Telescope Peak

a cactus in the front with a prominent mountain behind
Plants from cacti to bristecone can be seen along the trail.

NPS / J. Jurado

Quick Facts
Death Valley National Park
Hiking Trail

Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trailhead/Hiker Register

The views from Telescope Peak are unsurpassed; to the east the swirling salt flats of Death Valley, and to the west the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains.

At 11, 049 ft (3368 m), Telescope Peak is the tallest mountain in Death Valley National Park. This dramatic change in elevation from the valley floor below allows hikers to explore meadows full of desert wildflowers, and an ancient bristlecone pine forest.  

Round Trip Length: 13 miles (21km)
Round Trip Time: 7 hours 
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft (914m)
Trail Type: Official out and back trail
Location: From CA-190 follow Emigrant Canyon Road to the parking area at the Charcoal Kilns. The final 1.5 miles (2.4 km) beyond the kilns is a maintained gravel surface, but sometimes requires 4X4 high clearance. 25 ft vehicle length limit. Road closes with snow. Check with a ranger for current conditions.
Parking: Open gravel area
Closest Restroom: Vault toilet in nearby Mahogany Flat Campground. No restroom along the trail. Do not leave toilet paper in the backcountry. 
Route: The trail immediately begins climbing from the trail head. After several miles hikers reach a mellow ridge walk, before the final push to the top of the peak.

Detailed Trip Report/Route Description

Note: pets are not allowed on any trail in Death Valley National Park, even if carried. Do not leave your animal in your vehicle. Speak with a ranger about one of the incredible dirt roads where you may walk your pet.


Death Valley National Park

Last updated: January 11, 2024