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Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Site
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal KilnsEight of the ten charcoal kilns (view N)

Wildrose Charcoal Kilns

Charcoal Kilns are large ovens used to bake raw wood into charcoal, much the way a baker would bake raw dough into bread in a wood-fired oven. When done, the charcoal was burned in furnaces to smelt ore at lead-silver mines in the Argus Range (about 25 miles west across the Panamint Valley). Charcoal was used in smelters rather than raw wood because charcoal burns hotter and cleaner.

The Wildrose Charcoal Kilns were completed in 1877 by the Modock Consolidated Mining Company, and although their mines in the Argus Range were worked intermittently until about 1900, the charcoal kilns seem to have been abandoned by 1879. The workmanship of the builders and short working life of the kilns helps explain their good condition after so many years of disuse.

These 10 beehive-shaped, 25-ft-tall stone-and-masonry structures are the best example of historic charcoal kilns in the western states. More charcoal kilns, most in disrepair, can be found in the Spring Mountains near Pahrump.

Wildrose Charcoal Kilns

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this area is pretty safe, but ensure that your spare tire is in good condition, bring plenty of water, and don't climb on the kilns. They are more than 130 years old and will collapse one of these days. The NPS will eventually fence them off, so let's help them stay open as long as possible by being careful in this historic area.

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, the hike is short, so keep what you need of the 10 Essentials in the car.

Getting to Wildrose Charcoal Kilns

Wildrose Charcoal Kilns are located along Wildrose Road on the east side of Death Valley National Park, about 4 hours west of Las Vegas. From town, drive out to Death Valley. From the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, drive out to the Charcoal Kilns (Telescope Peak) Trailhead Parking.

Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose day-use parking area (view N)
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Restroom in the parking lot (view S)
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
North-most kiln
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Kiln entrance about 3-4 feet high
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Kiln entrance
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Inside, looking out entrance
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Upper ventilation window
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Air holes around the base of the kiln controlled air-flow
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Soot deposits inside a kiln
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Charcoal Kilns Wildrose Charcoal Kilns

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 140306

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