The first day we will assemble in Las Vegas and drive close to the National Park, positioning ourselves for the first day of riding. We will have time to get our bikes fitted and have an orientation dinner.
Day 2, after breakfast and a short shuttle, we will enter the park from a northern entrance on Daylight Pass Road. There is a small climb to Daylight Pass, then it is a mostly downhill ride past Hell’s Gate and through Mud Canyon and across Mequite Flats to our hotel at Stovepipe Wells. As we ride west, we are passing through the divide between the Grapevine and Funeral mountain ranges, and the magnificent Panamint Range is in front of us. Once in the valley, you can hop off your bike to admire Mesquite Flats, one of the largest sand dune networks in the United States, before we head to the outdoor pool at the resort.
Day 3 it is off to Ubehebe Crater. We’ll start with a short shuttle to reduce mileage across the relatively flat valley. Once riding, the grade is gentle as you slowly rise to the Crater Rim level. We’ll have a chance to hike down into the crater, or just enjoy the views from the rim. The return ride will be a breeze as we coast back downhill, amazed at how much we climbed without noticing.
Day 4 is moving day, as we leave the Stovepipe area for Furnace Creek through striking desert terrain. We will descend through the Salt Creek valley . Notice the Great Salt Flats shimmering in the distance—the mirage makes it appear as if we reached the ocean’s shore. Be sure to make a stop at Harmony Borax Works, once the central feature of the Death Valley. There will be time to stop at the visitor center and the Borax Museum to learn more about the area’s natural history. A spring-fed, Olympic-size pool and golf course will await us at the Oasis Ranch.
A climbing challenge awaits you on Day 5 as we head to Dante’s View. We set out from the Oasis Resort on a gently ascending warm-up stretch across beautiful wide valleys. Early in our ride we will stop at Zabriskie Point to enjoy the views, then it is back to the bikes. After about 20 miles, the grade increases. The last mile to the top has switch- backs and a steep grade winding through a narrow canyon to the top. The colorful manganese- and iron-rich hillsides and lizards zipping through the brush alongside the road provide a nice distraction during our push to the top. The spectacular 360-degree panorama from Dante’s View makes the effort worthwhile. You can see for miles in every direction! On a clear February day it’s possible to spot the highest point in the park (snow- dusted Telescope Peak at 11,049 feet) and the lowest (Badwater at 282 feet below sea level) simultaneously. Take in the incredible vista while enjoying lunch before zooming back downhill.
For our last day of riding On Day 6, we pedal off to Badwater in the morning. The road is relatively level, but for a challenge you can take the turn for Artist’s Palette, where there is a 2000 ft climb in 8 miles, with a couple of short and sweet steep sections. It gives a great view of the valley below, not to mention the sense of accomplishment from conquering one more Death Valley hill. From the high point, we cruise down to the lowest point in the United States: Badwater Basin. After exploration time, we will shuttle back to Las Vegas for the conclusion of our Death Valley Cycling Tour.