The Henry Wade Escape Route is an easy 4×4 trail suitable for almost any vehicle and connects highway 127 to Badwater Road. The route is usually dry and easily passable, however can be rough going in the wet. The spring wildflowers may offer amazing scenery for those who travel at this time.
Henry Wade like many men of his time, sought his fortune in California on the news of the gold discover which lead to a historic gold rush. In 1849, a group of about one hundred wagons, led by Jefferson Hunt entered Death Valley en route from Utah. The caravan was searching for a shortcut from the Old Spanish Trail to the booming gold rush of California. Soon discovered they were in real trouble, bogged down in the sane and heat of the Mojave. Several men died, which may have provided Death Valley with its name. Henry Wade led the expedition from Death Valley roughly along the escape route which bears his name and eventually found their way through Cajon Pass into Southern California. Although the exact route is debated, Henry Wade led is group out of Death Valley via the south entrance.
Harry Wade Exit Route – Some 100 wagons found themselves in Salt Lake City too late to cross the Sierra Nevada. They banded together under the name of Sand Walking Co. and started for the gold fields in California over the Old Spanish Trail. After being in Death Valley with the ill-fated 1849 caravan, Harry Wade found this exit route for his ox-drawn wagon, thereby saving his life and those of his wife and children. At this point the Wade party came upon the known Spanish Trail to Cajon Pass.Highway Placard on Hgwy 127