Rogers Peak (Death Valley National Park) 11-Nov-2021

We’d spent yesterday bouncing around in a 4×4, so today we needed to hike. A long, long time ago (i.e., 1974), Wayne, Diane, and I climbed Telescope Peak, the highest point in Death Valley National Park. That proved to be a truly memorable trip but one we weren’t interested in repeating. But, inspired by nostalgia enhanced by memory loss, we decided it would be fun (loosely defined) to hike to a closer, lower peak within sight of Telescope. Rogers Peak (9,993 ft / 3,045 m) is only 5 miles round-trip (8 km) from and 1,800 feet (549 m) above Mahogany Flat. And you can see Telescope from its summit. Plus it’s slightly taller than nearby Bennett Peak. So summiting Rogers became Adventure #4 of our adventures in Death Valley.

The paved road to Mahogany Flat becomes good gravel about 2 miles (3.2 km) short of the Charcoal Kilns and the trail to Wildrose Peak. Past that, the road gets narrower and rougher but careful 2WD driving got us to the small parking lot at the Flat (it was Flats back in our day). From there we went up the Telescope Peak Trail to Arcane Meadows, then did a bit of cross-country to the radar installation atop Rogers Peak.

Sometime in the last 40 years or so, the Flat lost its “s” 🤔
And so it begins…
Up through the Piñon and Lodgepole pines
Bad Water (arrow), the lowest point in the Continental U.S., was 9,200 feet (2,805 m) below us at this point
Onward & upward
Telescope Peak (L) comes into view
Lodgepole roots
At Arcane Meadows, with the Sierra Nevada in the distance
Cross-country to Rogers Peak
The radar station atop Rogers is in the process of being installed

Down in Furnace Creek, it was 90℉ (32℃) and calm; up here, 42℉ (5.5℃) and breezy. The construction crew had left us the makings of seating, so we sat in the lee of the facility and had a snack, then took in the views. When the cold finally caught up with us, it was time to return to Mahogany Flat via the service road.

“Basecamp” on Rogers
To the west: The Sierra Nevada
To the north: Wildrose Peak (W.)
To the south: Telescope Peak (center), Bennett Peak (right)
Down the service road
The Black and Funeral Mountains from the service road
Strata in rocks along the road
Mahogany Flat is in the notch ahead

This proved to be a good, short hike for our stroll down memory lane. The LovedOne, spared the drama of 1974 by youth and distance, just thought it was a nice hike with great views. Either way, our success justified some tasteful celebrations at (yet again) the Last Kind Words Saloon at Furnace Creek. 😁

Our route to the summit of Rogers Peak and back

5 thoughts on “Rogers Peak (Death Valley National Park) 11-Nov-2021

Add yours

  1. That onward and upward shot is just about identical to a slide from the 1974 trip.


  2. Thanks! DV became a national park in 1994, so it’s about time you did a return visit. Get Digonnet’s hiking guide and plan on going between Nov & Mar. 🙂


  3. Sounds like a wonderful trip — there was still an S in mahogany flats when I last was there – and snow on Telescope peak too 🙂 but that was a long time ago when it was still a National Monument …. although after your 1974 adventure

    Your great descriptions of the various hikes and wonderful photos makes me think it’s time for a long overdue return visit.


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