LAS VEGAS — A park official says 10 miles of tire tracks recently left by an illegal motorist on a dry lake bed in Death Valley National Park are the worst she has ever seen.

Motor vehicles are banned on the site known as Playa Racetrack, where visitors can see how wind and ice push large and small rocks, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (

Park management assistant Abby Wines says new tracks show up on the playa every couple years.

“This is the worst (case) I’m aware of,” she said. “It’s really extensive.”

Wines said officials may try to restore the protective crust on the lake bed but are unsure how to go about it.

“We can’t exactly send a water truck out there,” Wines said. “We really don’t know whether we’re going to do that or when.”

Signs and barriers are posted around parts of the lake to stop motorized vehicles.

Landscape photographer Kurt Lawson frequents the area and says he saw the tracks on Sept. 11.

“It’s just really disheartening,” Lawson said. “There’s a ‘no vehicles’ sign, and there were tracks directly behind it. It’s so disrespectful.”

Wines said the National Park Service has a lead in the case.

Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal,