Charcoal Kilns Death Valley National Park California

The Charcoal Kilns are a well-preserved attraction in Death Valley National Park. These conical constructions converted lumber to charcoal from 1879 to 1882. During that period, workers burnt logs in these giant airtight ovens, pyrolyzing pine to charcoal, which was then hauled to the nearby Modock Mine smelter. The coal-making process took about two weeks.

The briefly used kilns were restored in the 1930s and again in the 1970s and are in great shape for modern visitors. Located 37 miles from Stove Pipe Wells, at an elevation of 6,800 feet, the kilns offer escape from both the heat and the crowds of the desert below.

The kilns are arranged in a tight line along the road, and are easy to access. For those looking to stray farther from the parking lot, there is an 8.4-mile round trip trail to Wildrose Peak, beginning from the kilns. If you are not interested in the long hike to the peak, it is still worth hiking up the trail for a quarter mile to a point where the trail crosses a rocky overlook with a beautiful view down Wildrose Canyon.

Charcoal Kilns
The Charcoal Kilns
Charcoal Kilns
A view from the overlook of the road coming up to the kilns

To get to the Charcoal Kilns: From Stovepipe Wells, head west on Route 190 for 9 miles. Turn left (south) just past Emigrant Campground on to Emigrant Canyon Road. Drive 21 miles to Wildrose Campground, and continue another 7 miles to the Charcoal Kilns. The last 4.5 miles are unpaved graded gravel (which may close in winter).

Charcoal Kilns address: Emigrant Canyon Road, Death Valley National Park, Death Valley, CA 92328
Charcoal Kilns coordinates: 36.246696, -117.076303 (36° 14′ 48.10″N 117° 04′ 34.69″W)

Use the map below to view the attraction and get directions:

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Photos

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These photos were taken in May of 2010. Click to enlarge.
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