Death Valley is the largest National Park in continental USA, and it does not provide public transportation. It’s important to take good care of your car because driving is essential here.
If your car breaks down, the National Park Service recommends that you stay with your vehicle and wait for help. They advise against walking to find help in the desert sun. If you get stranded, try to get out of the sun and drink plenty of water. Always keep enough water in the car in case of an emergency.
Death Valley is a vast area, so make sure you have plenty of gas before you set off anywhere within the Park. There are only four gas stations – Furnace Creek Ranch, Scotty’s Castle, Panamint Springs resort and Stovepipe Wells Village. Don’t take any chances thinking you can make it to the next station.
Elevation can be a factor for your car’s performance. Many older cars are not calibrated to handle elevations below sea level. If your gauges light up and you’re concerned about vehicle performance, you can get it checked at the small garage in Furnace Creek gas station. Otherwise, the nearest town where you can get major car repair is Beatty, Nevada, about 40 miles from Furnace Creek.
Many points of interest require long drives on dirt or gravel roads. Stay away from dirt roads if you don’t have a reliable 4×4 or high-clearance vehicle.
In the summer, check your vehicle gauges frequently. Radiator water is available from storage tanks along the roads. If your car develops vapor lock, wrap a wet rag around the fuel pump and line to speed cooling. And if your car breaks down, stay with it.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about car care in Death Valley.