Butte Valley

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5/5 (4 reviews)
Furnace Creek, California (Inyo County)
Last Updated: 12/13/2023
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Trail Information


Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Camping Category Icon Camping
Desert Category Icon Desert
Ghost Town Category Icon Ghost Town
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Mine Category Icon Mine
Overland Category Icon Overland
Sand Category Icon Sand
Snow Wheeling Category Icon Snow Wheeling
Wash Category Icon Wash
In the middle of nowhere on the backside of the Panamint Mountain Range lays a secret of the desert. Even though it is extremely remote (60+ miles to the nearest town) this gem of the desert is a popular place for overlanders and off-road enthusiast to visit. Butte Valley, on the southeastern corner of Death Valley, is a unique and exciting place only accessible by 4wd on very old Jeep Trails. While visiting the area be prepared for some amazing views of lands where very few humans have ever been. You will dive into the old mining days of Panamint Mountains as you enter an area that was constructed back in the late 1800's. Becuase of the immense history, offroad enthusiasts have been visiting this unique wonderland for a long time, both enjoying its beauty and preserving it for future generations. Thus, the next time you are visiting Southern California or looking for something near Las Vegas, plan a trip to Death Valley and check out Butte Valley. To spice things up, make this into a weekend overland adventure including Warm Springs Road, Butte Valley, Mengel Pass, and Goler Wash. This just might be the best 4wd trip you have or will ever take.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Butte Valley (aka Butte Valley Road) is one of the secret off-road overland adventures of Death Valley. Up on top of the Panamint Mountain Range rest a small mining town from a long time ago. The area is known for the stunning views and old mining cabins you can still camp in. Just be prepared because there are no services of any sort for over 4 hours away at the fastest. The roads to the east are the easiest route while the road out to the west is the shortest. The trails in Butte Valley and on Warm Springs Road are rated easy and are mostly dirt roads with some small rocks. This trip is perfect for all off-road enthusiast including beginners and novice off-roaders. Always leave the area in better condition than when you showed up. Pack out others trash if you find any and never remove any historical items. Milage will not be given since you take can many different routes to navigate the area. The mileage shown at the top is stopping at all the locations in a clockwise manner.

Trail Reviews

5/5 (4)
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Official Crew
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/13/2023

Reports in that these trails have been reopened, but the only way in is through Ballarat. The Death Valley side is still closed.
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Official Crew
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Temporary Closure
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/11/2023

Call before you go. There is a ton of mixed messages coming out of the park about trails being open or closed.
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/06/2020
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Coming from Mengel pass this trail was a cakewalk... but the beauty here is legit. We were strapped for time, but I am really glad that we at least stopped at the geologist cabin... it's legit.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/24/2020

One of the best places we camped in the 4 nights we spent in Death Valley. Seeing the sun set over Striped Butte while cooking dinner was pretty awesome. We did see several donkeys that the NPS is trying to humanely relocate and we let the visitor center know. Lots and lots of donkey poop. We heard coyotes howling at 5AM behind our camp site near Willow Spring. The drive is pretty easy going and is a good trail for novice drivers in stock rigs.

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