Top Ten National Parks for Biking

Death Valley National Park
While the number of bike-friendly trails in some national parks leaves you hungry for more, Death Valley 's 3.3 million acres offer a vast smorgasbord of backcountry roads. Besides being a great place to ride, this California park offers an amazing environment of extremes.

Within Death Valley you'll find the nation's lowest point and highest recorded temperature—282 feet below sea level and 134 degrees Fahrenheit. At the same time, the park hits a geologic high of 11,049 feet, and the chill of night can sink down near zero. Death Valley is surrounded by nine mountain ranges and marked by ghost towns and narrow canyons. You can't possibly explore everything on one trip, so start small, stay hydrated, and enjoy the ride.

On the Road

To take in Death Valley's highs and lows, take on the steeps of Dante's View Road. This 27-mile out-and-back road ride makes a serious climb to the top of the Black Mountains, the eastern boundary of the park. Be sure to layer for this ride—you'll work up a good sweat as you ascend, and at 5,475 feet, the top's a lot colder than the valley floor. Dante's View looks down on Badwater, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, and up toward Telescope Mountain (11,049 feet), the park's western boundary and highest point. Before you coast down, take a seat and take in the High Sierras.

Note: Riding between October and April is best to beat the heat. Get an early start to avoid motor traffic.


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