News Release

8-26-2022 Mojave National Preserve Roads Closed Again

A red Tesla stuck in a desert wash after recent monsoonal rains. The back passenger tire is in the air.
A vehicle that traveled into closed area got trapped in a wash on Kelbaker Road. Although the occupants were not injured, this vehicle had to be abandoned until recovery operations could take place

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News Release Date: August 26, 2022

Contact: Sierra Willoughby, 760-221-5310

KELSO, Calif. – Mojave National Preserve has once again closed several damaged paved roads due to flash flooding. The latest heavy rains washed out portions of Black Canyon Road and covered South Kelbaker Road with rocks, sand, and debris.

On the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 25, over 2 inches of rain fell on the Hole-in-the-Wall area. The rains washed-out multiple portions of Black Canyon Road and severed access to the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center and Campground. National Park Service (NPS) road crews made temporary repairs to the campground access road which allowed a group of stranded campers to depart the preserve safely.

Cima Road, Kelso Cima Road, Kelbaker Road, Ivanpah Road, Morning Star Road, Essex Road, Black Canyon Road, and the Mojave Road are closed for public safety. The Mojave Road, a historic trans-desert pathway and now a dirt road, remains impassable across Soda Lake due to standing water and deep mud that would strand even four-wheel drive vehicles.

NPS crews will need to reassess damage and plan for repair and clean-up. Loose rocks, soft shoulders, steep shoulder drop-offs, and pavement undercutting are common on Preserve roads and additional monsoon rains are forecasted. Until further notice, the roads will remain closed until assessments and repairs can be made.

Travelers should not bypass road closures, even if GPS mapping services indicate that roads may be open. Do not drive into flooded areas, turn around, don’t drown. One vehicle was recently trapped in a wash on North Kelbaker, and though the occupants were not injured, the vehicle had to be abandoned.

For updates on closures and road conditions in the Preserve, please visit https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/monsoon-recovery.htm or follow Mojave National Preserve on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.



Map of Mojave National Preserve Road Conditions and 72 Hr Rainfall Amounts for Aug 26, 2022. The map indicates heavy rain and road conditions with loose gravel and steep shoulders with many roads closed in the preserve.
Rainfall totals shown in color are superimposed against a road map of the preserve. All primary roads are currently closed to public access. Travelers are asked not to bypass closures due to safety concerns. Crews are working again to assess the damage and conduct repairs before reopening the preserve.

NPS

Last updated: August 26, 2022

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