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Charcoal Kilns

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley, California

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Charcoal Kilns

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  • The lineup of 10 century-old kilns .- Charcoal Kilns
  • The kilns are right on the access road with ample parking available.- Charcoal Kilns
  • The insides of the kilns have been well preserved.- Charcoal Kilns
  • The excellent condition of the kilns may be due in part to their short operational lifespan, which is suggested to have been only two to three years.- Charcoal Kilns
  • The remains of the kiln quarry yard.- Charcoal Kilns
  • From above the kilns you can see down Wildrose Canyon and, on a clear day, to the Sierra. - Charcoal Kilns
  • The Charcoal Kilns of Death Valley National Park.- Charcoal Kilns
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautifully preserved charcoal kilns on the side of the access road.
Cons: 
Closest water is at Wildrose Campground.
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Region:
Death Valley, CA
Access: 
Vehicle
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Perched in the upper reaches of Wildrose Canyon in Death Valley National Park sit the Charcoal Kilns, one of the more unique human-made remants of the region's 19th-centurty mining past.

The 10 kilns were constructed in 1877 to provide charcoal to smelters in the Panamint Valley. The abundance of piñyons in the upper reaches of the Panamint Range were harvested and burned in the kilns, with the resulting charcoal transported 25 miles to smelters adjacent to lead and silver mines in the valley below. The operational life of the kilns was believed to be just two years. Since then, the kilns have been remarkably well preserved. This is in due to their short functional lifespan, their isolated location, and perservation and restoration efforts. All this means that visitors today can experience the kilns much as they were when operations ceased in late 1800s. If you've a keen sense of smell, you might even pick up the smell of creosote within the kilns.

Access to the kilns is via Wildrose Canyon at the trailhead for the Wildrose Peak hike. The kilns aburptly come into view as you drive through the upper bounds of the canyon. Parking is available on the southern side of the road, with the kilns lined up along the northern side of the road. There's also an ADA-accessible vault toilet in the parking lot. Please note that there is no regular or dependable supply of potable water.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(23 within a 30 mile radius)

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