This is the 15th installment in a series where we highlight great, can’t-miss routes around the world.
Death Valley, CA: Titus Canyon
Adventure Bike Heaven
The cool thing about Adventure bikes, is that they open up riding options that just aren’t practical on other types of motorcycles. Of course, a true dual-sport motorcycle is considerably better off road, and a touring bike is way more tolerable over long distances, but an ADV bike does everything so well, that it’s hard to deny their appeal.
California’s Death Valley National Park is like no place on Earth, but to really experience the park, you need to get off the beaten path and explore. Once you leave the highly traveled park roads, you will find scenery that only a handful of adventurous souls will ever get to see. Titus Canyon is for sure our favorite.
Just off the 374 you can find Titus Canyon Road, which is one way from east to west. It starts out as a rugged dirt road, but quickly transforms into a desert wash the deeper you get into the bowels of the canyon itself. The scenery within the canyon is amazing with sheer cliffs rising on either side of the road and countless twists and bends providing plenty of excitement. The route can be challenging as there is a lot of sand, gravel, and then more sand, and more gravel.
Death Valley obviously doesn’t see a lot of rain, but if you happen to be there during the odd chance that it does rain, Titus is probably not the safest place to be. Desert flash floods can happen quickly and there is no place to hide within the canyon itself.
Like all of Death Valley, we would avoid the park in the middle of the summer unless you are truly masochistic. We would recommend either the spring or fall, but winter can be an amazing time, as well. If you decide to ride the California Backcountry Discovery Route South, the route will take you right through Titus.
Our lollipop loop starts and ends at the Furnace Creek ranch, which has nice rooms, good food, and a fun bar. Or you can go upscale across the road and check out the Furnace Creek Inn. Just remember that peak season for the area starts in the fall when temperatures become pleasant and the crowds start to roll in.