Road To Adventure

Road To Adventure (HM1Y6R)

Location: Stovepipe Wells, CA 92328 Inyo County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 36.367', W 117° 8.785'

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The first resort on this site, originally named "Bungalette City," was opened on November 1, 1926. Owned and operated by Herman William (Bob) and Helene Eichbaum, this resort was the first attempt to provide full scale tourist services in Death Valley. The complex consisted of twenty small tent cabins supplemented by several larger buildings and army tents. Other attractions included electric lights, running water, good food and scenic tours. Trail rides led by famous old-time prospectors and sightseeing rides in the comfort of large Buick sedans were some of the activities offered. A revolving beacon light on the roof of the main building guided wanderers to the desert oasis. Although crude by modern standards the resort became a popular attraction in the region.Eichbaum recognized that the success of his enterprise was dependent upon accessability. Death Valley was accessable only by ungraded and unmaintained "roads" most of which were originally wagon trails. Eichbaum gained approval from the Inyo County Board of Supervisors for construction of a 30.35 mile toll road to run from Darwin Wash, across Panamint Valley, and over Towne Pass terminating at his resort. Construction of the road, which began in 1925, was a tremendous technical achievment due to ruggedness of terrain, steepness of mountain grades
and shifting sands of the desert floor. In spite of occasional washouts and mudslides the road was completed in May 1926. Barely of passing width, its steep grades contained curves that often necessitated considerable backing to negotiate the turns. Completion of the Eichbaum toll road allowed direct vehicular access from Los Angeles via Owens Valley, enabling thousands of visitors previously deterred by lack of good roads and of dining and sleeping facilities in the valley to finally experience for themselves the scenic and historic features of the region.On February 11, 1933, a year after Eichbaum's death, Death Valley National Monument was created by presidential proclamation. A year later the Eichbaum toll road was purchased by the California Division of Highways. Today, State Highway 190 closely follows the old toll road. Two sections were changed; one near the summit of Towne Pass and the other at this location. The original road ran between the present registration buildings and guest cabins where you are now standing. In 1934 the road was realigned from this location to its location on the north side of the registration building.A segment of the original to road may be seen by walking to the end of the motel unit to your left. If you had entered Death Valley from the west prior to 1934 you probably would have entered via this toll road. Perhaps, by viewing
this segment of Death Valley's history you may be able to imagine the adventure of visiting Bungalette City and Death Valley in the early days.This Wayside Made Possible by a Donation From The Death Valley 49ers
HM NumberHM1Y6R
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 7th, 2017 at 1:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 486905 N 4051189
Decimal Degrees36.60611667, -117.14641667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 36.367', W 117° 8.785'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 36' 22.02" N, 117° 8' 47.1" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)760
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10 CA-190, Stovepipe Wells CA 92328, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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