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Death Valley Adventure Finale – The Racetrack and …

AND… the finale of our Death Valley Adventure. Thanks for checking back and if you have missed part 1 and part 2 you can find them here and here.  Also, our Green Hour Connection is incorporated into today’s post.

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Now for the famous Racetrack. The Racetrack in Death Valley is in the middle of nowhere. It is an expansive playa (dry lake bed). To access it you drive a rocky and sometimes washboard dirt road for 26 miles. It is long and slow as the road winds through the desert and is quite bumpy.  It is definitely worth the drive as the Racetrack is known for it’s mysteriously moving rocks. No one has ever seen the rocks move but they leave a track as evidence of their movement. The rocks rest on the playa at the south end and the Grandstand will greet you at the north.

Teakettle Junction on the way to the Racetrack

Actually, this is how the rocks get moved

Playtime with Dad


photo by Bret Edge Photography

The Charcoal Kilns in Wildrose Canyon are historical structures worth the 37 mile drive from Stovepipe Wells. Built in 1879 they were used to create charcoal from pinyon pines and then transferred to the Modoc Mine smelter. They look much smaller in photographs than they do in person, standing 25 feet tall. There are 10 kilns surrounded by pine trees. While we were visiting the wind was ripping through canyon and there was still snow on the ground, making it a bit chilly.

Walking inside a kiln


Snow in Death Valley?

Charcoal Kilns

photo by Bret Edge Photography

Do you love homemade bread, coffee cake, donuts, cookies, truffles, caramel apples, cheesecake, jams, candy and every other yumminess and goodness thats bad for you??? Well, Erik Schats Bakery in Bishop, CA is the place to find all that good stuff. Oh, and they have healthy sandwiches, salads and fruit bowls for lunch but who wants to eat that with everything else in sight. Anyways, we took a day trip over to Bishop which is about 135 miles from Stovepipe. Since we were so close we wanted to visit one of our favorite mexican restaurants, Amigos, and of course, visit Schats Bakery. We had been in the car a lot and then shopping and eating so this day we had to make a point to get in our Green Hour Connection. We headed to the Alabama Hills about an hour south of Bishop and let J-Man play on the rocks. The Alabama Hills have been used in tons of movies and they are at the base of Mt. Whitney, the tallest point in California. (We are hoping to summit it next summer with J-Man.)

In front of Schat’s Bakery

Not sure what this rock art is all about

Mt. Whitney and the Alabama Hills

I love going to ghost towns, reading about the history of them and seeing what remains. When we went to the Charcoal Kilns we had planned to summit Wildrose Peak. Due to the nature of the weather we opted to find something else to do. We drove past a turn off to Skidoo ghost town on the way to the kilns so we decided to check it out on our way back. When we arrrived at Skidoo we found one sign describing the town and some remaining mines, but that was all we saw of the little ghost town that was created in 1906. We had a picnic in ‘Downtown Skidoo’, which is just a dirt drive with a sign. Glad we went but no need to go back.

Reading all about Skidoo

Picnic in downtown Skidoo

The End!

What a great adventure we were able to take J-Man on. He had a wonderful time and so did we.

Hope you enjoyed our Death Valley Adventure.


Where is your next adventure taking you? What was your latest adventure you took your tykes on?


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  1. wow that place looks really great!


  1. […] picked up this sun hat in Bishop, CA while on our Death Valley trip back in March. It was the first time I had seen the hat, so I snatched it up right away. (I love […]

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