Visiting the Grave of Jean Lemoigne in Death Valley
by Wesley Johnston

This page was begun April 8, 2013 -- Last updated: April 8, 2013
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Grave of Jean Lemoigne
Photo by Wesley Johnston - April 6, 2013
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When Jean Lemoigne died in 1919 while trekking across Death Valley yet one more time, he was buried where they found him. I will leave his biography and the controversy about who buried him for other web sites to deal with. This site is simply for the purpose of finding and visiting his grave.

His grave is not marked in any way by the National Park Service. You won't find it on the NPS park map, and even when you are near it, you will not find any markers to tell you so. There is one map that is sold that purports to show the grave site along Higway 190, but that is not where he is buried. The only map that I have seen that accurately shows the location of his grave is the US Geological Survey topographical map.

Three are several web pages that purport to show the aerial view or give the latitude and longitude of his grave. Some may even be right. But that really does not help much to find the grave for a visit while you are there on the ground. The open desert all looks pretty much the same, unless you know what to look for.

So this web page tells -- and shows -- you how to find Jean Lemoigne's grave.

Step 1 - Mile Marker 98

Drive to mile marker 98 on the west side of Highway 190. This is not far south of the entrance road to the Salt Creek visitor area.

Approximate Location
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Exact Starting Location
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Step 2 - First Orientation

This is the view from the 98 mile marker to the grave.
You are going to walk in a straight line toward the line of mesquite bushes -- not the isolated clump at the far left but the clump to the right of those.
The bushes are about 3/4 of a mile away and 3/4 mile back. So take some water and wear protection from the sun, since this is open desert.
The footing will tire you out as well, lots of loose rocks for the first 2/3 of the route and then crusty sand for the last 1/3.

View to Grave from 98 Mile Marker
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Step 3 - Keep Walking - Distances can be deceptive.

You may think you have walked a good way toward the grave. And you have.
But distances are deceptive out here.
The bushes may not seem to be much closer.
But when you look back at your car, you see that it is now a good way behind you.
You may want to choose a rock here to put on his grave.

View to Grave
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View back to 98 Mile marker
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Step 4 - Keep Walking

The rocky ground ends, and you come to crusted sandy ground.
The mesquite bushes finally are starting to look closer.

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Step 5 - Almost There

You can begin to see that there is one clump of mesquite bushes closest to you.
And there is another bush behind them. That's where the grave is.

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Step 6 - Very Close

The grave is behind the right end of the bush in the back.

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Step 7 - First Glimpse of the Cross

As you come around the right side of the rear bush, you can see the small wooden cross.

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Copyright © 2013 by Wesley Johnston
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