A remote unpaved road to Aguereberry Point in Death Valley NP

Aguereberry Point is a natural overlook at an elevation of 1,960m (6,433ft) above the sea level, located in Inyo County, in the US state of California. It’s one of the challenging Backcountry roads in Death Valley National Park.

Aguereberry Point

How long is the road to Aguereberry Point in Death Valley?

Starting on the paved Emigrant Canyon Road, the road to the summit is 10.29km (6.4 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 401m (1,316 ft), and the average gradient is 3.89%. The viewpoint was named after Jean Pierre "Pete" Aguereberry, a Basque miner who was born in 1874, emigrated from France in 1890, and lived at and worked the nearby Eureka Mine from 1905 until his death in 1945.

Is the road to Aguereberry Point in Death Valley unpaved?

Located on the eastern part of California, near Nevada, the road to the summit is entirely unpaved. It’s called Aguereberry Point Road. The drive is pretty challenging, requiring a high-clearance vehicle due to rock outcrop in the road at 3.5 miles and a steep, rocky final 0.5 mile to the viewpoint. Sedans may risk undercarriage damage, and the road is subject to snow and mud conditions. The road has a gentle slope and offers one of the most beautiful views in the park. It is pretty rugged and remote. Drive carefully and obey posted speed limits. Many wild animals, including the threatened desert tortoise, have been killed by speeding cars.

Is the drive to Aguereberry Point in Death Valley worth it?

Perched on the crest of the Panamint Springs Area, on the west side of Death Valley National Park, the drive is definitely worth it, and the view is spectacular on a clear day. Because of its westerly setting, this place is one of the best locations to photograph the valley in the afternoon and around sunset. It’s a beautiful area full of many interesting things to see. From this point on the Panamint Range, one can view the surrounding Panamints extending to the north and south, Mount Charleston to the east, Furnace Creek, and the salt flats of Badwater Basin. The road right by the summit, and on the way passes the remains of Harrisburg, a small and long-abandoned mining settlement.

How to drive in Death Valley National Park?

When traveling through this area, exercise caution, especially in severe weather conditions. Summers bring high temperatures, intense sunlight, and low humidity, with the potential for powerful and sudden storms and flash floods. Flash flood damages may lead to road closures. Visitors are advised to plan their park visit, stay hydrated, and avoid hiking in extreme heat. Travelers should be well-prepared for emergencies, staying on paved roads and carrying extra water. Caution is urged on the road to prevent single-car accidents, and drivers should be vigilant for wildlife hazards. Hikers and four-wheelers should be self-reliant, well-prepared, and share their plans with someone. Cell phone reliance is discouraged due to potential service gaps. Safety measures include avoiding mine tunnels, canyons during rainstorms, and being aware of potential wildlife encounters. In emergencies, dial 911 from any telephone or cell phone, though cell phones may not work in all areas.
Pic: Jim Heald