Teakettle Junction in Death Valley

Teakettle Junction is one of the unique places in the middle of no where that draws visitors see it while on the road to the Racetrack Playa. Not a lot of history is known about this place, but a couple locals told me that it is said to have been put here to show early settlers that there is water near. I don’t know how true that is as we saw no water, or even signs of water the entire time we were here, but regardless it is an interesting site.

Teakettle Junction marks the 21st mile on the Racetrack road as you are making your way to the dry lakebed where the rocks seem to move on their own. it is also the place where you can turn off to make your way up to Lost Burro Mine and explore some of the neighboring mountains. It should be noted that all of this is only accessible via a vehicle with four wheel drive as you must drive 21 miles down a dirt rod to even get to the junction.

The tradition is to bring a new teakettle and to either inscribe your message on it, or to write a message and put it in it. This is said to bring good luck to those that leave a kettle and to provide an interesting sign for future travelers. I found this junction a lot of fun and really enjoyed checking it out. It is great place to stop during your trip to the racetrack as it lets you get out of the car and stretch while checking out this unique sight.

Also of note many carriers will actually have service in this area, in case you needed to reach someone or were stranded while driving. I’m sure the service is poor and there is no guarantee it will be there when you go, but when I was there with AT & T I had bars so it was good to know I could make a call here if needed.

Why are there sometimes no tea kettles at Teakettle Junction?

I was told that a couple times a year the locals will go out and clean off the tea kettles in order to give them back out to the wanders making their way out to the junction. This is done so that everyone can be involved and add a kettle even if they didn’t bring one. I am not 100% sure this is the case as to why there sometimes are not kettles there but that is what I have been told.

Let me know what you think in the comments and check out the other posts on Death Valley as well.

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  • Groop

    Went out on Saturday. All the tea kettles are gone. Don’t know if the NPS did it…

    • http://californiathroughmylens.com JoshMc


      When I was there they told me that the teakettles get taken down every once in a while to be washed off and then re added again by new folks making the journey out there, so maybe you were there during this time.