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Thread: Suggestions for sites in Mojave National Preserve in early May...

  1. #1

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    Suggestions for sites in Mojave National Preserve in early May...

    We will be taking a several weeks trip leaving from northern New Mexico up the California coast to Morrow Bay, then back along the Mojave National Preserve off I-15... I realize there was a large fire in the Joshua Tree forest in the preserve and still plan to explore there....any other suggested sites in Preserve we might explore ?
    Thanks for any replies....Gary P
    Gary Pikarsky

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Suggestions for sites in Mojave National Preserve in early May...

    It will be hot by then. But I guess you're used to that. Check their official website for current conditions.

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for sites in Mojave National Preserve in early May...

    I have not spent much time there -- usually I have been just passing through on my way from San Clemente heading to Death Valley (thru Baker), spending the night somewhere off the road. I tend to stay off the interstates.

    The old station (now visitor center is a good stop). if you have a trusty dirt/gravel road vehicle, looks to be some interesting places -- lava tubes and cinder cones, the Mohave Megaphone, and who knows what else out there in the desert!

    Have fun!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

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    Re: Suggestions for sites in Mojave National Preserve in early May...

    Gary, I spent a week in and around the preserve in December ... cold, windy, and interminably long nights. It will be much better in a few weeks, and I suspect not too hot. You may catch a nice wildflower bloom, though rainfall has been so sparse I wouldn't count on it. In the area, be aware hwy 95 south out of Needles has been under construction for some time, and there can be long waits, but this is an area I could recommend.

    If Old Woman Mountains Wilderness (south hwy 95) is accessible, there are nice hikes in great topography. If you do head down hwy 95, you can get to Hwy 62, which goes west and eventually reconnects with hwy 40, via hwy 247, after passing just north of Joshua Tree NP. There is some great scenery along hwy 62, and several easily navigable dirt/gravel roads leading to tiny mountain ranges - looks like classic 'basin and range' territory.

    One area I like quite a bit is off Kelbarger Road, headed south off Hwy 40, about 45 minutes west of Needles. Some cool looking mountains that you can hike to across easy terrain. There are a number of tempting photography opportunities in the area. This is a less travelled area, unlike some of the destinations north of hwy 40. At the south end of Kelbarger you connect with the National Trails highway. In December, the highway was blocked to east bound traffic ... had been for some time. But just before you get to the National Trails highway you can turn off to the west on an easy dirt road that passes some mining sites, and has some good looking and accessible mountains.

    Hwy 62 will take you to 29 Palms, thence to Joshua Tree NP, loaded with nifty hikes and sights, but crowded. I realize 'crowded' is relative. The routes I'm mentioning are off the main tourist tracks, which is the reason I frequent them.

  5. #5

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    Re: Suggestions for sites in Mojave National Preserve in early May...

    Great! Thanks so for the information !! I see you are in Prescott....we are having our ‘70 camper painted by a friend in Prescott Valley which is where we will start our journey after we pick it up from him....
    Gary Pikarsky

  6. #6

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    Re: Suggestions for sites in Mojave National Preserve in early May...

    Gary, as I reread your original post, I see that my descriptions are for areas that don't fit your route very well. Of course the route I described could be reversed, but it's still south of your target area. I have come to prefer the more southern Mojave to the actual Mojave Desert Preserve on account of crowding. The Providence Mountains and Mitchell Caverns consumed a couple of my days of hiking around aimlessly several years back, the geology and plant life were interesting and photogenic. At that time, camping was permitted in most of the park.

    I moved to the Prescott area 4 years ago from Tijeras, NM. Frankly, not the best ever trade of geography, though the nearby Sonoran desert is exciting. NM looks better and better to me.

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