Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mojave National Preserve Offers RVers Much to Explore

The return of cooler months to the desert invites exploration of the sprawling Mojave National Preserve just over the Nevada border in Southern California.

Although the preserve contains few established foot trails, hundreds of miles of old roads and historic trails lead hikers, mountain bikers, cyclists, four-wheelers and equestrians to probe washes, canyons and mountains. Always carry at least a gallon of water per person and extra for your vehicle. Let a responsible person know where you are headed and when you plan to return.

Administered by the National Park Service since 1994, the Mojave National Preserve sets aside a huge portion of the Mojave Desert, the smallest and driest North American desert. The preserve encompasses a rough triangle bordered by U.S. 95, Interstate 40 and Interstate 15, plus an area north of I-15 near Mountain Pass.

Between Cima and Kelso, watch for the Cedar Canyon Road turnoff, an access to developed facilities, accessible from I-40 as well. Pavement soon turns to gravel through five flood-prone miles to the junction with Black Canyon Road. Turn south and look for a narrow two-mile road to Mid-Hills Campground, one of two developed campgrounds in the preserve.

Continue south on Black Canyon Road to reach facilities at Hole-in-the-Wall, named for strangely eroded rock formations. Developments include a ranger station, housing for fire crews, an equestrian group campground, a 35-unit RV and tent campground, and two additional walk-in tent sites.
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