Hikes in Mojave National Preserve

The hikes below are listed from north to south and west to east. The table can be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you plan a trip to Mojave National Preserve. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and everything else needed to explore Mojave National Preserve. You can also view hikes around Mojave National Preserve on the Hike Finder Map.

Highlights of Mojave National Preserve

  • This 3-mile hike climbs to the highest point in the 45 square mile dune field within Mojave National Preserve.
  • This 0.6-mile hike in Mojave National Preserve drops underground into an old lava tube lit by holes in the surface.
  • This 1.5-mile loop takes visitors through a landscape of pocketed rocks in Mojave National Preserve, using ringbolts to pass through narrow gaps.
  • This 8.5-mile hike summits a 6,365-foot peak in the Granite Mountains in Mojave National Preserve.
  • This 3.4 to 4-mile hike  in Mojave National Preserve crosses the world's densest Joshua tree forest, passing an abandoned silver mine to reach a rocky summit with views of Cima Dome.

FACT: Mojave National Preserve has a larger dune field than Death Valley.
FACT: Mojave National Preserve has more Joshua trees than Joshua Tree.
FACT: Mojave National Preserve does not charge an entrance free.

So what are you waiting for?

Hiking Mojave National Preserve

North of Joshua Tree and south of Death Valley, Mojave resembles a bit of both. Being a preserve, MNP lacks a few of the facilities you would find in the national parks, but this absence creates the opportunity for a more intimate visit with the desert.

Situated on 1.6 million acres, this less-visited park offers many natural attractions. To help get started, visit the Kelso Depot Ranger Station. A worthy attraction in its own right, the ranger station resides inside an old train depot that was build by Union Pacific Railroads over a century ago. This is the perfect place to ask questions about the park and learn the history of locomotion through the desert.

Mojave boasts hundreds of miles of off-pavement trails for 4X4s. Two wheel drive vehicles will not have a problem visiting many of the roadside campsites and other attractions. You may also take a tour of Mitchell Caverns, which is located in a state run nature preserve within the national preserve (a fee for the tour is required). Summer temperatures are in the triple digits, making November through April the best time to visit the park.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Teutonia Peak Mojave380Teutonia Peak
This out and back hike crosses the world's densest Joshua tree forest, passing an abandoned silver mine to reach a rocky summit with views of Cima Dome.
3.4 - 4 miles
700 feet
35.300458,
-115.563498
Mojave New York Peak390New York Peak
This out and back hike summits the highest point of the New York Range in the northeast corner of the preserve.
7 - 9 miles
2400 feet
35.258600,
-115.306377
Lava Tube Mojave400Lava Tube
This short out and back hike drops underground into an old lava tube lit by holes in the surface.
0.6 miles
150 feet

35.216347,
-115.751525
Mojave Petroglyphs410Petroglyphs near Seventeen Mile Point
This faint path visits ancient engravings in the volcanic rock at the western rim of the cinder fields just off Kelbaker Road.
0.25 miles
25 feet
35.205572,
-115.872077
Rock Spring Loop Trail417Rock Spring Loop Trail
This loop visits a rare desert spring, a Rock House built in the 1920s, a miners' mill site, and an old U.S. Army post on a short and scenic circuit.
1.33 miles
100 feet
35.155017,
-115.334768
Mojave Rings Trail420Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail
This loop takes visitors through a landscape of pocketed rocks. Ringbolts allow fun passage through narrow canyons.
0.5 - 1.5 miles
150 feet
35.043746,
-115.398252
Mojave Fountain Peak430Fountain Peak
This off trail trek summits a peak with commanding views over the Providence Mountains.
5 miles
2700 feet
34.945976,
-115.537555
Mojave Kelso Dunes440Kelso Dunes
This out and back hike climbs the highest point in this 45 square mile dune field.
3 miles
470 feet
34.886424,
-115.715783
Silver Peak Mojave450Silver Peak
This out and back hike summits a 6,365-foot peak in the Granite Mountains.
8.5 miles
2,500 feet
34.812283,
-115.695982
Amboy Crater500Amboy Crater
This out and back hike travels up and into a volcanic crater near Mojave National Preserve.
3 miles
275 feet
34.556892,
-115.780772
View California Desert trails and campgrounds in a larger map
Or explore hikes around Mojave National Preserve on the Hike Finder Map
hikespeak
High View Nature Trail Joshua Tree National Park Hike Black Rock Canyon Hi-View Trail
While many national park nature trails are short, level, and informative, High View Nature Trail offers a bit more for hikers, 325 feet of elevation gain on a 1 1/3-mile loop. The trail ascends a desert ridge with views over Yucca Valley and toward Southern California's tallest peak, San Gorgonio Mountain, in the mountains to the west. The loop starts near Black Rock... Read more.
    OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
    OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with: | |
Distance: 1.35 miles – Elevation change: 325 feet
By: hikespeak Last updated: October 1, 2014
Rock Spring Mojave National Park Rock Spring Loop Trail Rock House Hike
Water is something you don't see much of in Mojave National Preserve, certainly not just pooling on the ground as it does at Rock Spring. The constant source at Rock Spring helped inhabitants survive in the Mojave Desert for thousands of years and was even the site of a small U.S. Army post in the 1860s. Today you can reach the spring easily, along with a Rock House... Read more.
    OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
    OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with: |
Distance: 1.33 miles – Elevation change: 100 feet
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 22, 2014
Kumeyaay Indian Village Site Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Native American morteros location to visit
Labeled simply as the "Village Site" on park maps, the Kumeyaay Village in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is an easy to visit location where Native Americans lived for thousands of years. Take a short stroll around a pile of boulders along Mine Wash Road and spot grinding holes amongst the rocks. A sign at the Kumeyaay Village reads:Native desert people have been... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 23, 2014
Tamarisk Grove Campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park camping
Tamarisk Grove campground is one of four developed campgrounds in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, with 27 sites, plenty of shade, amenities, and nearby hiking trails. Tamarisk Grove has interesting history too, originally serving as a San Diego County prison camp. Thanks to numerous park improvements, it won't feel like you are doing hard time to spend a little time at... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 24, 2014
Cactus Loop Trail Anza-Borrego Desert State Park self-guided cactus hike Tamarisk Grove Campground cacti nature trail cactus flowers hike
Broadly speaking, the desert is where you go to find cacti. Speaking specifically, Cactus Loop Trail is where you go in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see lots of cacti. True you can spot these prickly plants throughout the park, but this self-guided nature trail explores a rocky ridge that is utterly blanketed with a variety of cacti. A state park provided trail... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 19, 2014