• Kelso Mountain


    National Preserve California

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  • 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.


In ordinary years when winter and early spring rains are scanty, the annual flowering plants are few; inasmuch as they are in no particular way adapted to endure shortage of water, they wilt and die a few weeks after they have sprung, as if by magic, from the barren earth. As though trying to make up for this poor showing, every few years comes an abundance of rain and there results such a wealth of blossoms that almost every foot of sand or gravelly soil is hidden beneath a blanket of flowers.

Edmund Jaeger

photos of wildflowers
Desert five-spot, desert paintbrush, desert mariposa lily and beaver-tail cactus blooms.
Benjamin Chemel

While the magical Mojave wildflower show is by no means an annual event, a few well-timed soaking storms will produce a memorable spring wildflower bloom. Click here to see what's blooming in 2014. Wildflower blooms are reported at Joshua Tree, and Death Valley National Park.

Find out what's blooming and where throughout the desert, by going to Desert Wildflower Reports and/or The Theodore Payne Wildflower hotline http://www.theodorepayne.org/hotline.html.

Check the chart below to help plan your wildflower viewing trip. Due to variations in temperature caused by increasing altitude, peak wildflower viewing advances upslope at the rate of about 1,000 feet every two weeks.

February March April May June


lower elevations below 3000 feet
higher elevations above 3000 feet

higher elevations above 3000 feet


lower elevations below 3000 feet
higher elevations above 3000 feet

lower elevations below 3000 feet
higher elevations above 3000 feet

Did You Know?

photo of kelso dunes

At about 600 feet in height, Kelso Dunes in Mojave National Preserve are the third tallest in North America. When quantities of the sands move, they sometimes create a booming sound. Run down the slopes to try to make the dunes boom. More...