Thursday, November 15, 2018

Death Valley National Park (5)

We left Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes after sunset and drove up Wildrose Canyon to the charcoal kilns, but arrived after dark and spent the night there with a few others who slept in the kilns.  There was snow on the ground, however, and in our opinion a bit cold for that.

Next morning we photographed the kilns and the sunrise before heading on.  The kilns are most unusual structures that were build and used in the late 1800's to produce charcoal.  They are now part of the national park and protected structures that are no longer in use.

We drove back up Wildrose Canyon to the main road and headed west through Towne Pass to Panamint Springs and the Panamint Valley.  We stopped in mountains and again in the valley for photos and in the town of Panamint Springs for gas and some snacks.

A little further west we took another very rough unpaved road to the trailhead for Darwin Falls and hiked to the falls and back, a beautiful hike through one of the few spring-watered areas in the park.  The falls, too, were very beautiful, as were the wildflowers along the way.

Finished with our hike we drove on west over the Darwin Plateau and out of the park and then headed south along the east side of the Sierra Nevadas, finishing our trip in the city of Redlands and at the house of friends, a welcome opportunity for showers and better food.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Death Valley National Park (4)

The afternoon and evening of the second day of our stay in Death Valley National Park we drove from Rhyolite to Stovepipe Wells.  Along the way we stopped several times to photograph some cacti and the Devil's Cornfield, an area near the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

Just beyond Stovepipe Wells we took a very rough unpaved road to the trailhead for Mosaic Canyon which we hiked to a point where some rock climbing would have been necessary to continue.  Mosaic Canyon is one of the most spectacular hikes in Death Valley.

From Mosaic Canyon we went for a second time to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and watched the sunset there while hiking the dunes.  If visiting Death Valley a sunrise or sunset at Mesquite Flat is a must.  The morning and evening light on the dunes is spectacular.

After sunset we drove to Wildrose Canyon to the charcoal kilns there.  Built in the late 1800's they are 25 foot high beehive-shaped rock kilns used for making charcoal.  We spent the night there and then watched the sunrise there while photographing the kilns.