Kelbaker Road

Top Attractions

Cinder cones and Joshua trees in winter snow.
Cinder cone and Joshua trees in winter snow.

NPS Photo

Cinder Cones & Lava Flows

No services.

About 16 miles southeast of Baker, Kelbaker Road traverses a 25,600-acre area of lava flows and volcanic cinder cones thought to range in age form 10,000 to 7 million years old. In 1973, the area was designated as Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark. Several of the Cinder Cones have backcountry hiking trails. In addition, yellow flowers grow on the side of Kelbaker Road in this area in April and May.

Aiken Mine Road (19.5 miles southeast of Baker) offers an interesting side trip through the heart of the area, Click here to learn more about access to the Lava Tube. High clearance and/or four-wheel drive recommended.

You can download a copy of our Cinder Cones and Lava tube brochure here (PDF, 1.53 MB).

Kelso Depot Visitor Center
Kelso Depot Visitor Center

NPS Photo

Kelso Depot

Information, exhibits, orientation film, art gallery, bookstore, restrooms, water, picnic area.

Located 34 miles southeast of Baker, Kelso Depot began operation in 1924 and served as train station, restaurant, and employee housing on the Los Angeles and Salt Lake route of the Union Pacific Railroad. Today, it is Mojave National Preserve's primary information center and museum in this beautifully restored building. In the spring the trees in the picnic area bloom flowers. Click here to learn more about visitor centers at Mojave National Preserve.

Footprints along Kelso Dunes.
Foorprints along Kelso Dunes.

NPS photo

Kelso Dunes

Interpretive exhibits, pit toilets, no water.

About 42 miles southeast of Baker (7 miles south of Kelso Depot), then 3 miles west on a graded dirt road, Kelso Dunes were created over the course of 25,000 years by winds carrying sand grains from the dried Soda Lake and Mojave River Sink. Nearly 700 feet high and covering a 45-square-mile area, they are among the tallest and most extensive dune fields in the United States.

The Kelso Dunes produce a "booming" or "singing" sound when sand with the right moisture content slides down the steep slopes. Try it for yourself—run down a dune slope (but don't trample vegetation!) to initiate the sound. Learn more about the Kelso Dunes.

Storm builds above the Granite Mountains.
A storm builds over the Granite Mountains.

NPS Photo

Granite Mountains

No signs or services.

An imposing jumble of granite marks the south entrance to the preserve, 50 miles southeast of Baker on Kelbaker Road. Portions of the Granite Mountains lie within the University of California's Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center. The center is not open to the public, so please respect the signs that mark the boundary. There are however several backcountry routes in the Granite Mountains. High clearance and four-wheel drive recommended to reach those routes.
The rocky slopes of the Granite Mountains seen from the Boulders Viewpoint.  Creosote and large rocks in the foreground.
Take a rest break and enjoy the stunning views of the Granite Mountains at Boulders Viewpoint.

Mike Beer, NPS.

Boulders Viewpoint

Visitors can enjoy the Granite Mountains at the Boulders Viewpoint Parking Area located 7 miles north of Interstate 40. Boulders Viewpoint Parking Area is also 50 miles south of Baker and Interstate 15. There are no services at this viewpoint.

Last updated: May 11, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311


(760) 252-6100
For emergencies including vehicle breakdowns, dial 911

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