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  1. #1

    Default Death Valley West Side Highway


    I'm going to be in Las Vegas this weekend and I was planning on taking a short road trip to Death Valley. I've already been there once, however I went down the "normal" road on the east side of the valley where the 282 ft below sea level sign is at the Badwater Basin with the visitors area. I was interested in driving on the west side highway, which appears on Google's street view to look like a 40ish mile dirt road (you can see it where it intersects the main road).

    Is anyone familiar with this? Is it dangerous for a normal (rental) car?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area


    Not familiar with it, but familiar with rental car contracts. They almost always prohibit driving on unpaved roads.

  3. #3


    The rental agreement (Fox rent-a-car) does not prohibit this kind of driving. The only limitations are regional (basically you need to stay in the pacific time zone plus AZ, CO, NM, UT, and WY).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I don't think you would want to take the West Side Road in a standard car. From the NPS site:

    West Side Road
    Vehicle needed: High-clearance due to washboard, deep gravel and dust
    pockets. Amargosa River crossing at southern end may be impassable
    when flowing. Distance: 37 miles. Start: Badwater Road six miles
    south of Hwy 190 (north entrance) or 39.2 miles south of Hwy 190
    (south entrance). Camping: No camping along road, must be two
    miles up side roads before camping allowed. Historic route of the
    20-mule team wagons, this road skirts the west side of Badwater
    Basin and provides access to 4WD roads leading into canyons of
    the Panamint Mountains.
    I just checked Fox's fleet at LAS - rent a Jeep Wrangler.

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