Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.75879°N / 116.90895°W
Additional Information County: Inyo
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 5000 ft / 1524 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Last light on  Black Desert Dome
Last light on Black Desert Dome
"Black Desert Dome" (unnamed on topo) is a dark rounded mountain composed of sedimentary rock from the Paleozoic Era at the north end of the Funeral Mountains a few miles south of Daylight Pass in Death Valley National Park. This is an easily approachable straight forward day hike that can be done in a few hours from an unpaved canyon road less than 2 miles from Hwy. 374, the road to Beatty Nevada. It has good views north as far as Wahguyhe Peak in the Grapevine Mountains, northeast to the Bullfrog Hills and the Bare Mountains in Nevada and south to Chloride Cliffs and the northern highpoints of the Funerals. The Dome is a class one hike of about 2 miles round trip and 1,300' gain.

Getting There

South from  Daylight Peak
South from Daylight Peak. Black Desert Dome below left
From Stovepipe Wells: Go 7.5 miles east on Hwy. 190 to the junction going north to Scotty's Castle. Go left less than a 10th mile and turn right on Hwy. 374 (the road to Beatty Nv.). Go 10.2 miles (past Hell's Gate) to a dirt road (at least 2-wheel drive high clearance). Drive in about 1.2 miles and park where you will. The Dome is above, a short hike to the east.

From Furnace Creek: Go north 11 miles on Hwy. 190 to the Beatty Cutoff. Continue right on Beatty Cutoff another 11 miles to Hell's Gate at the junction with Hwy. 374. Go right on 374 3.5 miles to a dirt road going into the canyon on the right and follow the rest of the directions above.


West toward Death Valley from Black Desert Dome
West toward Death Valley from Black Desert Dome
The Dome is above, a short scramble hike to the east on typical sagebrush desert terrain.

Red Tape

Unnamed desert peaks by Daylight Pass
Peaks by Daylight Pass from Black Desert Dome
There is a 20 dollar entrance fee into Death Valley National Park good for 7 days based on the honor system. 80 dollars will get you an America the Beautiful Federal Lands and Recreations pass good for all National Parks for 1 year from the date of purchase.

When to Climb

Black Desert Dome, left,  from Sawtooth Mountain
Black Desert Dome, left, from the Bullfrog Hills
Best time is the spring months or anytime except summer when temps get well over 100 degrees in the valley.


South from Black Desert Dome,  Funeral Mountains
South from Black Desert Dome
For Camping in Death Valley National Park click here.

You can also car camp outside the national park boundaries on the unpaved road to Chloride Cliffs. Go 4.5 miles from Daylight Pass towards Beatty on Hwy. 374 and turn right (south) at a dirt junction. Drive in as far as you like and find a pull-out off the road. 2 wheel drive is ok.

Death Valley weather and 10 day forecast

Click here for the current weather and 10 day forecast.