Explore the Wonders of the Wilderness
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.
Wilderness permits are not required at Mojave National Preserve for backcountry travel. However, overnight backpackers are asked to notify the preserve of their dates of travel, intended destination, vehicle description, and where they are going to park any vehicles.
Water is a Necessity for Life
Water is a key to all life to a desert community. One of the greater challenges of backbacking and backcountry travel is the necessity of carrying all your water. Spring sources on maps may or may not be reliable with several dry years in recent decades. Plan on carrying in all the water you need. Make sure you take into account the forecast temperatures, as dyhydration and heat stroke is a real threat to safety when hiking in the Mojave National Preserve.
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.
Leave No Trace
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.
Last updated: January 31, 2023