Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Mojave preserves a diverse mosaic of ecological habitats and a 10,000 year history of human connection with the desert. Offering extensive opportunities to experience desert landscapes, the preserve promotes understanding and appreciation for the increasingly threatened resources of the Mojave Desert. This remote preserve encourages a sense of discovery and a connection to wild places. NOTE: Outdoor areas and trails open 24 hours, 7 days per week. Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center hours Friday to Monday 10 am to 4 pm.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
278 reviews
Excellent
161
Very good
89
Average
23
Poor
3
Terrible
2

everwindingroad
Oakland, CA229 contributions
Jul 2020
We stayed in the car most of the time for the heat, but was able to explore a few parts of the park on foot. The park has so many beautiful colors and textures. Unfortunately, we did see trash in some of the natural area and even found broken bottles and a used needle in another.
Written January 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina64,824 contributions
Aug 2019 • Business
We enjoyed our drive through the hot desert lands. Very scenic and unaltered desert flora from thousands of years ago.
Written September 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debbie B
Wisconsin69 contributions
Apr 2013 • Family
Have wanted to do this drive for a number of years and it exceeded all expectations. With stops it took us 9 hours which included a 35 mile drive through Joshua Tree. We exited the park at Twenty Nine Palms where we refuelled easily enough before heading up to Amboy, Kelso then Cima before rejoining the I-15 to Las Vegas. If you do this trip be sure to have a full tank and plenty of food and water as there is nothing along the way. Oh and don't forget your camera as you will see some spectacular scenery! There's a short stint along Route 66, Kelso Dunes and Kelso itself with the old Station and it's involvement in WW11 and the salt plains. We spent about an hour at Kelso Station and ate at the Beanery cafe and checked out the tourist information here. There are more Joshua Trees to see at the Mojave Preserve and these ones were in bloom. My favourite bit of this road trip was arriving at the brow of a hill and just taking in what seems like endless miles of unspoilt scenery.
Written April 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gadgeteer1066
Bury, UK142 contributions
Mar 2013 • Couples
We were splitting our holiday between Nevada and Palm Springs/Indian Wells in California. The sat nav and online route planners kept to the main roads, but we wanted to do some sightseeing along the way.

We went via Cima Rd, Kelso and Amboy and Twentynine Palms.

Turning off the I-15, you are immediately in a different world, desert world. We hit the road about 7am and so, it was still early when we left the Interstate. There is a large stone monument just a few minutes along the road to mark your entry into the Mojave National Preserve. However long you allow for this journey, you must factor in extra time for all the time you will need to stop, take in the views and take photographs.

The roads were quiet; we would pass a car travelling in the opposite direction very 20 mins or so. The roads were also pretty well maintained and even without sat nav, very well signposted.

The beauty is breathtaking. The desolate isolation and quiet is something you have to experience. By the way, that isolation includes no gas stations or even places to stop and eat etc. we realised this when we got to Cima (a shack at a railroad crossing). Kelso has an old railway station that doubles as a tourist information, cafe and rest rooms. Unfortunately, the cafe is closed Wed and Thurs, which put paid to our coffee stop. Amboy puts you onto the historic route 66. Here was a gas station and not much else. Before long we were at Twentynine Palms and then it was back into the 21st Century and (comparatively) heavy traffic. As you enter the Conchela Valley and Greater Palm Springs you open out onto what must be one of the largest wind farms anywhere. Whatever your opinions of them, it's not something you will forget in a hurry.

The journey took us about 6-7 hours, including stops and was 260 miles. If you went at a more determined pace and didn't stop every ten minutes you could easily shave at least an hour off this.

For anyone taking the trip from LA or other part of California to Las Vegas, this is a fantastic alternative to taking the I-15. It is an easy drive over well maintained roads and well signposted.
Written April 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelsey B
Reston131 contributions
Apr 2017 • Couples
My husband and I did a day trip from Las Vegas to the Mojave National Preserve. It was an hour to drive from Las Vegas to the Northern edge of the Preserve. Once you get into the preserve, it takes about 45 minutes to get to each destination because you are either on a small two lane paved road or well-maintained gravel/dirt roads. April was the perfect time as the temperatures were in the 70-80 degree range. I would not recommend hiking in this park during the summer time as it would be way too hot - it is the desert after all.

From the Nipton exit, it took us 45 minutes get to the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center. You do spend about 25 minutes of this on dirt/gravel roads. This visitor center is only open Friday-Sunday (at least in this time of year), luckily there was a park ranger there who had the bathrooms open. There is a small parking lot at the visitor center and the campground is next door. There was a nice covered picnic table where we ate lunch. There is no place to buy food, water, gas, so you need to bring everything you need for the day in a cooler in your car. The Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Loop hike was just over a mile and starts at the bottom of the parking lot. It is very well marked and is an easy walk around the ridge. Once you get towards the end to the swiss cheese-like rocks (named Hole-in-the-Wall) the markers kind of stop, but there is only one way to go. There is a little bit of scrambling up the rocks and the tougher section where you need to use the rings that are drilled into the side of the rock. I wish there had been a few more rings drilled in the rock as I am short and had a hard time reaching the next ring. We were there on a Monday and there was only one other group doing the hike. There were a few wildflowers in bloom and a chance to see some petroglyphs on some rocks at the beginning of the hike. Definitely a great hike for a family or first time hiker.

From there, we drove the 45 minutes to the Kelso Depot to check out the history exhibits there. They also had nice bathrooms in the basement of the depot. They had a park ranger there to answer any questions you had.

It was another 15-20 minute drive from the depot down to the Kelso Dunes. This again had a small parking lot and a set of bathrooms. It is over a mile to hike to the top of the dunes, which of course is tiring since it is all walking in sand. We walked for a while until we got tired, took pictures, and turned around. We talked to a family who hiked to the top and said it took them an hour to get to the top with no stopping. They said the views were worth it. Again, take your water bottles with you. There is no shade to be had here.

Our final stop was 45 minutes away at the Cima Dome and the start of the Teutonia Peak Trail near the WWI memorial. This smaller parking lot at the trail head did not have bathrooms. It is a 3.5 mile hike round trip on the Teutonia Peak Trail to the top of the Cima Dome. We were tired by this time of day and did not do the hike. We stopped here because it has the densest concentration of Joshua Trees in the world. We hiked up the trail a little bit, took pictures, and turned around.

This park has beautiful desert landscape. We did not have time to go see the Granite Mountains, the Lava tubes, or the Amboy Crater which is south of the Preserve. This area is so diverse and has so much to look at, but be prepared to spend a lot of time driving from place to place as everything is very spread out and isolated. Again, bring a cooler and pack all of your water, food, and snacks for the day. Get gas before you enter the Preserve.
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

threesooners1
Fortville, IN53 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
Took time to explore out of Vegas. Took the Park Service's recommended drive of Kelbaker Rd to Kelso Cima Rd to Morningstar Mine Rd then back to I-15. Our favorite park was the Kelbaker Rd portion. Takes you past ancient cinder cones and lava flows. It was so isolated that we stopped the car several times for pictures and no cars in either direction as far as the eye can see. The road is the only thing that breaks up the desert. The Kelso train station was an unexpected "oasis" in the middle of nowhere. It is filled with history on the railroad's usage during WWII and how the stop came to be where it is. It was a welcome opportunity to stretch your legs and learn. You can also see the Kelso Dunes in the distance from the train station. The Joshua trees were cool at various places on the drive.

Road was asphalt in good condition with only a few bumpy, rough stretches. I think we counted only two other vehicles (one of which was a preserve vehicle) on Kelbaker Rd before arriving at Kelso. The Kelso to I-15 section was a little more travelled, but still could count the number of vehicles on two hands.

All in all, glad we got out of the city to see the absolute remoteness and appreciated the isolation for a while. Definitely need to fuel up before adventuring into the preserve as there are no facilities inside the preserve. Kelso train station offers no food or fuel service.
Written October 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

klebbeck236
Bronx, NY189 contributions
Mar 2013 • Family
Spent half a day here with the wife and kid and loved it. If you're into Joshua Trees, Cima Rd ha tons of them. We drove to Tuetunia Peak trail but due to heat and 3 mile potential trek with a 6 yr old,we skipped. Other reviewers highly recommended it. The highlight was the Rings Loop trail. While only a mile, the last stretch with rings and climbing is quite challenging but so worth it. My kid and wife (who never hikes) were able to handle it with some assistance. Overall the reserve with its amazing scenery is so worth the trip and the northern boundary is only an hour from Vegas.
Written March 30, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hopalongrving
Mississippi1,002 contributions
Mar 2019
Driving through Mojave Preserve is like getting to drive across an entire country. There are mountains, volcano remains, sand dunes, historical buildings and Joshua Trees for as far as the eye can see.

We stopped in at the Kelso Depot for our Junior Ranger booklets, to watch a video about the park and buy some post cards. There are public restrooms and water refill stations available at this stop.

Though there are 2 campgrounds within the Preserve, we chose to boondock for a night by the WWI memorial in the heart of the park. The roads are fairly well maintained but watch out for cattle guards that need to be crossed slowly with care.

Hiking Teutonic peak trail was a highlight of our visit. The views go for miles and you can clearly see Cima dome as well as the densely populated Joshua Tree forest. Take water and a snack - it’s an easy trail but with the sun shining it can be tiring.

We are fellow travelers and have always appreciated when people write reviews about their experiences so we can make informed decisions on what we should do while traveling. If this review provided value for you pleas hit the helpful button so we know we have been helpful in your journey. To see more photos of places to visit and places to eat follow us on Instagram/Facebook/TripAdvisor @hopalongrving
Written March 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OilRover
Houston, TX706 contributions
Mar 2013 • Family
I have to admit that I had not previously heard of Mojave National Preserve, and had actually planned to visit Joshua Tree National Park instead (had it not been so far away from where we were staying). But I am so glad that my family and I were able to witness such a beautiful, desolate, and scant-visited scenic wonder.

Visiting the preserve from Vegas, where we were staying, is a fairly easy day trip. We drove south on I-15 to Baker, then turned south into the park, past the impressive cinder cones and lava flows to our left. Kelso, right in the middle of the park, was a great place to see what else was on offer in the park, and to have lunch in the open plan cafe in the visitor's center. From here we continued south to hike the Kelso Dunes, which are such an oddity in this rocky, barren landscape. Then on to the Granite Mountains before hitting I-40 and making a big loop north to the Hole-In-The-Wall information center.

Here, we made the easy one-mile Rings Loop trail, which has an interesting stretch at the end where you had to do a little scambling with the aid of metal rings (hence the name of the trail). This canyon is really beautiful, and makes you feel like you really are in the wild west. We exited the park to the north, passing across Cima Dome on the way. Here is the world's largest forest of Joshua Trees, a really marvellous place to get lost in for a while.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this place to anyone who wants to get a feel for the real Mohave Desert. It's easily accessible from Las Vegas on one side or San Bernadino on the other.
Written March 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

parksvisitor
Maple Grove, MN1,317 contributions
Mar 2015 • Couples
I don't know if there's really enough to justify spending more than a long day here, unless you are really into desert camping or backcountry driving or hiking. On our way from Las Vegas to Twentynine Palms, we detoured through Mojave and spent 5-6 hours here and it was well worth it.

We entered on Cima Road on the west side, stopped at the Teutonia Peak Trail and hiked to the base of the peak. This was our first exposure to Joshua Trees, which thrilled us. I understand this area of the preserve has the highest concentration of Joshua trees anywhere.

After that we went east on Mojave/Cedar Canyon Road which turns into easy gravel after awhile, and then went south on Black Canyon Road to the Hole In The Wall Nature Trail and Rings Loop Trail trailheads. Coming from this direction the gravel road is a bit rougher, and has one narrow spot, but is still easily manageable for almost all types of cars. These trails were the highlight of the park for us. We ended up climbing up the ring loops, which had one difficult spot for my slightly diminutive wife. The climbing path looks tight, but I'm a reasonably big guy and I had my day pack on and I was able to squeeze through. Observing others going down the ring loops, I think that is the slightly easier way to go.

We then returned to Cima Road and took it to Kelso and the visitor's center, which is well worth a quick rest stop and the building is beautiful. We then took Kelbaker Road north for 10-15 miles to see the cinder cones. Unfortunately we didn't have a chance to take the gravel road off of Kelbaker Road and go to the lave tube, which I was looking forward to. We turned around and exited the park on the south side on Kelbaker Road, with a quick stop at the Kelso Dunes.

I wish we had had about two more hours to spend in Mojave, but that would have been about it. There's a quiet and peaceful desolation to this under visited park. On Kelbaker Road we were able to stand right in the middle of the roadway for many minutes and take in the sights without having a car pass by or seeing another soul. A warning that some of the paved roads are in pretty rough shape - not as bad as the gravel roads by any means, but certainly not smooth.
Written April 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Mojave National Preserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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Mojave National Preserve is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM




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