Leeds Creek Kiln at the Childrens Forest

Leeds Creek Kiln at the Childrens Forest

History

History

The Leeds Creek Kiln was built about 1885, and used to create charcoal for use in the silver smelting process. The kiln is in fairly good condition, and represents a unique piece of Southern Utah history. In addition to the kiln itself, there is an interpretive children's forest leading to the area with substantial information on some of the local flora. With some benches, a nice bridge across the creek, and a picnic table this site is worth spending some time at.

 
Elevation Range:   0 ft
Low Elevation:   4640 ft
High Elevation:   4640 ft
Distance:   0.1 miles
Area:   Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness Area
Cost:   Free
Rating:    (3.0)
Aerobic Intensity:    (2.0)
Technical Difficulty:    (1.0)
Scenery:    (2.0)
  1 ratings
Last Edited: Oct 05, 2016

 Guide

The Leeds Creek Kiln is located a few miles away from the town of Leeds, up the canyon towards Pine Valley on the Oak Grove Road (forest service road 32).  The site can be fun and educational for the kids, with a historical element for the adults as well.

Much of the historical detail about the kiln has been lost over time, but the following is paraphrased from the sign at the interpretive site:

The Leeds Creek Kiln was designed and built around 1885 by Italian stone masons and silver miners according to local legend. The Roman arch-style entryway and the kiln's location west of Italian Wash, give credence to the legend.

The kiln supported the mining operations for the Silver Reef Mining Area. The kiln was used to make charcoal from the surrounding oak and juniper forest. Loggers worked the nearby slopes of the Pine Valley Mountains to provide pinyon pine and scrub oak to fill the kiln. The wood was set on fire and allowed to smolder until the logs became charcoal. Teamsters would then unload the charcoal logs through the main entryway onto wagons and haul the logs to the smelter at Silver Reef.  The charcoal kept the smelter at a constant temperature for removing the silver from sandstone.

Although you will spend some time on a dirt road to get here, the site should generally be accessible by any vehicle.  Unless there has been recent storms in the area, the road will be well-gravelled and groomed.

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 Getting There

Going Northbound on I-15:

  • Take exit 22, and turn left at the stop sign
  • Travel north through Leeds for 1.7 miles
  • Make a left on Silver Reef Road, quickly going under the freeway

Going Southbound on I-15:

  • Ttake exit 23. 
  • Turn right at the stop sign, going West on Silver Reef Road

From there:

  • Keep travelling west through Leeds
  • At about 1.5 miles, the road will turn to gravel and cross the creek
  • After about 1.5 more miles, the road will fork.  Stay right towards the Oak Grove Campground
  • After 2 miles you will se the small parking lot on your right, with the sandstone sign announcing the location.

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