The Quick and Dirty:
Location: Wild Rose Peak located at the west side of the Death Valley National Park. The trail head is about an hour drive from Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
Hiking Distance: 9 miles round trip with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Overall the hike took us 3.5 hours with 2.5 hours spent ascending and 1 hour descending.
Good to know: Wild Rose campground near the trail head is a great campsite for those who are interested in exploring the west side of the Death Valley NP. Situated around rolling hills with a seasonal water source, the campsite feels very different from the rest of Death Valley. At a much higher elevation, we felt it was too cold to camp here in the winter time but would be a great campsite to escape the heat in the summer. The best part about this campsite is it’s free!
After doing lots of driving the last couple of days, we were happy to leave our car for a longer hike in the park. Since more technical snow gear was needed for the nearby Telescope Peak (the highest peak in the park), we opted for the Wild Rose Peak instead. We stopped by the Charcoal kilns at the start of the trail. These kilns were built in the early 1900s to supply charcoal for silver mining nearby. They were designed by the Swiss and built by the Chinese. Unfortunately, their use was pretty short lived due to the decrease in demand of charcoal. A walk inside these kilns is definitely recommended, the sign at the trailhead indicate these are some of the most well preserved charcoal kilns in North America. Continue reading