Explore Nevada's Ward Charcoal Ovens

Rate this Adventure Nevada Ward Charcoal Ovens

Added by Derrick Lytle

  • Dark night sky
  • Unique and historical location
  • Very uncrowded area

The Ward Charcoal Ovens are a unique photo location with some of the darkest night skies in the country. Being a Nevada state park, the area is lightly traveled, which means you won't be competing with other photographers for your perfect shot.

The Ovens are easy to get to. From Ely drive south east on US 93 until you reach Cave Valley Road. From here follow the dirt road and the signs for the park. Do not use a maps application to find the park or you will end up in Carson City about six hours away.

The ovens were used to make charcoal with the wood from the nearby mountains and now are a row of empty brick beehives that stand against the sky. There's a dirt parking lot close to the ovens with a bathroom and a couple of trails. Closest gas and food is in Ely about 10 miles away.

The best time to shoot the ovens is either at night or at sunrise. Great Basin, where the park is located, is touted as having the darkest skies in the country. During a new moon, the Milky Way will blaze across the sky. Sunrise is also amazing and the ovens make a beautiful foreground to the rising sun.

Campgrounds are cheap and well maintained. Be sure to make reservations. You can contact them at (775) 289-1693 or via email wardcharcoalovens@mwpower.net.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Fast lens
  • Camping gear
  • Water and snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Camping, Chillin, Fitness

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn


Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area

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Added by Derrick Lytle

- trail running - time lapse photography - filmmaking - adventure -
 @derricklytle derricklytle.tumblr.com

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