Kelso Depot Visitor Center has loads of information, exhibits, orientation film, art gallery, bookstore, restrooms, lunch counter, water, picnic area. You have to see it to really appreciate it!Hours of OperationOpen daily (except Christmas Day), 9 a.m.–5 p.m.Entrance Fee~FreeIn August 1900, Utah Senator William A. Clark, a wealthy mine owner,...more
Another missed adventure, but someday:)Driving across the Mojave Desert on Interstate 15 or Kelbaker Road, visitors might notice a series of peculiar features on the horizon: thirty-two conical mounds of red and black volcanic rocks rise abruptly above the desert landscape. Surrounded by a sea of hardened lava flows, these little volcanos—cinder...more
We didn't get to this since we didn't have time and my family wanted to get home. Yet, for those who want an adventure such as hikers. Hikers at sunrise and sunset are treated to both cooler temperatures and the rose-colored glow of the dunes. The roughly 3-mile round-trip hike might take several hours as you slog through the sand, then slide down...more
The Mojave RoadLong ago Mohave Indians used a network of pathways to cross the Mojave Desert to reach the Pacific Coast from their homes along the Colorado River. In 1776, the Spanish Missionary Francisco Garces became the first non-Indian to trek these trans-desert routes. In 1826 Jedediah Smith trod these trails to become the first white man to...more
Just across from the Teutonia Peak Trailhead is the Granite Toes, I notice this line of different stone embedding into the granite rock. After many hours of research I surmise this line to be Feldspar Crystals. As much as I love history, I enjoy geology too. Feldspars have two cleavage planes that intersect at 90°. Fragments of pure feldspar...more
Your probably thinking "Granite Toes?" That is what they looked like to me and my family. My youngest was "look at the toes mom!" They are just across from the Teutonia Peak Trail and plaques. Be careful before you cross the road, it may appear to have no traffic, but you never know when someone is flying by.Weathering and erosion in arid regions...more
The plaques reads:Desert WoodlandA striking symbol, the Joshua is the only tree in the Mojave Desert that thrives on open flatlands. The range of this yucca tree is limited to the areas shown on the map below, and the forest that surrounds you is on of the largest and densest in the world.Why are there so many Joshua trees here? While no one knows...more
Explore the world's largest and densest Joshua tree forest en route to a rocky peak with expansive views of Cima Dome and beyond. 3 miles round-trip. We didn't do the whole trail, but explored it a little. We had our little dog, so we didn't want him to get too many thorns in his paws, so we had to carry him off and on. Yet, he enjoyed exploring...more
Although these are very educational, they are essential information before you begin your hiking adventure. While crossing the slope of Cima Dome in its first mile, Teutonia Peak Trail passes through the densest concentration of Joshue Trees in the world. After passing the remnants of the old Teutonia Mine (STAY OUT~ STAY ALIVE) Mine, the trail...more
No trip to the Mojave Preserve is complete without a climb to the top of the Kelso Dunes!The dunes are over 700-feet (213.3 Meters) tall and take from 1-1/2 to 3 hours to climb, play and walk back to your car. Graceful dune grasses sweep the desert creating ever evolving and disappearing patterns on the dunes. As the trek becomes steeper you’ll...more
This short 1.5 mile loop trail takes you through a bizarre landscape that was created millions of years ago. A nearby volcano went off with an eruption of gas and ash. The ash cooled and the gas dissipated, leaving behind the porous "holes in the walls." Ringbolts serve as hand holds to ease passage through a few steep and narrow sections. They...more
On the way back to Barstow, near Dagget (those of you familiar with the movie Erin Brokovich will recognize this town; as such you may not want tap water) is a diner called Peggy Sue's. You have to drive across Dagget...follow the signs to Calico Ghost town; the restaurant will be on the right hand side at the I-15.
The food is fairly decent. I wouldn't make the 2 hour drive from my house to go here, but worth a stop if you're hungry and going by it.
Favorite Dish: hamburgers and shakes are de riguer; but they have a variety of sandwiches and salads as well.
The only nightlife in Nipton consists of bat watching, star gazing, campfires, soaking in the Jacuzzis, and looking for trains descending the Ivanpah grade. This curved line is the "longest, steepest" in America but not the "steepest, longest" according to a railroad conductor.
Dress Code: It can be cold at night so bundle up or put on your bathing suit for that soak in hot water.
Carry plenty of water and a good map.
Wear sturdy shoes and a hat; use sunscreen
Consider bringing a flashlight, first aid kit and extra clothing
Watch for rattlesnakes. If you see one, move away with caution.
If you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone~yaqui.
Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Also, leave a note somewhere at home (on Frigerator or on the Kitchen Table) where somone will find it.
For more information before visiting:
Kelso Depot Visitor Center
Information, exhibits, orientation film, art gallery, bookstore, restrooms, lunch counter, water, picnic area.
Hours of Operation
Open daily (except Christmas Day), 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
From I-15: Exit Kelbaker Road at Baker, Calif. Continue 35 miles southeast on Kelbaker Road to Kelso, Calif.
From I-40: Exit Kelbaker Road (about 29 miles east of Ludlow Calif., or 28 miles west of Fenner, Calif.). Continue 22 miles north on Kelbaker Road to Kelso, Calif.
Calico Ghost town is a fun place to stopif you've got kids, or you've never been to an authentic ghost town before. Calico was one of the richest ore strikes in California in the 1890's pulling out silver, gold, and other minerals.
While technically authentic, before it became a county park, it was owned by Walter Knott and Knott's Berry Farm. They preserved it and restored it to commercial acceptability. Which means that the restored buildings house various shops--crafts, leather, rock and mineral store, etc. Additionally, they have built a couple of 'attractions'--a train ride that goes around the hill you can see that isn't worth it unless you have a kid you need to appease. A walk through a mine--only a dollar--for a dollar, why not? And then there is a 'mystery shack' where the floor is crooked; I didn't go through this. Every hour or so on main street there are "gun fight" shows.
Unique Suggestions: I recall paying a flat rate per vehicle to get in, but I don't remember how much, and the web site lists a per person fee, so I don't know...
Colosseum Gold Mine (Aussie spelling) is a closed open pit mine that produced gold for 6 years, between 1988 and 1993. It is one hell of a hole that is overwhelming.Heed the signs that warn you not to enter the mine site ;)The mine is located on in the small (relative terms) portion of the Reserve on the north side of Interstate 10.Latitude: 35...more