Length: 14 mile (22.5km) out and back, round trip
Time: 7 hours round trip
Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft (914m)
Location: From CA-190 follow Emigrant Canyon Road past the Wildrose Campground to the parking area at the Charcoal Kilns. The final 5 miles is a maintained gravel surface typically passable in a sedan. 25 ft vehicle limit.
Parking: 25 ft vehicle limit. Open gravel area.
Closest Restroom: Vault toilet in parking area. No restroom along the trail, follow principle 3 of Leave No Trace (LNT).
GPS Data: GPS data for the unmarked route is for supplemental purposes only. Take a map and compass when exploring the trail-less wilderness.
Route DescriptionThe 10 space Mahogany Flat Campground located at the trailhead is the ideal place to spend the night and acclimate to the high elevation. There is no water at the camp.
The trail immediately begins as a steady climb along the eastern slope of the Panamint Mountains.
Pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla) and the sweet smelling mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) line the trail reaching high overhead competing for light. Hiking through this forested tunnel the trees obscure all but the slightest views of valley floor sitting over 8,000 feet (2438m) below.
In less than 1 mile (1.6km), the vegetation finally gives way to the first of many unobstructed and breathtaking views into Death Valley.
The trail continues the steady grade below Rogers Peak as it turns sharply west overlooking the middle fork of Hanaupah Canyon.
At mile 2.4 (3.9km) it levels out at Arcane Meadows where views into both Panamint and Death Valleys.
The meadow nestled between Rogers and Bennett Peaks is a popular camp for those wishing to backpack the route rather than day hike.
For the next 1.5 miles (2.4km) the trail meanders along the flat and narrow ridgeline passing the occasional limber pine (Pinus flexilis) and some of the best views in the entire park.
Limber pines (Pinus flexilis) are known to live over 2,000 years.
The next 3 miles (4.8km) gains over 1,000 feet (305m) as it steeply switchbacks amongst the ancient bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva).
Bristlecone pines ((Pinus longaeva) are known to live over 5,000 years and are some of the oldest living creatures on earth.
The final 0.2 miles (0.3km) up the narrow ridge to the summit may test the nerves of those with a fear of heights.
Telescope Peak sits 11,049 foot (3,368m) above sea level.
To the east at over 11,331feet (3,454m) below sits the lowest point in North America,
Badwater Basin at -282 feet (-86m) below sea level.
On a clear day look far to the western horizon for the Sierra Nevada Mountains where Mount Whitney rises to 14,505 feet (4421m) as the highest point in the contiguous United States (lower 48 states).
Return via the same route.
Last updated: January 13, 2018