Death Valley Ride - Stovepipe Wells, Sand Dunes, and More

Death Valley Ride - Stovepipe Wells, Sand Dunes, and More

Two moto-vloggers passionate about traveling and the open road.

After checking out the park the day prior, we were looking forward to seeing more of Death Valley and checking out some new areas! Just because you've been somewhere doesn't mean you've seen it all, and that was definitely the case here. We had a few landmarks on the list for the day, but made some time to do a little exploring as well!

We got up bright and early, walked around town, and wound up at Gema's Cafe for breakfast, a cool small town cafe right on the corner. We stuck with the basics and got some bacon, eggs, and coffee, and came up with a few plans for the day before heading out.  We had never eaten there before, so it was cool to check out something new and it ended up being pretty good!

The main attractions we wanted to see were Stovepipe Wells and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, then we figured we'd ride around and see where else the road would take us!

We took the 374 out of Beatty, and spent a little time on the beautiful Daylight Pass Road while entering the park. Cruising along, we were met with an incredible view of the vast valley ahead with a deep blue sky above. It's pretty crazy coming down through the canyon approaching sea level just shortly after being at 3,300 feet above sea level in Beatty! 

We hit a stop sign just before the 190 and decided to switch things up and head down Scotty's Castle Road to see if we'd find anything new. It wasn't the plan, but sometimes the coolest places are found without plans, so why not? Scotty's Castle is a two story Mission Revival Villa in the Grapevine Mountains of northern Death Valley. The actual ranch is about 45 miles out from Stovepipe Wells, but unfortunately the road there has been closed for quite some time and will not be back open until 2022 from what w hear. We headed in that direction for a little while, then decided to turn around before hitting the closures and make our way towards Stovepipe Wells. 

On the way back over, we noticed a pull off for a rocky dirt road that seemed to go nowhere, so we figured we'd go on a little adventure! Now, these may not be your typical adventure bikes, but we made it work that's for sure! We got to the end of the road and saw a monument so we got ff the bikes to check it out, and it actually ended u being the original Stovepipe Wells landmark called "Old Stovepipe Wells". 

This waterhole, only one in the sand dune area of Death Valley, was at the junction of two Indian trails. During the bonanza days of Rhyolite and Skidoo it was the only known water source on the cross-valley road. As sand would obscure the spot, a length of stovepipe was inserted as a marker by the well, hence the name. It's pretty wild where a few unplanned turns could take you!

While it may only be an old well in the middle of the desert to some, to us it is a unique piece of history that continues to tell a story from the days before us. Not to mention, being on two wheels and exploring all of these hidden spots is always a good time!

Our next stop would be to check out the sand dunes just around the corner. For many people, when they picture Death Valley sand dunes come to mind, and for good reason. Less than one percent of the desert is covered in sand dunes as there are very specific topographical features that cause them to form. There must be a source of sand (duh), winds to move the sand, and a place for the sand to collect. The vast eroded canyons in the area provide a plentiful. source of sand, and it gets trapped in areas such as this where mountains and other natural features stop it from traveling any further. The dunes come in various shapes and sizes and all cast their own unique shadows among the fine dry sand. It was cool to check that out and do some exploring, especially during the winter when it's only 60 degrees. That temperature doubles by the time summer comes around!

From the dunes, we hit our last stretch of road for the morning and made our way to the small town of Stovepipe Wells right off of the 190. With only a few small buildings in the area, it makes for a great stop. There are campsites just down the road, a general store across the street, a small hotel, and a restaurant called the Badwater Saloon. Being the nearest place to eat for quite a few miles, and having a great view of the valley just a few steps away, we decided it would be the perfect spot to stop for lunch. We got some burgers, quesadillas, and a few cold ones, and the food did not disappoint. We also ended up meeting a fellow rider who also enjoys going the distance and hung out for a bit while we shared some stories. 

Now these are some roads you won't want to miss! Whether you're on two wheels or four, this is an amazing journey, and we had a lot of fun on the road. Always be wear of changing conditions, and travel safely! 

(This is the map from our whole Death Valley Loop

*2LaneLife is not responsible for peril**

While the day wasn't over yet, it was a blast checking out those parts of Death Valley for the morning, and we were excited to make our way towards Panamint Springs and the winding roads through the mountains on our way to Olancha and beyond. There's tons to see in the area, so if you ever find yourself there, take some time and see what interests you. There's something for everyone! The road home would be a long one, but we'd have it no other way! See that in next weeks video and blog!

See ya down the road...

Stay safe...stay inspired 


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