Great Winter Camping Destinations – Mojave Preserve

This article is a summary of camping related information from the National Park Service website. I have included some photos of park attractions Kelso Dunes and Kelso Depot.

Singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of wildflowers are all found at this 1.6 million acre park. A visit to its canyons, mountains and mesas will reveal long-abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts. Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Mojave provides serenity and solitude from major metropolitan areas.

Kelso Dunes - Mojave National Preserve
Kelso Dunes – Mojave National Preserve

Campgrounds in Mojave Preserve
Two developed, “family” campgrounds – the Mid Hills Campground and Hole-in-the-Wall Campground – are available year-round, equipped with vault toilets, trash receptacles, potable water, fire rings and picnic tables.

In addition the Providence Mountains State Recreation is directly adjacent to the preserve and has a small 6-site campground.

Roadside Camping
Roadside vehicle camping is permitted in areas that have been traditionally used for this purpose. Camping tramples vegetation and disturbs soils. By reusing existing sites, you help protect the desert from further damage. Sites with existing rock fire rings should be considered disturbed sites suitable for roadside camping.

Careful planning and knowledge of camping guidelines and regulations will help ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for you, future visitors, and the fragile desert environment…

Selected Roadside Camping Areas The National Park Service encourages roadside campers to use the following, selected sites:

Near Kelbaker Road Rainy Day Mine Site 15.2 miles southeast of Baker on Kelbaker Road, then 0.3 miles northeast on the unsigned and very sandy road to the Rainy Day Mine. Four-wheel drive recommended; no RVs.

Granite Pass 6.1 miles north of I-40 on Kelbaker Road, just north of Granite Pass, then west on one of several access roads. Campsites are located just north of the granite spires. High clearance vehicle recommended; no RVs.

Kelso Dunes Mine 4 miles west of Kelbaker Road on the unpaved Kelso Dunes Road. One campsite is located south of the road, 1/4 mile past the marked trailhead. Several others are available 3/4 mile beyond, near a clump of trees. Except at these sites, roadside camping is prohibited along Kelso Dunes Road (including at the trailhead).

Near Cima Road

Sunrise Rock 12 miles south of I-15 on the east side of Cima Road. Trailhead for Teutonia Peak Trail is nearby on the opposite side of Cima Road.

Near Black Canyon Road

Black Canyon Road About 4 miles south of Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center on the east side of Black Canyon Road, above the wash and near a hill with excellent views of the Providence Mountains. Another site is located about 4 miles futher south, also on the east side of Black Canyon Road, near rock piles.

Near Ivanpah and Cedar Canyon Roads

Caruthers Canyon 5.5 miles west of Ivanpah Road on New York Mountains Road, then 1.5 to 2.7 miles north to campsites. High clearance and four-wheel drive recommended; no RVs.