Two Guys Attempted To Drive Directly Through Death Valley and Almost Died
Death Valley National Park is more than just a clever name to describe the desolate wilderness in Southern California. It is 5,270 square miles of dirt, salt, and sand, is known for being one of the hottest places on Earth, and is home to only a small handful of American tribes native to the region. So it’s fair to say that this isn’t the kind of place the average human would want to find themselves stuck in. That is unless they’ve got reliable means of transportation like our Baja Beetle project.
A Near-Death Experience in Death Valley
This is because, according to a report by CBS, two men found themselves stranded in the middle of the National Park after one wrong turn sent them down the plot of a survival/horror movie. Only July 4th, the two men misread their GPS to eventually find themselves lost in the middle of Death Valley. With no cell service is most of the park, digital navigation was no use and they were running low on gas.
In a statement released by the National Park, “In remote locations like Death Valley National Park, GPS navigation can be unreliable and there is no cell phone service in most of the park. Visitors should travel with an up-to-date road map. It is safest to stay on paved roads during the summer heat.”
In an attempt to find Badwater Road, which is the main paved road located in the Southern region of the park, the two men decided to drive their Chevy Malibu directly through the salt flat, according to park service officials.
Unfortunately for them, the car was trapped in mud after less than a mile into their shortcut.
What Happened Next?
Now with no cell service and no means of transportation, the only way out of their situation is to make the rest of the journey by foot… through Death Valley… during one of the hottest months of the year where temperatures can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
The two men were able to walk a mile before reaching Badwater Road, and an additional 12 miles North. By 3 AM, decided to do the one thing that happens in every horror movie… they split up.
The Happy Ending
After another six miles of walking North, one of the men was picked up by visitors around 8 AM and was taken to Furnace Creek where he was able to call for help for his companion.
Eventually, the same visitors were able to drive back and find the second man, who was suffering from symptoms of heat illness, and needed to be transported to the hospital.
Following this ordeal, the two men were issued a mandatory court appearance for illegally driving off-road and causing damage to the park. While charges and fines are pending, the two men are likely more thankful just for being alive. Especially due to the fact that the lowest temperature in the valley reached on the evening of this ordeal was 90 degrees Fahrenheit.