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Flooding at Death Valley temporarily closes Scotty's Castle, road to Badwater

Flooding at Death Valley temporarily closes Scotty's Castle, road to Badwater
Road damage and mudslide from rain Sunday at Death Valley National Park. (National Park Service)

Popular tourist spots at Death Valley National Park remained closed Monday after a deluge of rain flooded the park Sunday, stranding visitors and blocking the major east-west California 190 that cuts through the park.

As of Monday, part of Badwater Road -- which leads to the lowest point in the U.S. at 282 feet below sea level -- Dante's View Road and popular dirt tracks to Golden and Titus canyons are closed. However, another well-known park stop, Zabriskie Point, remains open.

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"If you want to get the full-blown Death Valley experience, today is not your day," spokeswoman Linda Slater said Monday.

The park reported receiving just over half an inch of rain Sunday. It started at 10 a.m. and then became heavy between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Flash floods closed parts of California 190, and visitors were directed to wait out the storm at the Furnace Creek visitor complex.

The road reopened around 4 p.m. Sunday, and remained open Monday during light rainfall at the park.

If you're going for a visit? Slater couldn't say exactly when roads inside the park would reopen because damage was still being assessed. But she expects access to improve by this weekend, when temperatures again are forecast to be sunny and clear.

"By the weekend, it's supposed to be over 100," Slater says. "And most things will be back to normal."

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