About ten miles south of Furnace Creek, a one-lane road loop takes the Death Valley National Park’s visitors back into the hills for a colorful excursion through the colorful badlands. Geographically, this area sits close to but well below Zabriskie Point. The road loop, Artist Drive, is about 9 miles long. With an average speed around 15 mph and a smooth, rolling road, a bike would be great way to experience this portion of the park. No matter the mode of transport, visiting towards the end of the day in the setting sun is best.
In the truck, with stops and all, the loop took us about 45-minutes. Along the way, the vivid soft and eroding yellow and orange toned rocks can be seen in all directions. Higher on the hillside, the Death Valley’s salt flats can be seen in the distance on the valley floor. At Artist Palette, a stop lets visitors view a pink and blue mineral rich outcropping centered amongst the yellow badlands. We even spotted an actual artist working along the way. I guess they call this route Artist Drive for a reason.