Go up into the Panamint Mountains to about 7000 feet in elevation , using a good road until the final mile or two , or a few , which has become a dirt road , and suddenly there are ten of these odd stone structures , all lined up . They look , to me , like tall stone beehives ; but they’re not , of course . They’re charcoal kilns .
What’s a charcoal kiln ? , you might say . Never seen a charcoal kiln ? It’s where they made charcoal . Swiss engineers designed these ones and Chinese laborers built them and did the work . Each kiln held four cords of pinyon pine logs which were burned for a week to make charcoal for a silver smelter in the area . The kilns were built in 1877 and operated for only two years because the smelters closed down in 1879 .
The kilns are up in Wildrose Canyon in Death Valley National Park .