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Entering DV from the North via Big Pine Road & Crankshaft J?

Moscow, Russia
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10,845 posts
198 reviews
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Entering DV from the North via Big Pine Road & Crankshaft J?

When going to DV from Yosemite, is it possible and/or advisable to enter the DV via Big Pine Road & Crankshaft Junction, so that there's no need to drive back and forth to see the Scottys Castle?

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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1. Re: Entering DV from the North via Big Pine Road & Crankshaft J?

It is NOT advisable, unless you have 4WD and high clearance. It is very scenic, but it's something near 60 mi/100 km of rough dirt and gravel and a very remote area. It is irregularly maintained and can be damaged by storms. If you break down or get stuck, you could be there awhile.

I don't usually recommend taking a route from 395 other than 136 at Lone Pine, but if you want to go to Scotty's Castle first, you can take Hwy 168 east. It's quite pretty--mountain and forest scenery. It becomes Nevada Hwy 266 and takes you to U.S. Hwy at a place called Lida Junction. Then you take 95 south to Scotty's Junction and turn right (west) toward DV. This is a long trip, about 130 mi/200+ km from Big Pine to the Castle. You have to decide whether this amount of time is feasible, considering all the things to see in the park.

Are you planning to spend a night in DV? TO really make the most of your visit and not be in a rush, you should consider staying over.

2. Re: Entering DV from the North via Big Pine Road & Crankshaft J?

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