||A unique geological area in
the northern part of the park with a 2 x 3 mile
playa (mud flat) and racing rocks. Not to take
away the mystery, but the most widely held
theory about why the rocks move is that during
rain, heavy fog or dew, a slick, mud surface forms on
the surface of the playa which allows the rocks
to slide around during heavy winds. Other
theories include that the rocks are alive or
something about little gnomes playing
shuffleboard. Some of the racing rocks are as
heavy as 700 lbs and have been tracked as moving
as far as 790 meters (2600 feet).
||From Scotty's Castle, drive
south towards the park. Turn right at the signed
intersection just outside the Park's entrance
and drive 5 miles to the signed road for the
Racetrack near Ubehebe Crater. Drive 26 miles
(stay right at Teakettle Junction) to the
||High Clearance Vehicle
Note: If driving this route in the summer, make
sure you have a reliable vehicle, good tires and
are carrying plenty of water. This would not be
a good place for your car to break down.
||A couple hours to all day
||Cloudy, cold and extremely
||If the playa is dry you can
hike all over it. If it's wet, don't ruin it for
everyone else and track your muddy footprints
all over the place. You'll see evidence of
others who weren't so considerate.
Two good hikes:
1) From the Grandstand sign post, walk out and
2) From the parking lot on the south end of the
Racetrack hike to the southeast corner of the
playa where you'll find the greatest
concentration of moving rocks.
|Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and his wife
hiked out and around the Grandstand, then did a
little hiking in the central and southern
section of the Racetrack. The southeastern
portion was wet, so we didn't get to see the
best area for moving rocks.
||Trails Illustrated - Death
Valley National Park
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