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Death Valley Road Projects Complicate Scotty’s Castle Access and Ubehebe Crater Parking


Death Valley visitors planning to tour Scotty’s Castle (top photo) need to be aware of delays and temporary closing of the Bonnie Clare Road (Scotty’s Castle Road). The Ubehebe Crater parking area (bottom photo) will be closed until March. Bob Janiskee photos.

Death Valley National Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead has announced several road projects affecting motorists in the northern part of the park. Motorists planning to visit Scotty’s Castle or Ubehebe Crater need to be aware of minor delays and temporary road closures caused by road repaving and culvert installation.

Repaving of the Bonnie Clare Road, also known as the Scotty’s Castle Road, has already begun. Effective January 12, 2010 through January 14, 2010, this road will be closed to traffic so that two major drainage culverts can be installed. This section of park road runs north from California Highway 190 for 33 miles to the Grapevine Ranger station near Scotty’s Castle. Visitors will still be able to access Scotty’s Castle, during this temporary closure, from Nevada by traveling north on Highway 95 to Scotty’s Junction and Nevada Highway 267. Once the new culverts are in place the Bonnie Clare Road will be reopened. Visitors should expect delays as long as 30 minutes during the length of the project which is expected to be completed by late spring 2010.

In addition to repaving the Bonnie Clare Road, the park is also getting a five mile section of park road from Grapevine Ranger Station to Ubehebe Crater repaved this winter/spring. Beginning January 4, 2010, the parking lot at Ubehebe Crater will be closed during the entire construction phase of this project. This project is expected to be completed sometime in March 2010. Visitors wishing to access the backcountry roads that lead to the Race Track as well as the Big Pine Road to Big Pine, California will still be able to do so. The only closure will be the Ubehebe Crater parking area. Some traffic delays should be expected during the construction period.

For more information check the Road Conditions page of the park’s web site or call 760-786-3200.

Postscript: In February, the store that the Death Valley Natural History Association operates at Scotty's Castle will move to the garage building (first building to your right as you enter the courtyard). At the new location, visitors will be able to purchase tickets for the Castle tours, view exhibits, and buy convenience food.

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