Other Points of Interest, Death Valley National Park

41 Reviews

Know about this? Rate It!

hide
  • Rhyolite, general store
    Rhyolite, general store
    by Martinewezel
  • Rhyolite, the station
    Rhyolite, the station
    by Martinewezel
  • Rhyolite,
    Rhyolite, "antiques"
    by Martinewezel
  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Charcoal kilns

    by JLBG Written Apr 25, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Charcoal kilns

    The charcoal kilns stand in Wildrose canyon, in western Death Valley, at an elevation of 6,800 feet. They can be reached by a good dirt road where you can drive a regular car. In early April, there was still some snow remaining. When you arrive and discover the kilns, the view is stunning. What is that, is that a village ?

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Desert
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Ballarat - Ghost Town

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 29, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    In 1897 Radcliffe mining produced 15,000 tons of gold ore from 1898-1903. Ballarat was named after Australian gold camp and home of 400 people. It boasted a community of 7 saloons, 3 hotels, Wells Fargo station, post office, school, and a morgue. It lacked a Church, oops! Soon like others started to decline when the mine ended its operation. Businesses folded up and people moved on, except those hardy inidividuals who were determine to continue mining on their own or just because they called it home like die hard Frank "Shorty" Harris who remained till his death in 1934 and Charles "Seldom Seen Slim" Ferge in 1968. The evil Manson family even left their mark here with some graffiti behind while hiding out at the Barker ranch just south of here.

    There is a store here and its popular for the 4x4er's who like to use the trailer park.

    Ballarat is privately owned and the only structures left are several adobe ruins and a cemetery, which is neat to explore.

    It is located off a dirt road off of Panamint Valley road west of Death Valley Highway 178. Look for the Historical Markers

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • awayhome's Profile Photo

    Barker Ranch: Home Sweet Home for Infamous Killers

    by awayhome Updated Mar 22, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Me and Jimmy at Barker Ranch

    "We are at Barker's now, sneaked in at dusk. It feels good here all in one room, all in one circle. We're dusty brown and smoothly tough, with cactus cut hands of lizard scale and sun. The feeling is animal, of wind and rough ground under our feet, and real. We can't stay here at Barker's. There's too many of us. We are hunted. So tonight we dig. "

    Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, 1969-Manson Family Killer

    On the edge of Death Valley an intrepid traveller may find the Barker Ranch which is unoccupied but still remains on private land. It was here in 1969 that a group of 20 Hippie's belonging to the Charles Manson clan hid out from law enforcement. The above text is a journal entry written by a now imprisoned murderer about her stay at this remote shack in Death Valley. There are actually a few beds, a fire place, an old kitchen, and even a liabrary inside the home but nobody lives there. I imagine the stuff was left there by travellers who were passing through on a tour of the macabre. You can probably stay the night there if you are in Death Valley but don't let stories of the place being haunted scare you off. The stars are bright & glorious in the night sky but even that wont keep a vivid imagination at ease knowing that the Manson killers gazed upon the same night sky you now lay under.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Ballart Historical Marker #2

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 30, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Marker Reads:

    3.5 miles east of this point lies Ballarat. Established in 1897 as a mining camp and supply center for gold and silver mines located on the western slope of the Panamint Mountains. It was named after a well known gold producting area in Australia boasting a population of nearly 500. It has Wells Fargo station, post office, school house, jail, morgue, 3 hotels, and 7 saloons. When the Ratcliff Mine suspended operations in 1905. Ballarat began to rapidly decline. After the post office closed in September of 1917 became a ghost town.

    Billy Holcomb Plaques No. 102

    It is located along Trona-Wildrose Road (Highway 178) off a dirt road off of Panamint Valley road west of Death Valley. Look for the Historical Markers

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Colorful Canyons

    by goingsolo Updated Dec 10, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    Hiking in the canyons provides an oasis of color in this mostly stark region. In this particular section of Mosaic Canyon, the rock has been smoothed into marble like consistency. The rock fragments here are a patchwork of red, brown and purple hues, which is perhaps how the canyon got its name. Its a visual sensory overload, especially after driving through the stark brown valley.

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Ghost towns

    by goingsolo Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    Several ghost towns remain in and around Death Valley. Most still contain remnant of old buildings and mining operations, which were the purpose of these towns original existence.

    Of these towns Rhyolite is one of the only ones that can be reached by a paved road. It is located just west of Beatty. Panamint City, whose ruins are part of Death Valley National Park, is accessible by a five mile hike from the ghost town of Ballarat. Leadville is located on the Titus Canyon road, which is a 4X4 path only.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Goler Wash Barrel Cactus

    by Echo_29 Updated Mar 14, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Barrel Snipers

    Goler Canyon is an amazingly steep and rugged route into and out of Death Valley. Lined with mines and cactus from top to bottom, the 4.5 mile long canyon is worth a hike from the Ballarat entrance if you are without a 4x4.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Desert
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Varied landscape

    by goingsolo Updated Dec 6, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    Its a different crowd out here than the hordes of tourist that flock en masse to the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or the climbing jocks who congregate in places like Zion. Its a more quiet and subdued crowd. Those that are more into looking and observing than being easily wowed by obviously impressive scenery. This is a pretty out of the way place, one you have to travel far over desolate roads to enter and one which you have to patiently explore in order to truly see.

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Peaceful emptiness

    by goingsolo Updated Dec 8, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    In some ways, it is the desolate areas of Death Valley that are the most beautiful. It is easy to see beauty in dazzling rock formations, golden sand dunes or snow spotted mountains rising gracefully towards the sky. By contrast, flat brown land which stretches endlessly in desolate morbidity without a hint of green doesn't sound like anything you'd drive hundreds of miles to see. But driving these long stretches of road where nothing ever grows is surprisingly peaceful, surprisingly serene, and, most surprising of all, beautiful.

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Driving to Mahogany Flat

    by goingsolo Updated Dec 9, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    It was a pretty isolated drive along the Wildrose Canyon Road, with the ultimate goal being to make it to Mahogany Flat. The road, although paved, kept climbing to higher elevations, eventually becoming steep and winding and with a lot of hairpin curves. My least favorite kind of driving. But the mountains, becoming ever closer, compelled me to drive on, curve after curve, in order to see their broad silhouettes in the not so distant horizon. But for those curves, it was mesmerizing.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martinewezel's Profile Photo

    Ghost town Rhyolite

    by Martinewezel Updated Mar 21, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rhyolite, the station
    4 more images

    The ghost town is located in the Bullfrog Hills, on the border of Death Valley National Park, and close to Beatty.
    A few ghosts (art from Belgian artists) along the road welcome the visitors.
    There is not much left, beside a a few ruins. Furthermore there is also an obligate traditional and renovated "Bottle House". The station building is still in a rather good condition.
    Difficult to imagine that this desolate, abandoned place was once a lively, flourishing town.
    However, reading a bit about the history of Rhyolite on the forehand, made our visit a lot more interesting.
    Glad I have seen it.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Desert
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Panamint City Historical Marker

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 30, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    This is new marker and is next to the other two markers on this route. It was not here the last time we pass through here. It is neat because they put a cooper tube to act as a telescope and point where the Panamint City mine was located in the mountain.

    It reads:
    Rich silver ore was discovered in December 1872 at the head of Surprise Canyon 12 miles northeast of here. The United States Senators for Nevada, John P. Jones and William Morris Stewart, invested in and promoted the camp which drew a peak population of 2000 to the steep, mile-high canyon. Wells Fargo refused to serve the lawless camp, and bullion was shipped out in 400-pound cubes to deter thieves, to connect his Santa Monica property with the Mines Jones build a half-mile pier and began a railroad, which reached only as far as Los Angeles. Jones and Stewart floated 15 stocks on the San Francisco mining exchange with a face value of over $61 million, on July 4, 1876the camp celebrated a new 30-stamp mill, and strings of ore cars moved at full speed. The celebration ended 20 days later when hours of heavy rain flooded the Panamint Peaks and sent a wall of water down Surprise Canyon's Main Street, wiping out cabins, stores & saloons to end the boom. One of the departing miners, Isadore Daunet, crossed the summit and discovered cottonball Borax at Furnance Creek.
    Plaque Dedicated November 9 2002
    By Yerba Buena No.1 Slim Princess, Billy Holcomb & Platrix Chapters of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus in cooperation with the Death Valley 49ers.

    Billy Holcomb Plaques No. 102

    It is located along Trona-Wildrose Road (Highway 178) off a dirt road off of Panamint Valley road west of Death Valley. Look for the Historical Markers

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Beauty of the barren desert

    by goingsolo Updated Dec 6, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    Its a perfect weather day. About 60 degrees, blue sky and only stray wisps of clouds break the otherwise endless vista. Death Valley is so stark, so extreme that is is soul searchingly, hauntingly beautiful. Barren land flanks the weather beaten road, salt and other minerals accumulate on the ground where they have been abandoned by long since dried up lakes and subtle rock formations in the form of mountains populate the horizon.

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    The quest for white gold, aka borax

    by goingsolo Updated Dec 7, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    The first successful mining operation in Death Valley involved the extraction of borax, which is apparently a very valuable mineral. The sign explains the importance of borax and its uses. Click on the picture if you're interested in learning more about it.

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Closer examination

    by goingsolo Updated Dec 11, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Death Valley National Park

    Maybe redemption has stories to tell
    Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
    Where can you run to escape from yourself?
    Where you gonna go?
    Salvation is here.

    Switchfoot, Dare you to Move

    There's something so peaceful about driving amidst the barren landscape of the valley. You'll find no wildlife here, except for turkey vultures. There's no chance of turning the corner and spotting a cute little fawn by the side of the road, all doed eyed and Bambi-esque, prancing prettily for a throng of curious revelers.

    Instead, the road runs for hundreds of miles through this seemingly desolate wasteland. But, somehow, driving in the silent emptiness, its as if something is saying, "let it all go. Just leave it behind out here." Pretty strange thoughts, I know.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Death Valley National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

78 travelers online now

Comments

View all Death Valley National Park hotels