When we drove out to the historic Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, we passed the turnoff for Aguereberry Point and from the road we could see the battered remains of Aguereberry Camp and the Eureka Mine. I wanted to explore both, but we were already running out of sunlight, so we made plans to drive out to the point early the next day and explore the mine and camp on the way back.
We were out of the hotel by 7:00 am not only because the drive to Aguereberry Point Point from Furnace Creek is 52 miles, and the final 6.5 miles is on a dirt road that is really narrow and steep at the end, but because I also wanted to do the Mosaic Canyon hike and visit the Mesquite Sand Dunes!
At the top of the road, we reached a wide, flat area with an elevation marker that reads Aguereberry Point, 6,433 feet. The promontory is actually 1,000 feet higher than the more famous Dante’s View vista point and provides a stunning 360 degree view of Death Valley.
We all hopped out of the truck in awe and took a whole bunch of photos!
We were the only people there. It was quiet and peaceful and gorgeous — and the perfect place to open up the tailgate and eat breakfast. To the left, on the north side of the ridge, a dirt trail leads further out onto the point to an even more spectacular view. The hike is maybe a quarter mile at the most and it is well worth the effort. From here you can see the Panamint Mountains to the north and south, the green oasis of Furnace Creek and the white salt flats of Badwater Basin to the southeast, and on clear days, even Mount Charleston in Nevada.
We all hiked out to the very end and I think just stood there taking in the view for around 15 minutes just because it was so incredible. Well, not Carter. Above the trail are giant boulders and large outcroppings of rocks that Carter had to explore and climb the entire time.
Aguereberry Point History
Aguereberry Point is named for Jean Pierre “Pete” Aguereberry who worked the nearby Eureka Mine and lived at Aguereberry Camp from 1905 to his death in 1945.
Pete Aguereberry was born in 1874 in France. After reading about the gold discoveries in California, he begged his father to come to the United States, and at 16 his father relented, and Pete sailed for America in 1890. While learning the language, he took on a number of jobs, including sheepherder, cattle driver, milk truck driver, ice delivery man, ranch hand, and stage driver. He came to Death Valley in 1905 and almost died trying to cross Death Valley in the summer heat, but was found and nursed back to health by the caretaker for the Greenland Ranch. Just one month later was back at it and headed up to Ballarat with Shorty Harris.
Along their journey Pete found a ledge that looked promising, and indeed it contained free gold. Pete filed claims for himself on the north side of the hill while Shorty took claims on the south side. Aguereberry made camp near the Eureka Mine and Cashier Mill and took visitors on tours of his mine and up to what is now Aguereberry Point, the place he called The Great View of Death Valley.
Know Before You Go
- Aguereberry Point, located in the Panamint Mountain Range, is a scenic viewpoint in Death Valley National Park, California 92328, Inyo County.
- To reach Aguereberry Point from Furnace Creek, follow CA-190 until you turn left on Emigrant Canyon Road, and another left onto Aguereberry Point Road. It is a 52 mile drive that takes around one hour, fifteen minutes.
- The last 6.5 miles on Aguereberry Point Road is dirt and requires a high clearance vehicle due to rocks in the middle of the road and a very steep climb at the end.
- Along Emigrant Canyon Road, you’ll pass the ruins of Pete Aguereberry’s camp, Eureka Mine, and Cashier Mill, all of which you can explore up close.