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Sawmill Kiln
  • Sawmill
  • Pinyon, CA 92561

Ambitious hikers with an affinity for history can embark on an 11.2-mile round-trip trek through the Santa Rosa Mountains to Sawmill Kiln, where a charcoal kiln and log splitter are all that remains of Arthur Nightingale’s former lumber camp. Nightingale, a mechanic from North Dakota, moved to the area in the 1930s and bought land in Pinyon Flats, with plans to sell the lots and build new construction (he and his wife were also the founders of what is now the Sugarloaf Café). The trail, which gains 2,490 feet total and scales canyons blooming with beavertail, cholla, and other scrubby cacti, offers a challenging yet invigorating outing. History buffs and hikers with their four-legged friends share the dirt path with mountain bikers and horseback riders. After parking at the Sawmill Trailhead off Highway 74, take a right on Pigeon Springs Road; you’ll reach the kiln after climbing about 5.5 miles. Return to your car via the same route.

Total Distance: 11.2 miles

Level: Difficult

Hiking Features
  • Distance (mi): 11.2
  • Distance (km): 18
  • Difficulty Score: 20
  • Route Type: Out and back
  • Elevation at Trailhead: 4054
  • Elevation Gain (+): 2490
  • Elevation Loss (-): 2490
  • Net Elev +/- (ft): 2490
  • Net Elev +/- (m): 759
  • Minimum Elevation: 4003
  • Maximum Elevation: 6267
  • Elevation Change-lowest point to highest point ft: 2264
  • Parking Type: Paved lot
  • Location: Southern Santa Rosa Mountains
  • Sub-Location: Pinyon Flats/Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
  • Dogs Allowed:
  • Bikes Allowed:
  • Horses Allowed:
  • Historic Sites:
  • 11 - 20 Miles:
  • Free:
Trail Length
  • 11 - 20 Miles:
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