Kelso Depot Visitor Center hours
Kelso Depot Visitor Center is open Fridays through Tuesdays from 9 am to 5 pm, closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Beanery Lunch Counter is closed.
Watch for storm damage on all roads
Recent storms have caused flash flooding and damage to roads. Reduce speed and use caution when traveling through the park after storms. Call 760-252-6100 or 760-252-6108 for updates. Check our Current Conditions page for information on specific roads. More »
Backpacking & Backcountry Travel
Backpackers at Mojave National Preserve enjoy a variety of challenges, with sweeping views, solitude, dark night skies, and nearly 700,000 acres of designated wilderness. Although there are few established hiking trails in the preserve, abandoned dirt roads, washes, and ridges offer an abundance of cross-country hiking and backpacking opportunities. To ensure a safe and rewarding experience, be sure to plan ahead carefully.
While pets are welcome as backcountry travel and camping companions in Mojave National Preserve, they must be leashed and never left unattended. Pet excrement must be collected and disposed of in garbage receptacles.
Backpackers should adhere to National Park Service regulations and are further encouraged to follow Leave no Trace guidelines to minimize their impact on the fragile desert environment. Leave No Trace is rooted in scientific studies and common sense. The message is framed under seven Leave No Trace Principles presented below with accompanying regulations and guidelines specific to Mojave National Preserve:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
This copyrighted information has been reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. For more information or materials, please visit www.LNT.org or call 303-442-8222.
Did You Know?
The railroad town of Kelso in Mojave National Preserve was named in 1905 by railroad construction workers. Two men placed their names in a hat, along with that of a third who had just moved away. The name drawn from the hat was that of John H. Kelso, the man absent from the drawing. More...