GPS Coordinates: 36.400935, -117.278099 (36°24’03.4″N 117°16’41.2″W)
Towne Pass is a stretch of windy road that connects the Panamint Valley and Stovepipe Wells with an incredible view along the way.
At an elevation level, just shy of 5000 feet, this part of the peak will likely be much cooler than the lower point. There are quite a few vistas points along this route. Most of them are unmarked and you can pull over to soak in the view at any one of them.
What makes this pass great is not just the winding road, but also the amazing view that you can see in all directions as you travel through it. This certainly would make the drive up a lot more interesting as you explore Death Valley. You can enjoy the effects of the sun hitting on the slopes, especially during sunset and sunrise. This creates a great glow that almost is magical.
This stretch of the road is popular among bicyclist and it’s one of the highest ranked climbs in Death Valley. Since 1989, The Furnace Creek 508, a marathon bicycle event, takes place in October every year. This event starts at Santa Clarita, passes through Towne Pass and into Death Valley, crossing Mojave deserts, and ends at Twentynine Palms.
So while cruising through the winding roads and enjoying the scene, do watch out for the bicyclist on both the directions.
During the winter season, you will see several inches of snow at this elevation.
Best Time to Visit
This pass is a great place to drive through during all the seasons. This is a drive through on your way to Death Valley from Panamint Valley. The view and drive are especially spectacular at sunrise and sunset when the soft light from the sun reflects through the mountains. Do note that the pass does get some snow in the winter and could be closed.
Recommended Camera Gear
- Digital Camera with Normal to Mid-Range Zoom Lens
How to get there
Take HWY 190 from Panamint Springs and drive east towards Death Valley
Place to Stay
Closest Campsites are at Panamint Springs and Emigrant Campsite
Pictorial Highlights from this place…