Death Valley National Park

Auto Touring - Southwest: California Route 178

Overview | Map | Description | Things To Do| Camping/Lodging | Nearby

About 50 miles south of California Route 190, U.S. 395 intersects California Route 178 near Ridgecrest and China Lake. Turn east here to enter the park along this scenic route. It passes near the unique geologic formation of the Trona Pinnacles at about the 20 mile mark.

Trona

It is another 25 miles before Highway 178 enters Death Valley National Park and ascends scenic Wildrose Canyon along a steep, winding road. (Longer vehicles are advised to take Panamint Valley Road to Route 190 before entering the park.)

Charcoal Kilns

Turn east at Wildrose Campground to visit the Charcoal Kilns, constructed more than a century ago to manufacture charcoal for use in nearby ore smelters. Chinese laborers built the kilns without mortar, and Shoshone Indians tended them with pinyon pine and juniper from the surrounding forests.

This is also the access point to trailheads for Wildrose Peak (9054 feet) and Telescope Peak (11049 feet), the highest point in Death Valley National Park.


Back on the highway, Route 178 passes through Emigrant Pass (5547) 8 miles to the north. A couple miles further, turn right onto the 7-mile dirt road to Aguereberry Point (6433 feet) for a panoramic view of Death Valley from the west.



Route 178 then descends into Emigrant Canyon. At the upper end of the canyon is the geologically interesting Harrisburg Flats. Immediately thereafter is the 7-mile dirt road to the ghost town of Skidoo, another abandoned mining town from the turn of the century. It derived its name from a common saying of the time, "Twenty-three Skidoo."

Back on the highway, Route 178 completes its descent through Emigrant Canyon and converges with Route 190 (35 miles from the Visitor Center) and descends to Stovepipe Wells Village near the valley floor.

AUTO TOURS
 Southeast: California Route 178
 East: California Route 190
 Northeast: Nevada Route 374
 North: Nevada Route 267
 West: California Route 190
 Southwest: California Route 178


Overview | Map | Description | Things To Do| Camping/Lodging | Nearby

 

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