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Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,345
reviews: 42
Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Death Valley had drastic weather changes this week. From a year’s high of 128° on Wednesday, a shocking cold spell hit and it plummeted to a high of just 103° on Friday. This was due to cloud cover and thunderstorms developing.

In the 24 hours ending Saturday morning, Furnace Creek got 0.06” (six one-hundredths of an inch) of precip. However, Scotty’s Castle had 1.2”. Rain in the mountains can cause flashflooding down the canyons and depositing of debris on the roads.

Accordingly, Scotty's Castle Road and 20 Mule Team Canyon Road are now closed due to debris, and Emigrant-Wildrose Road has a caution advisory due to debris. Mesquite Springs Campground is closed due to debris.

Today's forecast (Sat. 7/14) includes a 50%% chance of evening thunderstorms. Tomorrow's includes a 20% chance. So it's very possible that more roads and campgrounds could be impacted

Check the Morning Report on the park website for daily conditions.

http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

You can also call the park at 760-786-3200. If you are in the park and have any questions, ask in person at a visitor center or ranger station about roads or areas you are interested in.

LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 9,327
reviews: 1
1. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Amazing

Thanks for the information. Hoping no one gets hurt in these flash floods.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,345
reviews: 42
2. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

The Morning Report for Sunday shows that the Castle Road and 20 Mule Team Canyon are now open, with debris still on Emigrant Canyon Road and Saline Valley North. Mesquiite Springs campground still closed.

There is still a slight chance of thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow. August and September are more TS-prone than early summer, so always check road conditions before going to Death Valley or setting out for a day of sightseeing.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,345
reviews: 42
3. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

This may be the same weather system, after it moved east from Death Valley. Even though they are in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas and St. George are not as dry as Death Valley, so they would have had lots more water actually reach the ground instead of evaporating on the way down.

lvrj.com/news/more-storms-hit-valley-hail-re…

deseretnews.com/article/865559077/Heavy-rain…

Camp Sherman, Oregon
posts: 637
4. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Hope they get Mesquite CG open for all those people who can't camp at Furnace Creek. 1.2" of rain. Must be amazing there as it is a lot of rain even for up here in Portland!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,345
reviews: 42
5. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Updated August 4

For those planning to visit in the next few days, the Morning Report shows lots of impact from recent storms. It’s interesting that Dante’s View and Titus Canyon are not listed, but be prudent and check with the park for current info on ANY road you might want to take.

Roads closed:

• Cottonwood Canyon closed by mud and standing water.

Mosaic Canyon, shown as closed because of washout; also shown as 4wd hc only (inquire once you arrive)

Aguereberry Point and Skidoo roads both closed by washouts.

• Lippincott closed due to flood damage.

Roads limited to 4wd hc because of flood damage or mud:

Darwin Falls

• Harry Wade

• Lemoigne Canyon

• Racetrack

• Saline Valley

• Telephone Canyon (a very lightly used road off Emigrant Canyon)

Forecast shows a 20% chance of thunderstorms for the next several days.

Since July 1, there has been 1.31 inch of precipitation. The annual total is usually 2-4 inches, so this is a major portion of it in the past month. August is TS season, so this is probably not the end of it. Remember, official weather data is recorded at Furnace Creek; higher elevations get a lot more rainfall, which rushes down canyons and can cause damage even where there has not actually been much rain.

Mesquite Campground is no longer listed as closed from the early July storm damage. Also, Furnace Creek Campground is still closed but the park says new reservations will open on August 8 on the Federal website.

http://www.recreation.gov/

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,345
reviews: 42
6. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Furnace Creek had some precipitation and the high was 120F, so the combination of heat and humidity must have been very uncomfortable. I don't have any problem with 120 or 125, but I'd rather have it be clear and dry and hot as Hades instead of damp and muggy.

More roads are now closed, including Dante's View, Devil's Golf Course, Natural Bridge, Mustard Canyon, and 20 Mule Team Canyon. Other roads have flood damage, mud, or debris, and there are restrictions or advisories.

Check the park website for the Morning Report, then ask about current conditions once you arrive.

http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

Adirondack, New York
posts: 3,929
reviews: 88
7. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Thank you Frisco for updates. With all this rain we can expect exceptional wildflower blooms in the spring. I need to reserve our room at the Inn very soon.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,345
reviews: 42
8. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Another reminder: always check the Morning Report or call the park (760-786-3200) for current weather and road conditions.

Our regular fans are aware that mid to late summer is thunderstorm season in Death Valley, and damaging flashfloods are typical. This year was no exception, and a 40% chance of TS day and night Friday is forecast, which can bring more flooding for Labor Day weekend visitors.

Today’s (Fri. 8/31) conditions:

-- BADWATER ROAD: Closed and gated south of Badwater, debris on the road.

-- BIG PINE ROAD: Closed due to washouts.

-- NV HWY 267: Closed indefinitely due to flood damage. This is the road from Hwy 95 halfway between Goldfield and Beatty and is lightly traveled.

-- RACETRACK: Rough road, website says 2wd hc, but I’d be very leery about that and double-check on arriving in the park.

-- SALINE VALLEY: North and south roads damaged by washouts; repairs will take up to 2 months. Airstrip washed out.

-- WARM SPRINGS CANYON: Impassable from flooding damage.

-- Charcoal Kilns, Harry Wade, and West Side Roads are open with 4wd hc recommended because of flood damage or deep mud.

Camp Sherman, Oregon
posts: 637
9. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Thanks Frisco. Though I won't be back until the last week in March I like to check the morning report every couple of days. Amazing these sudden changes.

hants, uk
posts: 227
reviews: 32
10. Re: Weather and Road ALERT - Closures!

Whats the weather forecast like now? Planning to drive thro death valley en route to yosemite on 3rd october.... Should i be concerned?