In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2013 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Wah Wah Mountains, Utah
After finding a Panaramio photo on Google Earth we had to see what these kilns looked like in the desert in person. And we wanted to know why they are there. At first it didn't make any sense. Was someone trying to put Kingsford out of business? To our surprise, here's what we found out. First did you know that Utah produced a lot of silver? How much? back in 1870 the state produced 473,182 troy ounces worth $ 628,400. A lot of money back then, but wait a minute that's not the end of the story. As late as 1983 the state produced 4,567,000 troy ounces (that's right over 4 million ounces). Which was worth $52,242,000. With mines located all through the Wah Wah, and Frisco Mountains, to name a few locations nearby.
Page 1 - Back
The Wah Wah Mountains are very rugged in many places and would present a real challenge even for hikers. This is one of the more remote areas in Utah. Travel safely.
Other areas in the mountains here are not stable, It's clearly visible here that a big slide occured in the not too distant past.
Let's take a short visual trip up Rose Spring Canyon and then into Lamerdorf canyon. The road into Lamerdorf Canyon is not marked on any map, so use the supplied GPS track for directions to the kilns and the old homestead.
We learned a lot about mining activities in the desert in Utah because of this trip. The one thing I would have really liked to witness was the building of the kilns. If you take this trip, be careful, it is remote.
Page 1- The horses
After finding these kilns in Lamerdorf Canyon we came to find out that there are quite a few other kilns in the mountains near here. In fact there are kilns in Silver Reef down near St. George and 5 more kilns just north of here at Kiln Spring and several more over in the old mining town of Frisco in the Frisco Mountains just to the northeast of here. So why so many kilns in the mountains? They needed charcoal to fire their ovens to separate the desired minerals from the rock. And there was a lot of firewood in the surrounding mountains. It was easier to haul the lighter charcoal down the mountain than the heavy logs. Now a lot of the trees are gone in the foothills and in the mountains because of this.
Garmin Topography Map
Topo map with the Garmin track shown in "Yellow", with prominent landmarks. Track shown is 70 miles long. Enlarge this for more detail.