Roads and Trails – Death Valley National Park CA


The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was present in the newly-minted Death Valley National Monument  from 1933 to 1942.  

At the time, Death Valley had almost no developed roads or other infrastructure.  So the CCC ‘boys’ laid out the basic road system, grading over 500 miles (800 km) of roads.  Most of the modern roads in the park are, therefore, paved and improved versions of CCC roads.   

The CCC also built roads and trails to points of scenic interest, such as Ubehebe crater, Artists’ Palette and Golden Canyon.  The longest and highest trail was to Telescope Peak in the Panamint Mountains on the western flank of Death Valley (inaccessible in Winter), which took off from the Wildrose camp and road.

Death Valley was proclaimed a national monument by President Herbert Hoover on February 11, 1933, just before he left office.  Hoover set aside almost two million acres (8,000 km2) of southeastern California and small parts of southwestern Nevada. Death Valley is both the lowest and hottest place in the Americas.

Death Valley became a National Park in 1994, in part due to the massive scarring of the landscape produced by continued surface mining allowed by Congress in national monuments. Public outcry  led to greater protection for all national park and monument areas in the country at the end of the 20th century.


Source notes

Smith, Linda Greene and Judy Palmer, 2011. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Death Valley (1933-1942): A Brief CCC History and Visitor Guide. Amargosa Conservancy.

National Park Service webpage on the CCC in Death Valley

Wikipedia on Death Valley

Our Mark on This Land: A Guide to the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in America's Parks by Ren & Helen Davis (McDonald & Woodward Publishing, Granville, OH, 2011)


Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on December 22, 2008.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker, Joan Greer.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Death Valley National Park, CA 92328

Location notes: This is the "center" of the park. CCC roadwork covered hundreds of square miles across the park.

Coordinates: 36.461641, -116.866722

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