Huge variations in temperature and elevation make Death Valley National Park a truly diverse and extreme environment. Rugged dirt roads connect expansive salt flats to narrow, rock-walled canyons, climbing upwards into cool, forested mountains. Extensive options await experienced, self-supported backcountry cyclists: check ahead with the NPS for trails open to mountain bikes. Fat, high-volume bike tires are essential for the loose rock and sandy roads, and water is scarce – make sure you bring enough for the whole day. Plan your adventure for late fall or early spring to avoid the record high temperatures that helped give Death Valley its name.