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Death Valley Cycling 50-Miler Award

White Mountain.jpg

Sponsoring Council

Orange County

Award Dimensions

5'' Diameter


Research and plan and ride a cycling route of approximately 50 miles (plus or minus 5 miles) in Death Valley National Park.

Map Link (where applicable)

External Reference (where applicable)

Detailed Requirements


This award was developed and sponsored by Assistant Scoutmaster and cyclist Keith Clark and Troop 1210 (Foothills Church) Rancho Santa Margarita, California.


1.  Research and plan and ride a cycling route of approximately 50 miles (plus or minus 5 miles) in Death Valley National Park. Possible routes include but are not limited to:

  • Mesquite Springs to Harmony Borax Works...approximately 50 miles...1800 feet MSL to -200 feet MSL...nice and long, slight downhill route...easy to monitor riders.

  • Emigrant Camp to Badwater Basin...approximately 48 miles...2100 feet MSL to -292 feet MSL...nice downhill early with gradual descent...easy to monitor riders...slightly less safe route due to early descent from Emigrant Camp...more complicated logistics due to start and finish points.

  • Leadfield (ghost town) on Titus Canyon Road to Furnace Creek...approximately 45 miles...4000 feet MSL to -200 feet MSL...mountain bikes required first half due to rocky dirt road...downhill ... overall...tougher to monitor riders...riskier

2.  Comply with all Death Valley National Park rules and regulations.  Well in advance of the ride date, contact Death Valley Education Office for approval. A special use permit is required for a group of 20 riders or more.

3.  Proper SAG (“support and gear” in the cycling world) logistics is essential for a Scouting cycling 50-miler in Death Valley...having enthusiastic adults to help out is critical to a successful ride. SAG stops should be established ahead of the riders arrival and organized so as not to impede motor vehicle traffic flow.

4.  Furnace Creek is the only Death Valley campsite that takes reservations and has two group sites. For all other campsites, an advance party is required to save sites for all participants. This is important if the selected route involves camping at any campground other than Furnace Creek.

route, but fun and challenging...more complex logistics.

5.  Ideally, this award should be attempted as the last requirement for the Cycling Merit Badge.

6.  Comply wiht Bike Safety in Guide to Safe Scouting.


1. Death Valley National Park Recreation Map: Tom Harrison Maps, San Rafael, CA, 2010.

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