Explore one of the quietest areas of Death Valley NP on this ride. Highlights: a canyon, a pass, an old mining town, and “The Great View” of Death Valley according to Pete Aguereberry.
“Pete Aguereberry was just a greenhorn when he and his partner, old-timer Shorty Harris, discovered gold in the Providence Ridge in 1905. Their discovery triggered another short-lived mining boom, and within a few months, at least 20 other parties were working in the same area. Of all the miners who toiled here, though, it was Pete Aguereberry who persisted.
Pete worked his Eureka Mine and other claims for 40 years, mostly on his own. Historians estimate that he extracted about $175,000 worth of gold during his lifetime (then valued at $20 per ounce). He died in 1945, and is buried in Lone Pine, California.” [Gold Rush Trading Post]
Please note, the Dirty Freehub Team has not ridden this route. As such, this is a Development Route. Go prepared and expect a bit more adventure. We have talked with Park Rangers, searched the Internet, and looked carefully at maps and satellite photography. Our friends at Beers, Bikes and Campfires have ridden it from mile 4 to the end of the out & back at Augerberry Point. The photos are also a credit to them. Any feedback you have would be much appreciated. You can leave it below in the comments block. Thanks!
October to April, when the temperatures are reasonable. Note, the route starts at 4000 feet and climbs to 6200 feet. Be aware that temps at Aguerberry Point could be 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Furnace Creek. Temperatures drop 3 to 5°F (2 to 3°C) with every thousand vertical feet (approx. 300m) gained.
On Wildrose road at the intersection of gravel and pavement. An exact parking location needs to be identified.
Lat / Long: 36.236922, -117.24662
The first 4 miles of the route are on Wildrose Road, tucked away in the Panamint Valley, in Death Valley National Park, east of the Sierra Nevada. It is a mostly paved road with a 2-mile section of graded gravel. RVs, trailers, and buses over 25 ft. or 9 feet wide are not allowed due to a narrow, winding road.
After the mining camps at ~ mile 15, the riding to Aguerberry point gets more difficult. This 5-mile section is mostly climbing through a twisty canyon on some rough washboard gravel.
“It’s VERY quiet back in this area of the park and we had the entire place to ourselves. Every turn had me hoping it was the last and we would round the bend and be at the viewpoint, but no, it went on forever. We made a left and inched up the last hill to the point. Wow, worth it.”[Beer, Bikes and Campfires]
Pete Aguereberry an old-time prospector and Shorty Harris discovered gold here in 1905. Of all the prospectors and miners who toiled there, only Pete worked the claim consistently for forty years until his death in 1945. Gold from the Eureka Mine sustained him for all that time and records show he extracted about $175,000 worth of gold during his lifetime.
When you turn on the gravel sector you will come to the Aguereberry camp a few miles or so down the road. At Aguereberry camp you will find Pete’s original cabin built in 1907. It is a two-room structure containing a gas stove and refrigerator. Pete lived here from 1907 until his death in 1945. The middle cabin was built in 1941 as a guest house and the cabin to the left was built around 1946 for an unknown reason.
Around the corner is the site of the Eureka gold mine. The tunnels have all been closed with a bat gate due to dangerous conditions within.
In his later years, Pete would take visitors on a tour of his mine and what he called “The Great View” of Death Valley. If you follow the road further on, you will reach this view. It was later named Aguereberry Point in honor of Pete.
Do you know of any points of interest that should be included in this route guide? Information about history, culture, heritage and environment are great. Please let us know in the comments section. If you have any pictures or video from the route you’d be willing to share with us, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Death Valley is classic Southwest desert riding with more of a jeep road feel than a classic gravel road; it can vary from hard-pack with embedded rock to loose and course to soft wash sand and washboard. The surfaces are ever changing based on based on maintenance, rains, and time of year. Thus, error on the side of too much tire, rather than not enough. We recommend 700c X 50 mm or 650b X 2.1” tires or larger and an adventure gravel bike versus a more traditional all road gravel bike. Larger, softer tires will handle the wash best.
We recommend a red blinky light for the paved sectors.
Check the weather before you go. The paved sectors can get windy! This ride is exposed to both wind and sun.