Alerts & Conditions

 

Navigate this page here Navigation

 
 

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


There are 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. In the scorching summer months, we recommend hiking early in the morning. Be sure to bring plenty of water.
  • Spend a night camping in the desert!
  • 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 @MojaveNPS, Instagram @Mojavenp, and Twitter @MojaveNPS for updates.

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

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), hiking trails, campgrounds, primitive/dispersed campsites, wilderness areas, some restrooms

Closed: Kelso Depot Visitor Center and Museum, Hole in the Wall Information Center, 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.

Dirt Road Conditions - Updated May 6, 2021

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.

Dirt Road Quick Summary

  • Kelso Dunes Road - Open, resurfaced March 2020 and clear for all vehicles until the Dunes Trailhead; rough beyond Kelso Dunes Trailhead.

  • 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. High clearance of 8" and 4-wheel drive recommended.

Dirt Road Conditions Table

Road

Clearnace

Description

AIKEN MINE ROAD

2WD / 4WD High Clearance

2WD accessible to the lava tube from Kelbaker Road; beyond that 4x4 high clearance only. Rocky with washouts and heavy sand.

BLACK CANYNON ROAD

2WD / 4WD High Clearance

2WD accessible unless there is rain or snow, then 4WD High Clearance.

BRANNIGAN MINE ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Sandy with washouts.

CASTLE MOUNTAINS

4WD High Clearance

Very rough roads.

CEDER CANYON ROAD

2WD / 4WD High Clearance

2WD to Rock Springs and past Black Canyon junction, but beyond that the road has sandy washes and 4WD high clearance is recommended.

If it’s graded and maintained after flooding events, this road could be two-wheel drive accessible. Although, there are sandy sections that a 2WD will get stuck in.

CLARK MOUNTIANS

4WD High Clearance

All roads need 4WD and High Clerance.

COLOSSEUM MINE ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Beyond BLM boundary. Steep grades, impassable in sections.

DEER SPRINGS ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Sandy with deep washouts.

FORT PAIUTE ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Very rocky; no street tires.

GLOBE MINE ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Sandy in spots.

GREEN WELLS CUTOFF

4WD High Clearance

Rocky with washouts.

HIDDEN HILLS ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Sandy with washouts.

IVANPAH ROAD

4WD High Clearance

The dirt portion of Ivanpah Road is not normally accessible to 2WD unless it has been graded recently and there has been no flooding. Otherwise, the dirt area is impassible in areas for 2WD. The dirt area is very sandy and rocky.

Many of the 2WD that drive down the rocky portion, which is on the north side, end up with flat tires. Passenger vehicle street tires are not suitable.

One section of Ivanpah Road past Morning Star road is broken and full of large potholes.

KELSO DUNES ROAD

2WD / 4WD High Clearance

2WD accessible until you get to the end where the trees then 4WD High Clearance.

LANFAIR ROAD

2WD / 4WD High Clearance

Potholes in pavement section. Sandy in the washes, but with no flooding a two-wheel drive could make it to the junction with Ivanpah. Use caution.

MACEDONIA CANYON ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Sandy and rocky.

MOJAVE ROAD

4WD High Clearance

4WD and High Clearance the entire road.

NEW YORK MOUNTAIN ROAD

4WD High Clearance

West of Carothers Canyon, sandy and rocky with washouts.

VALLEY VIEW ROAD

2WD / 4WD High Clearance

2WD until you reach the ranch. Aftwards its 4WD and High Clearance beyond the ranch.

VULCAN MINE ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Very rough on east side.

WALKING BOX RANCH ROAD

2WD / 4WD High Clearance

2WD accessible, but any roads off Walking Box Ranch Road are 4WD high clearance only.

WILDHORSE CANYON ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Sandy and rocky in parts.

WOODS WASH ROAD

4WD High Clearance

Sandy with washouts.


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.

Paved 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

 
 


 
See the Directions Tab below for GPS Directions. The mailing address is for the administrative headquarters in Barstow, which is over an hour and a half away Mojave National Preserve's visitor areas.

 
Cities to use for your GPS to find Mojave National Preserve:

Kelso, California
Hole-in-the-Wall, California
 

Entrance Fees:

Entrance Passes:

Last updated: May 9, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311

Phone:

(760) 252-6100

Contact Us