Road Conditions

Current Road Conditions Map for Mojave National preserve where Kelbaker and Zzyzx Roads are highlighted in the western area of the preserve as Closed. Other roads are highligted orange to remind folks to use caution, loose gravel, steep shoulders
The paved roads in the preserve require constant maintenance, especially when summer monsoons can lead to washouts like this on Lower Black Canyon Road. Come prepared for rugged desert driving.

NPS

"Paved" Roads

Updated August 12, 2022

Major Flash flooding has covered and/or removed many park roads on July 31st 2022. Park roads are closed while crews assess damage.

For roads and highways outside the preserve, visit the Caltrans Highway Information Center at Road Conditions (ca.gov) or call (800) 427-7623. Please obey posted speed limits for your safety and help keep wildlife alive.

Road Status Notes
Black Canyon Road OPEN Some areas of soft sand and washouts from recent rains 4WD recommended, Some Missin shoulder areas on paved road south of Hole-in-the-Wall.
Essex Road OPEN Watch for missing shoulder areas and debris on roadway south of Hole in the Wall area
Ivanpah Road OPEN Watch for debris on the road.
Kelbaker Road CLOSED
(OPEN south of Keslo to I-40)
Kelbaker Road Closed between Kelso and Baker to all traffic due to missing sections of road. Closure is indefinite until further notice. Road is open between Kelso and Interstate-40. Some bebris on roadway, use caution.
Cedar Canyon OPEN 4WD recommended due to washouts and soft sand
Kelso-Cima Road OPEN Some debris on roadway, use caution
Cima Road OPEN Some debris on roadway, use caution
Morningstar Mine Road
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OPEN
Some debris on roadway, use caution
Zzyzx Road CLOSED Road is currently washed out. Short rough section of gravel. Trespassing prohibited around buildings of Desert Studies Center without prior arrangements. Visit CSU Fullerton Website for more information
 
a white Jeep on rocky black lavabeds
Trips off pavement require an extra level of preparedness for all sorts of rocky, sandy, and other tire-puncturing terrain. Highway-legal vehicles are allowed to travel on existing unpaved roads, but services are non-existent and self-reliance is essential.

NPS/K. Lewandowski

Backcountry Roads

Updated August 12, 2022

Heavy rainfall on July 26th and July 31st, 2022 may have washed out some portions of these backcountry roads. Currently efforts are focused on main road condition assessments. As time permits, conditions will be updated here. Please consider backcountry roads as heavilly impacted by the 2022 monsoon season.

Warning: Many unimproved and backcountry 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.

Road Clearance Description
Aiken Mine 2WD / 4WD High Clearance Road surface rough with washboard conditions. 2WD accessible to the lava tube from Kelbaker Road; beyond that 4x4 high clearance only. Rocky with washouts and heavy sand.
Black Canyon 4WD High Clearance Areas of soft sand and washouts from recent heavy rains
Brannigan Mine 4WD High Clearance
Castle Mountains 4WD High Clearance Very rough roads.
Cedar Canyon 2WD / 4WD High Clearance Areas of soft sand and washouts from recent heavy rains
Clark Mountains 4WD High Clearance All roads need 4WD and high clearance.
Colosseum Mine 4WD High Clearance Beyond BLM boundary. Steep grades, impassable in sections.
Deer Springs 4WD High Clearance Sandy with deep washouts.
Fort Piute 4WD High Clearance Very rocky; no street tires. The rocks are sharp and pointy, likely to puncture a tire.
Globe Mine 4WD High Clearance Sandy in spots.
Green Wells Cutoff 4WD High Clearance Rocky with washouts.
Hidden Hills 4WD High Clearance Sandy with washouts.
Ivanpah 4WD High Clearance extensive debris and missing roadbed / washouts
Kelso Dunes 2WD / 4WD High Clearance Rough with lots of pot holes. 2WD accessible to the main trailhead and disersed camping area. 4WD high clearance required west of camping area and along powerline road.
Lanfair 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 4WD High Clearance Sandy and rocky. Many vehicles (even Jeeps with external gear) will not be able to fit under train tressle towards Kelso-Cima Road to access this drive. Access to eastern end of road impacted by closure of Wildhorse Canyon Road.
Mojave Road CLOSED Washout on east side of Paiute Range (35.0905677, -115.0028316) and near Mile 17 makes road impassible to all vehicles. 4WD and high clearance for the entire road. Wet conditions on Soda lake make route impassible and cause resource damage to sensitive habitat.
New York Mountains 4WD High Clearance West of Carruthers Canyon, sandy and rocky with washouts.
Valley View 2WD / 4WD High Clearance 2WD until you reach the ranch. Afterwards its 4WD and high clearance beyond the ranch.
Vulcan Mine 4WD High Clearance Very rough on east side.
Walking Box Ranch (Castle Mountains NM) 2WD / 4WD High Clearance 2WD accessible, but any roads off Walking Box Ranch Road are 4WD high clearance only.
Wildhorse Canyon 4WD High Clearance CLOSED and Impassible due to major washout west of Hole-in-the-Wall.
Wood Wash 4WD High Clearance Sandy with washouts.
 
A rough dirt road with a deep gully from recent rains
As of July 29, 2022, Mojave Road is washed out and impassible in the Paiute Range. Washout is located at GPS coordinates 35.0905677, -115.0028316.

Courtesy of Jeff with Desert Overlanders

 
A white jeep driving safely on a dirt road with desert creosote and mountains in the background.

Off-pavement safety tips

Helpful tips on how to safely explore off-pavement roads at Mojave National Preserve!

Map Showing Gas Station Locations Near the Preserve

Gas Stations Near The Preserve

Gas station locations near Mojave National Preserve. Gas is not sold inside the Preserve.

 

The long and winding road takes constant maintenance.

a desert road with a broken shoulder a desert road with a broken shoulder

Left image
A road near Hole In the Wall Visitor Center
Credit: NPS/J. Petruncio

Right image
The same road after maintenance
Credit: NPS/J. Petruncio

The preserve encompasses 1.6 million rugged acres intersected by long, bumpy, old-timey historic and lonesome roads. NPS maintenance crews are working on maintaining these roads so visitors here may recreate and explore safely. Please help the NPS by slowing down, obeying speed limits, and watching out for wildlife. 

Last updated: August 12, 2022

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2701 Barstow Road
Barstow , CA 92311

Phone:

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

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