• Kelso Mountain

    Mojave

    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.

Sand and Mud Driving Tips

  • Be sure to carry plenty of drinking water and emergency supplies.
  • Engage four-wheel drive before entering deep sand or mud.
  • Don't gun the engine - this will spin the tires, dig you in deeper and could bury your vehicle to the frame. Smooth, easy power is better than too much power; use low gearing and just enough throttle to maintain forward movement.
  • If you detect a loss of traction, turn the steering wheel rapidly from side-to-side - this might help generate traction.
  • If your vehicle gets stuck, place solid materials (such as floor mats) under the tires to provide traction.
  • If you're really stuck, it's best to stay with your vehicle. A stationary, stranded vehicle is much easier to locate than a person traveling on foot. Avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day; stay in the shade of your vehicle.

Did You Know?

photo of detail on Kelso Depot.

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...