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“yay, nature!”

Mojave National Preserve
Ranked #878 of 9,016 things to do in California
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed December 2, 2012

i definitely appreciate this place for what it is. however... there were a few aspects of our visit that, i gotta say, made me a little sad. granted, we had limited time (only half a day), and it was winter, so i'm sure there was much less color than you might find in the spring. we also had the pleasure of talking with a ranger at the depot, who lamented the following:

--the closing of many state parks, including the caverns here at mojave, which he said had already been graffitied, and which we had wanted to see. :(

--the stupidity of people who have depleted mojave's desert tortoise population by taking them home as pets, where--duh--the tortoises don't survive. :( :(

--the prevalence of people speeding through this area on their way to and from vegas, getting ticketed at an average speed of 110mph and causing accidents and deaths. :( :-| @$)(#$&#)&$!!!

hmmm, that conversation may have helped set my mood...

but what we did get to enjoy was the world's largest and densest joshua tree forest, which was pretty cool. joshua trees are so weird & freaky looking, which of course makes them appealing to me. and then we saw the kelso dunes, which were kind of a letdown after our breathtaking experience at the death valley sand dunes. we hiked for quite a while, but didn't gain much altitude. i would've liked to get up higher and to hear the booming of the sand when you jump (look it up). the views of the mountains around the dunes were fancy, tho.

the ranger had also advised us that our little rental car wouldn't do too well on some of the other roads, so this is what we were limited to.

like i said, i appreciate it, but don't have a desire to go back. i'd rather spend a week in death valley.

4  Thank Erin E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 - 126 of 174 reviews

Reviewed November 6, 2012

We made a point of driving from Barstow to Kingman through the Mojave Preserve. It is huge but the main road is well paved and there are several interesting terrains on the drive. Joshua trees, lava fields, sand dunes. Kelso Station contains a museum and is wonderfully restored. We spent most of a day. Hiking around Teutonia Peak through a dense Joshua Tree forest is not to be missed. It was shoulder season in October, temps in the 70's and we saw no more than dozen other tourists (none on our hikes) during the entire day.

3  Thank tatravler2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

If you love the outdoors, nature, 4-wheeling, camping, hiking, exploring, quiete, stars, you'll love the Mojave National Preserve.

Thank Bob P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We were cutting through the Preserve from Las Vegas to Twentynine Palms. It was a nice surprise. It had a very dense area of Joshua trees that rivals what you see at the National Park. There's a volcanic area with cinder beds. In the middle is Kelso, with refreshment and bathrooms. If you find yourself in the area, I would definitely visit.

2  Thank Imzpickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

A pretty remote location but for someone that has not spent a lot of time in the Southwestern USA it was a pretty amazing landscape. The Kelso dunes were really amazing and the views from the top were really impressive. We drive north to the Kelso Depot, a good place to stop for a snack and some water. The museum was GREAT, with exhibits on the wildlife, the history of the railroad, the mining and geology if the area, and the settlers that inhabited the area. We drove on a 2-wheel drive unpaved road which wasn't too bad to the Rings Loop trail. A great little loop but did require some climbing... if you can't climb a ladder easily then this trail is not for you. Overall a great day trip!

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

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