Alerts & Conditions


What can you safely do in Mojave National Preserve right now?

Kelso Depot and the Zzyzx area are temporarily closed for public health and safety reasons, but there are still plenty of places to explore! If you are travelling through the area or stopping in the Preserve, be prepared to be self-sufficient. With safety in mind, you have some options:

  • Take a hike! Mojave National Preserve has miles of established trails as well as huge areas of unmaintained backcountry. We recommend hiking early in the morning or at night due to high daytime temperatures. Be sure to bring plenty of water.
  • Spend a night camping in the desert! Primitive camping is allowed. The easiest way to find a site is to look for a fire ring. There are many primitive sites throughout the Preserve
  • Take a drive! Four-wheel drive routes are currently open. Be aware that emergency response time may be longer than usual.
  • Ride your horse! Horses are allowed in most areas of Mojave National Preserve. Be sure to follow the guidelines.
  • Become a Junior Ranger! Our Junior Ranger activity booklets are a great way to learn about human history, natural history, wildlife, and geology. They are available to download and print. You may mail them to the Preserve to receive your badge.
  • Enjoy a quiet, remote desert wilderness. Stargaze, view wildlife, sit among the joshua trees, scramble on millenia-old rocks, and appreciate serenity.
  • Follow us on Facebook @MojavePres, Instagram @Mojavenp, and Twitter @MojaPres for updates.

The following precautions are being taken due to the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19):

The state of California now requires that everyone aged two years old and older wear a mask in public places. This includes outdoor spaces where people may not be able to safely socially distance from others by at least six feet.

The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. Based on guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, access to the park is as follows:

Open: Roads (2WD and 4WD), campgrounds, hiking trails, primitive/dispersed campsites, wilderness areas, some restrooms, Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Information Center is open on weekends.

Closed: Kelso Depot Visitor Center and Museum, and the Zzyzx day use area.

While the listed areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased, and services may be limited. When Visiting the preserve, please follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, and avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities. Park Rangers and NPS Staff who are working in Mojave National Preserve will maintain social distancing of six feet or more.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people visiting parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Road Conditions - Updated November 19, 2020

Paved Roads

Warning: Watch for potholes on all roads.

  • Black Canyon Road - Open, rough

  • Essex Road - Open

  • Ivanpah Road - Open

  • Kelbaker Road - Open

  • Kelso-Cima Road - Open

  • Cima Road - Open

  • Zzyzx Road - Temporarily Closed

  • Morningstar Mine Road - Open

Dirt Roads

Warning: Many dirt roads in the Preserve require high clearance of 8" or more and 4-wheel drive. Road conditions can change quickly. Cell phone service is unreliable throughout most of Mojave National Preserve. Check with a Ranger for vehicle requirements and conditions on the specific roads you plan to travel before you leave the pavement.

  • Kelso Dunes Road - Open to all vehicles

  • Black Canyon Road - Open, rough

  • Cedar Canyon Road - Open, rough

  • Lanfair Road - Open, large potholes

  • Ivanpah Road - Open, large potholes. Rough.

  • Aiken Mine Road - Open; high clearance recommended

  • Wildhorse Canyon Road - Open, 4WD, high clearance required

  • Macedonia Canyon Road - Open, 4WD, high clearance required

  • Mojave Road - Open through most of route. High clearance of 8" and 4-wheel drive recommended.

When traveling to the preserve via I-15 or I-40 check the Caltrans Highway Information Service for up-to-the-minute conditions at 1-800-427-7623.



Entrance Fees:

Entrance Passes:

Last updated: November 19, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311


(760) 252-6100

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