Mengel Pass

4.8/5 (18 reviews)
Ballarat, California (Inyo County)
Last Updated: 03/15/2019
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Trail Information

Highlights

Mengel Pass is a popular trail within Death Valley National Park as it connects Panamint Valley on the west end of Death Valley to beautiful Butte Valley on the east side. Along the trail are an overlook of Butte Valley and Striped Butte plus the gravesite of Carl Mengel, a historic prospector from the early 20th century. The trail is no easy feat with its constant changing terrain and difficulty. Some days the trail is a mild path while other days, it can damage any vehicle that attempts the crossing. Due to the changing landscape of the obstacles, Mengel Pass is a fun and challenging run for all comers!

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (18 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 01/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

We ran this trail 1/1/2023. We last ran this trail 1/21/2022. The trail into Goler Canyon had many puddles. Once inside the canyon, we were hugged by narrow rock walls. Trailer not recommended. Barker Ranch deteriorated since we last visited Jan 2022. Mengel Pass have sections that is deeply rutted and eroded, possibly from recent rain. The hard line up the obstacle on the right side is no longer possible due to erosion. The only line to take is up the V-notch where the vehicle will be on all three tires with the front driver tire up in the air. It’s doable for most 4x4 rigs. Heading downhill past Carl Mengel monument are deeply rutted areas. Lifted 4x4 with AT is a must. Stock vehicles without sliders and lift have a higher chance of body damage. Subaru and RAV4 or similar are not recommended but encouraged if you don’t like or care about your rig.
Trail Review: Mengel Pass - Jon Lam
Trail Review: Mengel Pass - Jon Lam
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Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 12/03/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

A fun section of trail for those who want a little bit more rocks than Goler Wash has to offer. The trail shouldn't give any capable rig/wheeler issues; mostly a matter of picking your line through the rocks. The hardest spot (5) has been filled in with rocks recently, so it isn't as challenging as in the past. Views from the top and down to Butte Valley are fantastic.
Status: Open
Visited: 10/22/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun trail! We took it from Goler Wash to Geologist Cabin. The road down Warm Springs Canyon was closed so we went back down the same way.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/23/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran this trail in the spring of 2022 and it was amazing. Had a great time visiting Barker Ranch and going down Goler Canyon. Lots of history to see and visit. Highly recommend spending at least 3 days out there to take your time. Otherwise you will miss a lot. The cabins were great, but we decided to camp at the salt mines, which were beyond creepy :) Will go again.
Trail Review: Mengel Pass - Alex Salazar
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 01/22/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

We ran this trail on Saturday 1/22/2022. It’s open. We left Ballarat at 8am stopping by Barker Ranch and arriving at Geologist Cabin around 10:30am. We reviewed the trail and watched YouTube videos prior to the trip and was concern about some of the obstacles. After running it, it felt much easier than we thought. It was a blast! We arrived at West Side Road at noon and decided to run Steel Pass and Dedeckera Canyon the following day. It was a fun 36hr run, 650 miles round trip with 220+ miles off road. Both the Range Rover and Jeep did extremely well and had no problems.
Trail Review: Mengel Pass - Jon Lam
Trail Review: Mengel Pass - Jon Lam
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