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Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Pros

Beautifully preserved charcoal kilns on the side of the access road.

Cons

Closest water is at Wildrose Campground.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Family friendly
Vault toilet
Historically significant
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

05/26/2018
Spent Memorial weekend exploring Death Valley and the Charcoal Kilns. Such a fascinating process and old industry in American history.
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