Bee Hive Kilns

Bee Hive Kilns

These interesting structures are ‘bee hive kilns’ are found in Death Valley National Park and were used to create charcoal for smelting ore that was found locally. (This was back in the early 1900’s)

They are found high in the mountains where there were pines growing to make satisfactory charcoal. Unfortunately, the pines are very slow growing (not much water), and the trees that you see in the background are junipers that have taken the place of the pines. The claims ran out or became too expensive to work to justify the costs of working in such an inhospitable environment. The kilns were left, along with the destruction of the pine forest for miles around.

Ashford Mill

Ashford Mill Ruins I

The ruins of the Ashford Mill are within the boundary of Death Valley National Park. The mill was built in 1914 and was processing the ore from the Golden Treasure Mine about 5 miles to the east. The location is just south of Badwater and is below sea level and a hot and dry environment. Not a good location for processing ore.

Ashford Mill Ruins II

Badwater, Death Valley

Badwater, Death Valley

This is the lowest point in the North American continent, Badwater, Death Valley National Park at 282 ft (86m) below sea level. It was 104 degrees (40 C) when I took this photo. The white color is caused by people walking out to the actual low point in the middle of the valley. It is an alkali salt and the white color reflects the heat and makes it seem that much warmer. Not a pleasant place to spend a lot of time, but a unique experience.

The mountains across the valley include the highest point in Death Valley National Park … Telescope Peak at 11, 043 feet (3366 m). Quite a contrast in elevation in a short distance.

Amargosa Hotel

The Amargosa Hotel

Outside the eastern boundary of Death Valley National Park is the Death Valley Historic District and the Amargosa Hotel. The hotel is a small establishment that doesn’t provide a lot of onsite entertainment. There is a coffee shop across the parking lot, but the menu is limited. There are a lot of rooms that are not available due to a lack of enough business to pay for the refurbishing and maintenance. The highlight of the area is the old Opera House … and the painted walls and ceiling that tells the story of the once thriving mining district community. Access to the Opera House is by tour only.

Amargosa Hotel Veranda
Amargosa Hotel Peeling Paint

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