• Kelso Mountain


    National Preserve California

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  • Portable toilets at Kelso Depot Visitor Center

    The water system at Kelso is shut down due to problems with the storage tank. Portable toilets are available; bottled water is available for purchase. Campers note-you won't be able to fill water bottles at Kelso until the system is repaired.

  • Telephone at Kelso Depot is not working

    Kelso Depot Visitor Center telephone, 760 252-6108, is not working. For information on weekdays, call 760 252-6100. On Saturday, try calling 760 252-6104.

  • 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.

Mojave Wilderness

Mojave Wilderness: Kelso Dunes
Images of Mojave Wilderness: Kelso Dunes is one of the largest and most extensive sand dune fields in the United States.
NPS/Christine Schlegel

Mojave Wilderness: An Enduring Legacy
In 1994, with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act, Congress designated 695,200 acres of Mojave National Preserve-nearly half of all preserve lands-as wilderness. In Mojave Wilderness, natural processes are unrestrained, giving rise to the rich biodiversity so critical to the health of the global environment. A sample of the diverse landscapes of Mojave Wilderness includes:

  • The Zyzyx area and Soda Dry Lake-the vast, desiccated playa of a once great Ice Age lake;
  • Kelso Dunes and the sandblasted topography of Devils Playground;
  • Cinder Cones Lava Beds, home to at least 32 extinct volcanoes;
  • The broad, granitic Cima Dome and the world's largest and densest Joshua tree forest;
  • The limestone crags of Clark Mountain-the tallest mountain in the Mojave Desert-and an isolated white fir forest, remnant of the Pleistocene;
  • The biotic diversity, rugged topography, and stunning scenery of Piute Range and Granite, Providence, and New York Mountains.

Visitors will indeed find unparalleled opportunities for self-reliant, challenging recreational experiences. But the natural quiet, clear night skies and clean air of Mojave Wilderness also provide a refuge from fast-paced, developed society; a haven from increasing urbanization; a place to reconnect with oneself and with the land. The National Park Service invites you to experience Mojave Wilderness.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Mojave Wilderness.


Did You Know?

photo of deer hunters

Park or preserve? Like other parks with the designation of "national preserve," Mojave National Preserve is managed under the same guidelines as national parks. The main difference is that hunting is allowed in national preserves, but not in national parks.