Careless Driver Destroys Historic Death Valley Tower While Using It To Pull Vehicle From Mud

The damage happened sometime between April 1 and April 24, 2024.

An irresponsible driver knocked over a historic 113-year-old salt tram tower in Death Valley National Park, New York Post reported. According to the National Parks Service (NPS), the tower which is a part of the Saline Valley Salt Tram was pulled down from its concrete footing and tossed into the mud sometime between April 1 and April 24. 

The NPS further said that the nearby tyre tracks show that a vehicle drove off the road a bit and got stuck in the mud. By using the tower to get the car out, they pulled the structure’s concrete anchors out of the ground, knocking the whole thing on its side.

Notably, the wooden tower was part of the 13-mile aerial tram the Saline Valley Salt Company built in 1911. It was used to transport salt from Saline Valley to Owens Valley and traversed more than 7,000 feet upward in elevation. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its age, length, steepness, preservation, and location.

National Park officials are now asking for the public’s help in finding the person responsible for the damage. 

”The National Park Service (NPS) seeks information about recent damage to a historic salt tram tower in Saline Valley. It appears the 113-year-old tower was pulled over while a person used a winch to extract their vehicle out of deep mud. The damage happened sometime between April 1 and April 24, 2024, the National Park Service said in a statement. 

Before this damage, the National Park Service had a project planned to stabilize the tram towers. 

The Death Valley National Park Superintendent, Mike Reynolds, expressed disappointment over the damage to the historic tower and urged the responsible party to come forward to discuss restitution.

”I have hiked along sections of this tramway, and am amazed by the tenacity it took to build. I hope the person responsible for this damage will contact us so we can discuss restitution,” Superintendent Mike Reynolds said in a statement.