4-Wheel Drive to Aguereberry Point, Death Valley

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Need a break from the heat of Death Valley?  Want to see the valley from above?  Got a 4-wheel-drive vehicle?  A drive out to Aguereberry Point provides a nice high-elevation destination during your visit to the lowest place in North America.

Location

Aguereberry Point is on the western side of Death Valley.  From the valley, head west on California Highway 190, then turn south on Emigrant Canyon Road .  After 12 miles, watch for the turnoff to Aguereberry Point and the Eureka Mine on the left.  You’ll reach the mine and ghost house of Pete Aguereberry in two miles, and Aguereberry Point in 6 miles.

Emigrant Canyon Road is paved, but Aguereberry Point Road is not.  Most cars can handle the drive out to the Eureka mine, but the final mile to the point is 4-wheel-drive, high-clearance only.

My Visit

Maybe it’s not the smartest move to drive to a high-elevation viewpoint during a snowstorm, but that’s exactly what I did.  Okay, snowstorm is a strong word.  But it was pouring the snow as I crossed Towne Pass (just slightly below 5,000 feet), and I wanted to see more of the white stuff.  So I set a course for another, even higher, point above Death Valley: Aguereberry Point.

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Getting to this viewpoint is half the fun… and when it’s snowing, it easily becomes 7/8 of the fun, or more.  The downpour I had seen earlier had tapered off, even though I was climbing in elevation.  There was enough snow to coat the road, except for the tire tracks that had been heated up by the previous visitors.  But still, the dusting of white made the drive extra-special.

Most of the road to Aguereberry Point could easily be driven in any old vehicle, but there is one spot where your car must climb uphill over a very rough patch of rocks.  That, alone, makes this a 4-wheel-drive road.

When you get up to the point…

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… the view is good, but it’s somewhat limited by some smaller mountains in between you and the valley floor.  On this day…

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… the view was also limited by those low-hanging snow clouds.  I couldn’t complain, though.  It was these wet conditions that helped spark the Superbloom of wildflowers.

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What a surprise.  I was the only person up here!

Next to the parking lot, there’s a nice pile of rocks that are perfect for scrambling.  Climbing up to the top would give you a better view, on a better day.  But on this day, my fingers were freezing as I searched for hand-holds in snow-filled pockets.

Back in the car, I waited for a few minutes, hoping another mini-blizzard would hit.  It didn’t.  And since it was getting to be later in the day, I decided to drive back towards civilization.

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There’s one other stop on the way to Aguereberry Point that’s well worth your time.  And, you don’t need a 4-wheel-drive to get to this point.  It’s Pete Aguereberry’s old home, his old mining operation, and presumably his old car.  I’ll show you more of it on a separate page.

The Bottom Line

If you have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, take the time to drive out to Aguereberry Point for a great view of the valley, and some cooler temperatures.  The road is easy to drive, except for one tricky spot that makes it impassable to anyone in a standard, low-clearance vehicle.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s a look at the time-lapse video of the drive out to Aguereberry Point:

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