OverviewJubilee Mountain is a small, non-attention-grabbing mountain that happens to provide excellent summit views. Positioned as it is directly above the Amargosa River in southern Death Valley, on a clear day, its views stretch across the entire length of the Panamints, including Telescope Peak, to the north, to and well beyond Kingston Peak to the south, as well as to virtual infinity in all the other directions. We’re not talking Kilimanjaro here, but the views are damn good.
Never the source of inspiration for any organized mountaineering adventure, instead this peak makes for a nice little leg stretcher while traveling into or out of fabulous Death Valley National Park on Highway 178.
Like the rest of the park, southern Death Valley hosts the usual assortment of odd geology, surreal vistas, unnerving (to some) silence, and absolute solitude. I don’t care that it’s only a mile from the highway, there’s absolutely no way you’re gonna bump into another person on Jubilee Mountain.
Jubilee Mountain is seldom visited. On my first visit, no one had signed the register in two years; on my second, the register was a tattered, unmanageable mess of yellowed pages…so who knows.
The north slopes of the mountain gain 1,200 feet over a mile.
Getting ThereYou want to get to Jubilee Pass, which is on Highway 178 between Shoshone, CA and Badwater (282 feet below sea level) in southern Death Valley National Park.
From Badwater, take the Badwater Road south as if to leave the park toward Shoshone. Becoming Highway 178 as the road bends east, you’ll soon come to Jubilee Pass.
From Shoshone, take Highway 127 north a couple miles to Highway 178. Head west on Highway 178 about 15 miles to Jubilee Pass.
The peak is immediately to the north of the pass. There is a small turn-out (big enough for 2-3 cars) just west of the pass.
Red TapeNone that I’m aware of.
Obviously, don’t take home any bighorn skulls you stumble across, don’t chip away any petroglyphs that may (or may not) be encountered, and since the peak’s inside a national park, don’t bring any firearms.
When To ClimbNovember to April is a great time. The middle months of May-October can be brutally hot, especially at this low elevation. Armed with this sage-like wisdom, make your own decision.
CampingI doubt anyone will really care if you do some backcountry camping here, but contact the visitor’s center to be sure.
There are also established campgrounds within the park, like at Furnace Creek, if that’s what you want.
Also, just outside the park’s boundary, and extremely close to the peak, is BLM land. You can camp on BLM land without concern.
The desert may look like hell (to some), but it should still be treated with respective. It’s just as fragile as those alpine environments we all know and love and fight to protect.