Death Valley Century and Double Century Northern Route

Scotty's Castle, Nevada, Ubeheba Crater, Mud Canyon, Hell's Gate, and More!
Photos by Chris Kostman, 2003: Click the first thumbnail, then scroll thru with the arrows!

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Route Description (North End of the Park)

In 2003 I created this fabulous new route of our ever-popular Death Valley Century and Double Century. As with the southern route, riders do an out-and-back starting and finishing in Furnace Creek, but head north instead of south.

Century: After heading north from Furnace Creek for 17.5 miles, century riders will take the turn-off towards Scotty's Castle. Checkpoint One will be a half-mile later at mile eighteen at a DVNP reststop on the right. We'll continue northbound on almost entirely flat roads until the road pitches upwards into the climb past the Grapevine Ranger Station to the Scotty's Castle checkpoint at mile 54. At this point, century riders will have climbed 3700'. After "lunch" at Scotty's Castle, century riders will retrace their steps back to Furnace Creek, for a 108 mile round-trip ride with 4200' of climbing. (That's right, it's essentially downhill or flat all the way back to Furnace Creek from here.)

Double: Starting about sunrise, double riders will also head north from Furnace Creek on Hwy 190, but will go straight to their first checkpoint at mile 23 at Stovepipe Wells. Then they'll U-turn and head back nine miles to the turn-off to Scotty's Castle. DC checkpoint two will be just after the turn, at mile 33.

After replenishing themselves at their checkpoint three at Scotty's Castle, the double riders will continue up Grapevine Canyon onto the Bonnie Claire Flat in Nevada. At Scotty's Junction at Hwy 95, mile 80.6, double riders will refuel at their checkpoint four. They will have climbed 5300', but now will turn around for a flat or downhill ride back to their "lunch" at Scotty's Castle. But it's not a straight shot back to FC from there. Double riders will enjoy two little bonuses on their return route that century riders will not do. The first is just three miles after Scotty's Castle: the out-and-back 11.7 mile route to see the incredible Ubehebe Crater. Then it's a fast ride back to the morning's second checkpoint just before 190, which is now checkpoint six for the double.

But wait! Before hitting 190, the double riders will enjoy a 6.8 mile, 2000' climb up Mud Canyon to Hell's Gate. Come on, you didn't think all those free miles from way above Scotty's all the way practically to Hwy 190 were really free, did you?? But the view is worth it, and so is the bombing downhill back to Furnace Creek on the Beatty Cutoff! Dedicated race staff and an incredible sunset will help keep you motivated and in good form throughout the day! Total distance for the double: 197. Total elevation gain: 9,000. So about the same as the "normal" route in the south end of the park, but perhaps even more beautiful and fascinating!

More: Extensive route descriptions, including a larger map, elevation profiles, and more, are available for each distance: Click here for the century route and click here for an even more extensive description of the double century route.