Dual passport? stamping around Ward Charcoal Kilns, a Nevada State Park

Like addicts, we live for national park Passport book stamps.

One daub of social media marketing crossed my eyeballs, and I ordered Nevada’s free state park passport book, as you can too. Easy. Call (775) 684-2770.

Blank book in hand, it seemed only natural to visit any state park on our way to Great Basin National Park. Ward Charcoal Kilns also appeared in our ghost town guide book, so we booked a night near Ely, NV to explore.

Passport stamp station

All excitement about the state park passport crumbled at the entrance where vandals had removed the stamp and ink.

Remnants of an era of resource destruction

The Ward kilns gobbled up every tree within a 35 mile radius. Ward mining was short-lived, and the kilns cooled as people moved to other resources for their livelihoods.

Ability Tips

Mobility concern: lots of loose gravelly soil around the ovens.  

The Kilns are probably most accessible for mechanically powered mobility. Companion generated power could get you from the lot to the kilns and back.

For those with some mobility, Willow Creek Trail provides opportunity for a good easy stretch. Pass the kilns, turn right and hike the .8 mile, mostly level path that loops into the lot.

Bring small bills for park and pay. Beware out-of-state rates might not suit your budget since it’s at most an hour of exploration.

Also, the actual ghost town of Ward — scarcely viewable in the distance — is not a thing here. The main feature remains the well preserved ovens.

Adjacent primitive camp sites are available, with picnic areas, too.

When I phoned for the passport book, the parks employee presciently told me to stop by the main state office for any missing stamps. Guess we will have to plan the next trip to stop in Carson City.

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