West from the crest of the Grapevines
Death Valley is surrounded by 6 principle mountain ranges. They are (clockwise from the northeast): The Grapevine Mountains, the Funeral Mountains and the Black Mountains on the east side. At the south end are the Owlshead Mountains. To the west the giant Panamint Range
and lastly the Cottonwood Mountains (an extension of the Panamints to the northwest).
Wahguyhe Peak is the 2nd highest peak in the rugged Grapevine Mountains (Grapevine Peak
, 8,738' the highest) in the area known as the Nevada Triangle that extends just across the border into Nevada and is included within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park
This is one of those "out there" day hikes far into the wilds of the high desert terrain of the Great Basin. The approach is out of Death Valley and into Nevada.
The higher peaks and crest of the Grapevines are lofty enough to support pinyon junipers and limber pines. When I did the hike in '05 there was still plenty of snow on the forested north slope of Wahguyhe even in May due to the exceptional precipitation of the previous winter.
The views from the top are extensive and far reaching in all directions. In addition to most of Death Valley and it's ranges they include much of the southern High Sierra and White Mountain Peak
as well as a swath of the Nevada Great Basin to the east.
Phinney Canyon Road into the Grapevines
From Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley go east 7.2 miles on Hwy. 190 to the junction with the main road going north to Scotty's Castle at the north end of Death Valley. Turn north and go .6 miles to the junction with Hwy. 374. Turn right and go 25 miles northeast over Daylight Pass and out of Death Valley to Beatty Nevada. From Beatty take Hwy 95 north 13.6 miles to the Phinney Canyon Road on the left (.6 miles north of hwy. post 71). Two wheel drive high clearance is advised. Go through a gate (close after you pass through). Keep going west 12.3 miles (staying straight at forks) to a fork. Go right 4.9 miles to where the road drops into a wash. Go another 3.8 miles to where the road becomes 4 wheel drive and park.
Wahguyhe Peak is visible to the south. Walk a short distance up the road to the 6,800' contour and hike southwest up the main draw to the saddle below the northwest slope of the peak. Take the slope to the summit.
Be forewarned, this is a steep, monumental 1,000 talus/scree slog! It might be better to take the draw going southeast up to the northeast ridge from 6,400' contour on the road and follow the ridge to the summit.
Northeast from Wahguyhe Peak north slope
This hike is within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park. No permits are required for day hikes. For camping permits contact:
Death Valley National Park
P.O. box 579 Death Valley Ca. 92328
or go to Death Valley National Park camping page.
Wahguyhe Peak from Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley
There are no campgrounds in the vicinity. For camping permits contact the above link in Red Tape.
Current weather conditions
Northeast from Wahguyhe
For current weather conditions in the Death Valley area click here
Further reading on hiking desert peaksDesert Summits
by Andy Zdon is the
book on hiking and climbing desert peaks in California and Southern Nevada.