rain is in the forecast. You don’t want to be rudely awakened by a flash flood!
While there are mines in the area, it doesn’t look like the road was used very much for mining activities.
Download Route Map
The beginning of the road is along CA-190, 6.7 miles east of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or 23.5 miles west of Death Valley Junction. It is also 0.9 miles west of the exit from and 0.7 miles east of the beginning of the 20 Mule Team Scenic Drive.
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.
Always be wary of flash floods in a canyon.
Camping in a canyon is discouraged due to the danger of flash floods.
Remember, it may be easier to climb up dryfalls than down them (or vice versa). Be sure you can climb in the other direction before climbing up or down a dryfall.
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.
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
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.)