Death Valley National Park – Artist’s Drive

Death Valley National Park – Artist’s Drive

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Artist’s Palette, shown above, is a group of colorful minerals deposited close together by volcanic eruptions.  In the sunlight, the minerals appear out of place against the overwhelmingly brown mountainside.

Artist's Palette Sign On Artist's Drive
Artist’s Palette Sign On Artist’s Drive

Artist’s Drive is a nine mile one-way and one-lane roller-coaster  loop winding up and down the mountainside.   The road is narrow and follows narrow canyons with steep walls on either side of the road.  Vehicles (RVs and trailers) over 25 feet are forbidden.  Having driven the road, I would be surprised if a 32 foot class C motorhome could make it around the loop without damaging the sides of the rig.  The turns are that tight and steep canyon walls that close to the road.

The loop entrance can be found between Furnace Creek and Badwater Basin on Badwater Road.

Artist's Drive Turnout With Ample Parking

Artist’s Drive Turnout With Ample Parking

Turnouts along Artist’s Drive provide opportunities for hiking to scenic vistas.  From the above location, the following vista was seen.

Panoramic View From Pullout Hike
Panoramic View From Pullout Hike

Another turnout revealed a glimpse of the Artist’s Palette as shown below.

Artist's Palette
Artist’s Palette

I found the drive and views worthwhile on their own merits.  Much more interesting than Artist’s Palette minerals.  While the mineral colors were vibrant, I was a bit ho-hum about them.

Hope to see you on the road ahead!



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