>>> At 6,433ft elevation Aguereberry Point sits on the West side of Death Valley in the Panamint Mountain Range. It’s nearly opposite to the more popular 5,575ft Dante’s View on the East side of Death Valley in the Funeral Mountains above Badwater.
The best time of day to visit an overlook of Death Valley (or most any natural area) is when the sun is rising or setting in the horizon BEHIND you and lighting up the valley, bringing all points into sharp, colorful perspective. So, visit Dante’s view at sunrise and Aguereberry Point at sunset. The best time of year to visit is in the Fall or Spring. Winter can get quite chilly and Summer very hot.
Aguereberry Point is named for Jean Pierre “Pete” Aguereberry, born in 1874 into a Basque family in France. In 1890 Pete began to pursue his childhood dream of discovering gold in California by sailing to America. In 1902 he made it to Goldfield Nevada about 30 miles South of Tonopah. Pete traveled to the Death Valley area in 1905 where, along with Shorty Harris, he established the town of Harrisburg (Aguereberry Camp), the Cashier Mill and Eureka Mine. He lived in a cabin which still stands in the area until his death in 1945.
Pete would take guests to a place he called “The Great View”, which was Aguereberry Point 4-5 miles beyond Harrisburg.
Learn more about Harrisburg (Aguereberry Camp), the Cashier Mill and Eureka Mine.
From Las Vegas take Hwy 190 through Pahrump. Continue on 190 through Death Valley. Pass Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. Turn left at Emigrant Campground onto Emigrant Canyon Road. In 11.8 miles you’ll see a well marked sign indicating a left turn onto an unpaved road to Aguereberry Point. In less than 2 miles you will reach an unmarked fork in the road. The right fork leads to Eureka Mine, Cashier Mill and Harrisburg (Aguereberry Camp). The left fork continues for another 4-5 miles to Aguereberry Point. It’s a washboard road, so prepare to be shaken up. The last quarter mile to the Aguereberry Point parking area is pretty rugged, even for a 4WD vehicle. Take the trail to the north of the rock outcrop at the parking area for the most expansive view. Pete called it “The Great View”.
From Eureka Mine, take its approach road back down to the main Aguereberry Point Road, turn right and continue up the road. On this day Aguereberry Point Road, having recently been graded, was in excellent condition for good 2WD vehicles with good tires. There is a parking area just 1/4th mile below Aguereberry Point for vehicles that may have trouble with that final steep stretch. As newly graded roads tend to degenerate over time, there are no guarantees that on the day you travel this stretch the road will still be passable by 2WD vehicles, so a better bet is to travel the 6 miles from where Aguereberry Point Road branches off from Emigrant Canyon Road up to Aguereberry Point by 4WD vehicle.
On this day I traveled the 6-mile stretch of road to Aguereberry Point by foot, giving more of the perspective of the original explorers. The road continues up another 4 miles from the Eureka Mine site. You’ll ascend around 2,000ft to Aguereberry Point. The road ascends a large plain and then enters into a series of canyons. There are some excellent views of Cashier Mill during the first mile of ascent, so take time to look back.
After winding through a canyon, Aguereberry Point Road summits the ridgeline of the Panamint Range with sudden sweeping views of Death Valley opening below. Badwater Basin can clearly be seen, along with Dante’s View and Dante’s Ridge along the top of the Black Mountains on the East side of Death Valley. Looking up and South along the Panamint Range ridgeline, Wildrose Peak and Rodgers Peak with it’s communications towers come into view.
Upon ascending the last quarter mile to Aguereberry Point you will arrive at a parking area which could accommodate around 15 vehicles. Now views open up in all directions. Take the little unmarked trail to the North of the parking lot another couple hundred feet for the most sweeping views. Easily climb the rocks to the summit of ridge to the right of the trail for the very best views. You can see much of the entire expanse of Death Valley to the North and South below. Points of interest include Mesquite Dunes to the North, Furnace Creek Ranch and The Inn at Death Valley immediately below along with the blue river running though Death Valley. To the South of Furnace Creek Ranch, Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point and even Manly Beacon can be seen, along with Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater Basin, and Dante’s Ridge between Dante’s View and Mt. Perry and onward to the far North of Death Valley. Far beyond to the distant West one can see the Mt. Charleston Wilderness. To the East one can make out Mt. Whitney and the Sierra Nevada Range in the distance. And again, to the South along the ridge of the Panamint Range, Wildrose Peak and Rodgers Peak can be seen. To the North along the upper ridge of Death Valley one can see the ridge behind which Skidoo and the Skidoo Stamp Mill reside.
There are two canyons ascending from the base of Death Valley immediately below on either side of Aguereberry Point and both look passable without rock climbing. However the difficulty level would be high with ridges and avalanche slopes along the way. Still, one could descend from Aguereberry Point through these canyons to the floor of Death Valley.
The 6-mile downhill run back to Emigrant Canyon Road was much more rapid and easy!