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Teakettle Camp
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park
Teakettle Camp
Teakettle Camp
Teakettle Camp (view southwest)

Overview

Teakettle Camp, located deep in the heart of Death Valley National Park and surrounded by the Death Valley Wilderness Area, is the last legal place to camp along Racetrack Road before getting to the Racetrack Playa and its moving rocks.

Teakettle Camp is not much of a campground. It is merely a graded area parallel to, and not far from, Racetrack Road. There are no amenities, no restrooms, campfires are illegal, and gathering firewood is unlawful. Teakettle Junction, with its famous and well ornamented sign, however, is only a few hundred feet away.

Link to map.

Teakettle Camp
Teakettle Camp (view northeast)

For some people, driving the Racetrack Road is too much effort to spend just one day, and for others, hikes in the area are too long for a day hike, so they prefer to camp near the playa and reduce driving time on the day of the hike. Some just like wild places.

Technically, it is legal to camp anywhere along Racetrack Road between 2 miles from the paved Ubehebe Road and Teakettle Junction. However, after years of grading, the road now runs in a ditch and it is not possible to legally leave the roadway along most the road. I've slept in a wide spot along the road, but Teakettle Camp is the only place to really get off the road and camp. Beyond Teakettle Camp, campers must drive about 10 more miles (2.0 miles past Racetrack Playa Trailhead Parking) to Homestake Dry Camp before stopping to camp.

Teakettle Camp
If you miss the camp area, watch for the cairn!

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...there are no particular hazards in this area, but watch for people driving too fast on "Racetrack" road. Ensure that your spare tire is in good condition, and bring plenty of water. For details of issues associated with the journey, see the Racetrack Road webpage.

Teakettle Camp
Camping in a wide spot along the road (view SW)

Getting to Teakettle Camp

Teakettle Camp is located along Racetrack Road in the north end of Death Valley National Park, about 5 hours northwest of Las Vegas.

From town, drive out to Death Valley. From the Furnace Creek Visitor Center (Table 1, Site 0712), drive north about 50 miles to the Grapevine Ranger Station. Continue north for 0.2 miles, then turn left onto Ubehebe Crater Road and drive northwest for 5.7 miles to Racetrack Road (Site 0756). Turn right onto Racetrack Road and drive 19.4 miles to Teakettle Camp (Site 1052), which is about 0.1 miles short of Teakettle Junction (Site 0757), which has a well-adorned road sign. For details of the journey, see the Racetrack Road webpage.

Teakettle Junction
Teakettle Junction Sign
Teakettle Camp
Teakettle Junction - Racetrack Road at Hunter Mtn Road

Table 1. Highway Coordinates (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site # Location Latitude (°N) Longitude (°W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (feet) Verified
0712 Furnace Creek Visitor Center 36.46159 116.86574 512030 4034954 -186 Yes
0756 Ubehebe Crater Rd at Racetrack Rd 37.01291 117.45699 459345 4096199 2,515 Yes
0757 Racetrack Rd at Teakettle Jct 36.76008 117.54142 451674 4068192 4,143 Yes
1052 Teakettle Campground 36.76039 117.54061 451747 4068226 4,153 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 110327

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