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“Incredible Sand Dunes” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert
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Owner description: Though arid and harsh, the Mojave Desert is home to over 200 endemic plant species and only one kind of tree, the Joshua Tree.
Hanover, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
59 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Incredible Sand Dunes”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

What really sets this national park apart from others in the area is the Kelso sand dunes. Amazing! The dunes are about 40 square miles and is suitable for all ages. To climb to the top is a two mile hike in very soft and steep sand, but the views from the bottom and middle are also breathtaking. Can't say enough good things about it. There is a small gift shop and cafe close by and restrooms right at the bottom of the dunes. I can see where this would be too hot to visit in the summer, but early March is beautiful.

Visited March 2012
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27 reviews from our community

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San Diego, California
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265 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“Less crowded than Death Valley-but just as uniquely beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2010

Mojave desert is hauntingly beautiful. It has far fewer visitors but is still very similar to Death Valley. The sand dunes are amazing-and there are many nice hikes. You can also drive through it just be careful to not run over the desert tortoise.

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3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“some beautiful walks here”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2010

Went to Mojave desert for a day trip while staying in Las Vegas. Is about 1-1.5 hour drive from Vegas. Highlight was the Teutonia trail. Truly beautiful walk through joshua trees. Saw lizards, amazing flowers, and lots of birds. Meant to be a two-hour round trip but took us four hours because there was so much to look at. The rest of the desert was pretty interesting but not as spectacular as death valley etc.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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“Mojave Desert is Beautiful in Spring”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2005

This March, we went to Las Vegas on vacation. Vegas is one of the greatest spots in the US for a vacation, but we wanted to experience more! We love the desert and mountains in Nevada and California. It seemed like a perfect spring day to drive to the Mojave dessert. My boyfriend and I had read a lot about what to see in Vegas, but didn't have a clue as to what we might find in the Mojave. The drive there took us over an hour on the free-way, Route 15. Our first stop was in Baker, California, which is the starting point for Kelbaker Road into the Mojave. It is one of those towns that are one-of-a-kind, that almost feel like a movie set. There, in the middle of nowhere, is the world's largest thermometer, the "Mad Greek" restaurant, and a quaint country store. We visited the Mojave National Preserve Desert information center and got, what proved to be vital, a map of the Mojave area. We made sure we had plenty of gas and water and then took off for our adventure.

We discovered that spring in the desert is fantastic. Our first views were of flat sandy desert, covered with wild yellow flowers and the mountains in the background. The terrain became more rolling as we came up to the cinder cones and lava beds. It is one of the only areas of this kind in the United States. The black rocks reflecting the sun were unexpectedly beautiful. There are miles of the flow and we took a short hike off the road to see more. The area was dotted with purple and yellow flowers and cactus in bloom in fire red. Continuing down the road, the scenery is amazing. The Granite and Providence Mountains are magnificent in purple against the blue sky, with their jagged cliffs etching purple zigzag lines across the top. As we drive towards the Kelso Dunes , we see the top white peaks of sand in front of the mountains in the distance. They are down a 3 mile stone road and it can be very bumpy after a rain (we know!) But, the drive is well worth every bump! What we saw ahead was nothing like what we could have imagined. The dunes are huge 700 feet high dunes covering 45 square miles that were created over 25,000 years by sand trapped by the mountains. The scenery here is well worth the trip from Vegas. It’s as if you are on another planet. There were several people hiking up the dunes, but I doubt if this is done in the heat of summer. It is so magnificient, we could barely pull ourselves away from here, but continued on to the Kelso Depot. It is one of the only man-made things you’ll see in the desert. It's a picturesque Old West rail station, built in 1924 for the Union Pacific Railroad which is now being renovated into a park information center. We turned onto Cima Road and then on to Morning Star Mine Road. Along the road you will see part of the densest Joshua tree forest in the world. Many are huge 7 to 8 ft. trees. This road ends at Nipton road. Take a left and you’ll be back to Route 15 and civilization.

Our trip to the Mojave was unforgettable. In the spring, it was fantastic, but we were imagining how hot it must be in the summer. A couple of words of caution. There are only a few outside toilets, no place to buy anything, and at times, even very few people to be seen. It’s a sharp contrast to Vegas. We are so very glad that we took the time to drive here and see the magnificence that nature has to offer. So far, no one has built anything on the strip to equal it!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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