Photo of destroyed section of Salt Creek Boardwalk adjacent to Salt Creek in Death Valley.

Reconstruct Salt Creek Boardwalk, Parking Lot, and Road

Death Valley National Park » Reconstruct Salt Creek Boardwalk, Parking Lot, and Road » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) proposes to replace Salt Creek Boardwalk in Death Valley National Park. The NPS is planning this project in partnership with the Federal Highways Administration.

Salt Creek is the only habitat for the Salt Creek pupfish (Cyprinodon salinus ssp. salinus), which is a species of high concern in the State of California. A ½-mile raised wooden boardwalk used to provide people easy access to view the pupfish and the desert creek, without damaging the fragile riparian habitat.

A historic flash flood on August 5, 2022, destroyed the boardwalk and carried pieces of it over a mile into designated Wilderness. The flood damaged the unpaved access road, obliterated the parking area, and damaged the vault toilet beyond repair. The flood even changed Salt Creek itself: the stream bed shifted and carved several feet downward.

The NPS proposes to replace the accessible boardwalk, access road, parking lot, toilet and interpretive signs to maintain opportunities to view the endemic Salt Creek pupfish while simultaneously protecting the fish and its fragile habitat. The park proposes to remove damaged infrastructure debris, some of which is now in Wilderness. NPS has funding for this project from federal sources and a donation from Death Valley Natural History Association.

The replacement boardwalk cannot be reconstructed in the previous alignment because the flood changed the terrain. Therefore, the NPS is studying new potential boardwalk alignments adjacent to and crossing the creek.

We're looking for your comments! Click the "Open For Comment" link to the left. Comments will be accepted from February 21 through March 25, 2023.

Commenters should be aware that their entire comment - including personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While commenters can ask that their personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee that this will be possible.

Contact Information

Abby Wines