Saline Valley

Saline Valley is a large, deep, and arid graben, about 27 miles (43 km) in length, in the northern Mojave Desert of California, a narrow, northwest–southeast-trending tectonic sink defined by fault-block mountains. Most of it became a part of Death Valley National Park when the park was expanded in 1994.

Looking down at the Lippencott Mine Road from the Lippencott Mine, with Saline Valley in the distance.
Looking down at the Lippencott Mine Road from the Lippencott Mine, with Saline Valley in the distance.

Saline Valley is a remote and rugged desert valley located in Inyo County, California. The valley is known for its unique geology, hot springs, and challenging off-road trails that attract adventure-seekers from around the world.

The valley is part of the larger Death Valley National Park and is situated in the northern part of the park. It is home to several hot springs, including the popular Palm Spring and Lower Warm Spring, which are known for their relaxing and therapeutic properties. The hot springs are located in scenic locations, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and desert landscape.

Saline Valley is also home to several historic sites, including the ruins of the former Saline Valley Salt Works, which was one of the largest salt mines in the region during the late 1800s. Visitors can explore the remains of the salt works and learn about the history of the area.

One of the main draws of the area are its off-road trails, which offer a challenging and exciting adventure for off-road enthusiasts. The trails in the area are known for their rugged terrain, steep climbs, and stunning views. The trails range from easy to difficult, and visitors are advised to come well-prepared with a high clearance vehicle, spare tires, and other necessary equipment.

Despite its remote location, Saline Valley has several camping options available. The area offers several primitive campsites with no amenities, as well as a developed campground with basic facilities like pit toilets and fire pits. Visitors should be aware that there is no potable water available in the valley, and they will need to bring their own supplies.

Saline Valley offers a unique and challenging adventure for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. Its hot springs, historic sites, and stunning natural beauty make it a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the rugged desert landscape of California. However, its remote location and challenging terrain may not be suitable for all visitors.

Saline Valley Trails

Lippencott Mine Road from Racetrack Valley, Death Valley National Park, CA

Lippincott Mine Road

The Lippincott Mine Road is a one way trail from Death Valley's Racetrack Playa to Saline Valley. It is a steep trail which is not…
Looking down at the Lippencott Mine Road from the Lippencott Mine, with Saline Valley in the distance.

Warm Springs Road

A short side trip from the Saline Valley Road to the Saline Valley Warm Springs in Death Valley National Park, California. The road is used…

Persons of Interest

Frank "Shorty" Harris

Frank “Shorty” Harris

Frank Harris was a prospector, desert rat and perhaps the best known character in western mining history. He looked the part, often travelling the desert…