Titus Canyon Road is is a popular touring route during the spring wildflower bloom season and the majestic views certainly are rewarding. All it takes is a little bit of rain to bring the desert to life, while a winter of heavy rainfall will guarantee an extensive blooming season. Some years are better than others for desert wildflower blooms and the recent severe drought conditions have a negative effect in this arena. However, the mile high mountains surrounding Death Valley nearly always have some winter snowfall and there are high elevation meadow pockets that gain enough moisture for reliable blooms, which is where Titus Canyon Road fits into the picture.
Titus Canyon Road is a 26 mile one way touring route that begins just west of Beatty, Nevada and ends a few miles north of Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley. Titus Canton Road is closed seasonally for the winter and the best times of year for this trek are fall or spring, since the summertime temperatures tend to be well over 110º F. This moderately lengthy dirt road through the mountain pass canyons is a bit too rough for regular passenger cars and a 4x4 high ground clearance vehicle is recommended. The road passes through several steep mountain dry washes, which can turn into raging rivers with heavy rain, so checking the weather forecast is best to do. Fortunately or not, the road conditions are nearly always bone dry and the biggest concern for drivers will be flat tires. These mountains are composed of a wide array of rock strata and there are jagged shards to contend with on this trail, so a spare tire or a tire plug kit will help to prevent being stranded. This is also a popular biking trail and tire repair kit will come in handy for these folks too.
If the desert spring season wildflower flush turns out to be a dud, all is not lost because the majestic landscape will certainly make up the difference. This is a mineral rich region that has seen a wide range of geological events, so the terrain will naturally fascinate those who are into the earth sciences. There are towering rhyolite bluffs, volcanic peaks, granite outcrops and all sorts of mineral rich veins running through the mountains that create mesmerizing colors and textures. A landscape artist will have plenty of subject material to choose from, especially if one is lucky enough to do this trip during an extensive spring wildflower bloom.
Titus Canyon Road used to be the only road heading west into Death Valley, so plenty of history was made along this dusty trail. There are several points of interest to take note of along this 26 mile downhill trek, which includes Leadfield Ghost Town, an ancient indigenous rock art site and the infamous Titus Canyon Narrows. Leadfield is an interesting study in itself, because this mining camp was established back in the 1920s at a time when get rich quick schemes were running rampant throughout the Death Valley region. Basically, Leadfield was established with nothing more than investment fraud for financial backing, so this tiny town was doomed from the start. A few tin buildings and concrete slabs still remain, which are very photogenic, so be sure to pack a camera for the ride. Leadfield truly is a ghost town that will fascinate visitors of all ages, so be sure to set aside ample time when touring Titus Canyon!
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