Visit Date: October 7, 2015
Aguereberry Point is flat out a contender for the most stunning view in Death Valley National Park. It’s not the highest point in the park, nor the most visited, but it is certainly worth the time to visit.
Take Emigrant Canyon Road from Hwy 190 and about 12 miles in, turn onto the graded dirt road which will take you past Harrisburg and Pete Aguereberry’s Eureka Mine. From there it’s another 6 miles to the “Great View,” as Pete liked to call it. Roughly 45-minutes from where you leave Hwy 190. You’ll be glad you did.
The point is named after Pete Aguereberry, a man who led a very interesting life. Born in France in 1874, as a boy he was entranced by the stories he read of the California Gold Rush. In 1890, at the age of only 16, he sailed to America where he learned the language and worked a number of jobs to earn his way west; sheepherder, cattle driver, ice delivery man, ranch hand, stage driver. He eventually reached Goldfield, Nevada around 1902 and made his way to the Death Valley area in 1905. In July of that year, he and Shorty Harris discovered a rich gold strike which resulted in the mining camp of Harrisburg, the Cashier Mine, the Eureka Mine and an influx of miners into the region. Pete lived and worked in this area for over 40 years. In his later years, he would take visitors to what he called “The Great View” of Death Valley. And to get there, they actually traveled along a road he built himself, with pick, shovel, barrow and blasting powder. Pete died on November 23, 1945 and is buried in nearby Lone Pine, California. But the view point named in his honor isn't going anywhere.
At an elevation of 6433 feet, the view is quite breathtaking. From where I parked, I hiked out to a point to get an even better view of the valley. The white salt flats of Badwater Basin are visible, as is Mount Charleston (11,900-foot high) some 80 miles to the east in Nevada. A sharp eye can even pick out the green oasis of Furnace Creek. I'm glad I ventured out to Aguereberry Point, I think you will be too.