Camp nearby in the ghost town of Ballarat. Along the trail, see mines and outstanding Adopt-a-Cabins including Barker Ranch, once the h... more »ideout of serial killer Charles Manson and his gang. Other cabins include Russel Camp (our favorite) and the Geologist’s Cabin, popular because it is very tight and clean. The other cabins are mice infested and are posted with danger signs explaining the deadly Hantavirus, which is spread by inhaling dust from mice droppings. People stay in the cabins despite the warnings. For information on this route and possible closures, contact the BLM in Barstow at (760) 252-6000. For park portion, contact Death Valley National Park at (760) 786-3200 or go to ww.nps.gov/deva.
Difficult. Most of this trail is easy to moderate. Only one short stretch over Mengel Pass is difficult. Under normal circumstances, high-clearance 4x4 SUVs can reach this point without a problem. Those with skid plates should also be able to get over Mengel Pass but some caution must be taken to avoid undercarriage damage. Some rock stacking may be necessary. In addition, there is always the possibility that a flash flood through Goler Wash could make it more difficult. This trail is extremely remote. Street-legal vehicles only inside Death Valley National Park.
This trail is one of 75 trails from the book, Guide to Southern California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, by Charles Wells, and is available at www.funtreks.com. less «