First let me say: Do not attempt to do this drive without a high clearance vehicle or you will leave your exhaust system in the mountains. I say this because we saw a sedan making its way through the rutted twisting mountain trail and we were shaking our heads. You don't need 4WD, only a high-clearance vehicle. We had a Chrysler Traverse Mini Van which was more than adequate. We were thinking a Jeep Wrangler without the top on would be ideal so you get a full view of everything around you. This is in Death Valley National Park, approx. 2.5 hours NW of Las Vegas. Bring bottled water and a lunch, you'll need it.
It was 2nd trip through Titus Canyon this past Sunday and I brought a friend. The first time (with family 4 years ago) we were pressed for time, so a return trip was in order. First we poked around the ghost town of Rhyolite for an hour or so. That was interesting. Heading back out of Rhyolite, look for a small sign on the right side that says Titus Canyon and points the the dirt access road. This is the trail up into the mountains and into the canyon. It's dirt, rutted, steep, and has hairpin turns and no guard rails. It's one way, so no turning back is possible. Don't do it with someone who gets sick on roller coasters because that's what it's like...minus the high speed. The scenery is spectacular. The twisting mountain trail ends at the ghost town ruins of Leadfield. Not as much to see as in Rhyolite, but good for a stop for lunch in the vehicle. Then the canyon part starts. High canyon walls line each side of the trail which drops to widths of 10 ft. at times. It looks like you could reach out the car window and touch the canyon walls at points. There are also ancient Indian petroglyphs on a big rock along the way. It's marked with a sign. We didn't stop to see it this time because there were too many people there already. Go on a weekday and you'll likely have Titus Canyon to yourself. On the 27 mile trip, you start in Nevada and end up in California. I've never had so much fun driving before! (Takes 2 to 3 hours, plus an hour in Rhyolite)
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