Telescope Peak, Wildrose Peak
By: Ron Jones, Dean Acheson
We met Friday evening at the Wildrose campground which was empty except for our group and a resident bobcat which Ed & Sylvia saw scampering out of the campground.
The night was spent a little higher on the road at the parking lot for the 10 charcoal kilns. These stone "beehive structures" were built in the 1870s and were used in making charcoal from the Pinyon Pines that grew nearby. The charcoal was freighted across the Panamint Valley to the Modoc Mine (owned by George Hearst, father of William Randolph Hearst) for use in smelting that ore from the Argus Range. A smoky odor still clings to the rock walls of the kilns from more than 100 years ago & the acoustics are a little different in each of them.
The next morning 4 of us followed the signed trail 4.3 miles and 2000 ft gain to the top of Wildrose Pk. The views out over the Panamint Valley and the Panamint Range were very good, and also north to Aguereberry Point and Tucki. In fact this walk is a suggested outing by the Park Headquarters because of the outstanding views.
We got back to our cars about noon & set out immediately for our next camp. The road to Mahogany Flats was in very good shape, suitable for any passenger car. The campground was half full (or is it half empty?) and we got several nice sites together in a group. While we were setting up tables and folding chairs, Rose Stein drove up to join us. This made a group of seven. Potluck that night was based on an oriental or Asian theme and Thai food predominated.
Sunday we got a 7 am start on the 7 mile trail to our emblem peak, Telescope. The hike was routine, visibility was very good with nice views down Hanaupah Canyon and across the floor of Death Valley. We were back at the cars by 2 pm for an early start home. Thanks to my wife, Leora, for organizing this outing; to Ed & Sylvia Kenney, Pat Acheson (Happy Birthday Pat) & to newcomer Rose Stein who is a very strong hiker and an asset to any group. Special thanks to Dean Acheson for his usual good assist.
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