dogs on leash
Desert solitude in Southern California. Singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of wildflowers are all found at this 1.6 million acre park. A visit to its canyons, mountains and mesas will reveal long-abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts. The park offers great hiking, backpacking, camping, 4-wheel driving and wild flower viewing. Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Mojave provides serenity and solitude from major metropolitan areas.
This trail is not very noticable. My friend and I never even found the loops, but instead just climbed each ring individualy. It was kind of fun with the rock climbing, but lots of loose rocks. NOT very child friendly. Also the road up to the place is pretty rough. The view at the top was fantastic. If it wasnt windy I could of stayed for hours.
Trail progresses up a mild incline for most of the way through the largest and densest Joshua Tree forest in the world. The last half mile or so of the 3-mile trail became somewhat steeper, leading up to a rocky incline and spectacular overlooks. The diversity of desert plant life was amazing as was the size of the ears on the jackrabbit we scared out of his hiding place. Only three other hikers on the trail and weather was perfect in this late-April time of year.
Everyone focuses on the rings, but the entire trail is thoroughly enjoyable. The entrance to Banshee Canyon is spectacular and offers great photo ops. Some light-to-moderate rock scrambling leads up to the rings, which are a challenge but doable with, if necessary, a hand from someone above. Not a hike to be done alone, as a fall from the rings could be disabling. Perfect time to do is early spring – mid-April to early May. Also spotted a female phainopepla (small dark bird with noticeable crest) on high ground beyond the rings. A great day all around!
WoodDude 7. on Lava Tubes Trail
Small, but interesting.
Most folks think of Hawaii when you mention lava tubes, but there are a few here and there around California, due to the tectonic forces that shaped the state. This one is small, dusty, and has a low ceiling in places. Certainly worth exploring if you're in the area, but I wouldn't consider this a destination hike. Better as a side trip after exploring the nearby Kelso Dunes, or when driving the Mojave Road.
Anna T. on Kelso Dunes Trail
Great detour if you're already on the 40. The dunes are awesome. If you go in the summer try to go as early as possible and bring lots of water!
One of the more fun shorter hikes I have completed. I attempted this hike in the fall of 2011 in about 95F heat...I did not complete it at that time. It was too hot for me. This day in late May 2015 was about 65F starting at 10AM and about 75F at completion. Following the ridge and stepping in previous hikers' tracks made the walking significantly easier.
Alyson M. on Kelso Dunes Trail
Hidden sand dune in the middle of nowhere but worth the detour! I recommend hiking sandals if you have them. Our friends who wore shoes had to stop a couple times to unload the sand out of their shoes. However we did see one group going completely bare foot! Definitely need a bandana because the winds pick up the higher you go and googles! And one thing I wish I brought was something to slide down the dune once we got to the top!
If u have hiking sandals wear those! I wore my chacos and stayed on top of the soft sand rather than sinking in. Nice views from the top! The sand "farts" when you run down it!! Unique experience in the middle of effing nowhere. Wear a bandana over ur mouth and wraparound sunglasses, a hat that will stay on in the wind is a must. Go exploring!!