Twenty Mule Team Trail

Desert trail NE of California City following the route of the famous Twenty Mule Teams.

photo: Twenty Mule Team. Photo by NPS. Type: Backcountry
Length: 12.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Agency: Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: Desert trail NE of California City.
States: California
Counties: Kern
Latitude: 35.17133   Longitude: -117.83774

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Description

For many people, nothing symbolizes Death Valley more than the famous Twenty Mule Teams. These "big teams" pulled massive wagons hauling borax from the Harmony Borax Works near Furnace Creek to the railhead near Mojave, a grueling 165 mile, ten day trip across primitive roads. Although the teams only ran for six years--1883 to 1889--they have made an enduring impression of the Old West. This is primarily due to a successful advertising campaign promoting 20-Mule-Team Borax Soap and the long-running Death Valley Days radio and television program. Today the twenty mule teams are only a fond memory, but you may see two of the last remaining wagons here in Death Valley. One is in front of the Furnace Creek Ranch and the other is at Harmony Borax Works.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Year Designated: 1975

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: History of the trail

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail management:
East Kern Historical Museum Society
P.O. Box 2305
California City , CA 93504

 

Photos

Dusty Trail courtesy of Owens Valley History. Photo by Harold O. Weight.

Dusty Trail courtesy of Owens Valley History. Photo by Harold O. Weight.

Twenty Mule Team. Photo by NPS.

Twenty Mule Team. Photo by NPS.

 

Big Wagon. Photo by NPS.

Big Wagon. Photo by NPS.

NRT Dedication Program 1975. Photo by E. Kern Hist Museum Society.

NRT Dedication Program 1975. Photo by E. Kern Hist Museum Society.

 

Trail dedication letter. Photo by E. Kern Hist Museum Society.

Trail dedication letter. Photo by E. Kern Hist Museum Society.

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