“A scenic trail that provides views of the Panamint Mountains and Badwater Basin.”
— Mikhaila Redovian
While the entire route might be a bit long for kids, the first portion is gentle, and the charcoal kilns near the trailhead are an interesting feature.
Begin your journey by first passing a series of charcoal kilns, and begin a dry ascent to the top of Wildrose Peak. The trail winds up through piñon pine though vegetation becomes sparse and scrub-like as you reach the windswept summit. This is a strenuous route, but it rewards visitors with incredible views.
Need to Know
Drink plenty of water: Drink at least one gallon (4 liters) of water per day to replace loss from sweat, more if you are active. Fluid and electrolyte levels must be balanced, so have salty foods or "sports drinks" too.
Avoid hiking in the heat: Do not hike in the low elevations when temperatures are hot. The mountains are cooler in summer, but can have snow and ice in winter.
Travel prepared to survive: Stay on paved roads in summer. If your car breaks down, stay with it until help comes. Carry extra drinking water in your car in case of emergency.
Watch for signs of trouble: If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or a headache, get out of the sun immediately and drink water or sports drinks. Dampen clothing to lower body temperature. Be alert for symptoms in others.
Located about seven miles from the tallest peak in the park, Wildrose Peak is no less spectacular than the taller Telescope Peak. Along this trail, visitors will have the opportunity to take in sweeping desert at almost any point. Beginning from the Charcoal Kilns, the trail begins a gradual ascent. A look out .25 miles in gives visitors a chance to enjoy the view and take a short break. Enjoy the gentle grades early on, as a few steep trail segments lie ahead!
Visitors will continue to pass through a Pinyon Pine forest as they gain a ridgeline. All of the hard work to reach the ridge immediately pays off, as views are expansive. The snowy salt flats come into full view, providing an unexpected scene, especially in hot summer months when valley temperatures easily surpass 100 degrees.
You'll have a respite from the steep climbing for a while, and instead you'll take a circuitous route to the summit. Take in the views around you, and catch your breath.
The last half mile to the summit begins to climb steeply, and you'll be working your way through a multitude of switchbacks. Keep at it until you hit a false summit, and then enjoy the tame slope to the real summit. By this time, you'll have left most vegetation behind, so you'll have unobstructed views. Take in the desert landscape, and stop to have a snack before heading back down the way you came.