Mojave Desert Petroglyphs

Visitors driving though Mojave National Preserve between Baker and Kelso Depot may wish to stop near Seventeen Mile Point for a quick walk to simple petroglyphs drawn into the volcanic rock outcroppings along the road. While certainly not the only petroglyphs in the preserve, these might be the easiest to get to.

Mojave Petroglyphs
A petroglyph engraved into the rock

On Kelbaker Road, 13.4 miles from the 15 freeway in Baker and 21.1 miles from the Kelso Depot, there is a small turnoff on the east side of the road. Park here and take the footpath up a short slope to the northern side of an elevated strip of dark volcanic rock. The path continues beneath the 15-foot tall rock shelf past thousand-year-old Indian drawings. Look carefully for the simple designs drawn into the dark rock. The engravings disappear after a short distance. Either return back along the rocks or drop down to the wash below to return to the trailhead for a 0.25-mile round trip hike.

Mojave Petroglyphs
Looking west over Kelbaker Road

To get to the trailhead: The unmarked turnout is located on the western edge of the cinder fields, 1/3 of a mile north of a larger wash (that is used for roadside camping) in a bend in Kelbaker Road refereed to as Seventeen Mile Point. The path is visible to traffic heading toward Kelso Depot from Baker, but is hard to spot in the opposite direction.

Trailhead address: Kelbaker Road, Mojave National Preserve, CA 92309
Trailhead coordinates: 35.205572, -115.872077 (35° 12′ 20.05″N 115° 52′ 19.47″W)

Use the map below to view the trail and get directions:

View Mojave National Preserve in a larger map
Or view California Desert trails and campgrounds in a larger map

Photos

Mojave PetroglyphsMojave PetroglyphsMojave PetroglyphsMojave PetroglyphsMojave Petroglyphs

These photos were taken in May of 2010. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Lava TubeLava Tube
This short 0.6-mile hike drops below the surface into an old lava tube.
Kelso DunesKelso Dunes
This 3-mile round trip hike climbs 470 feet to the highest point in this 45 square mile dune field.
Teutonia PeakTeutonia Peak
This 3.4 to 4-mile round trip hike crosses the world’s densest Joshua tree forest, passing an abandoned silver mine to reach a rocky summit with views of Cima Dome.
New York PeakNew York Peak
This 7 to 9-mile round trip hike summits the highest point of the New York Range in the northeast corner of the preserve.
Rock Spring Loop TrailRock Spring Loop Trail
This 1 1/3-mile 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.
Hole in the Rings MojaveHole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail
This 1.5-mile loop takes visitors through a landscape of pocketed rocks. Ringbolts allow fun passage through narrow canyons.
Silver Peak MojaveSilver Peak
This 8.5-mile hike summits a 6,365-foot peak in the Granite Mountains.
Fountain Peak MojaveFountain Peak
This 5-mile off trail trek summits a peak with commanding views over the Providence Mountains.
Amboy CraterAmboy Crater
This 3-mile round trip hike travels up and into this crater adjacent to Mojave National Preserve.
California TrailsHikes in the California Desert
Explore more trails in Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Mojave National Preserve.
Similar Trail
Anza-Borrego Desert TrailPictograph Trail in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
This 1.8-mile hike visits rock paintings drawn by Kumeyaay Indians who lived in the Anza-Borrego Desert thousands of years ago.
Barker Dam Joshua TreeBarker Dam in Joshua Tree National Park
This level 1.5-mile loop visits a foreign-looking reservoir and petroglyphs engravings within the Wonderland of Rocks.
Camping
Camping MojaveMojave National Preserve
There are a few campgrounds and endless roadside camping within the preserve.
    OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
    OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with: | |
Distance: 0.25 miles – Elevation change: 25 feet

Ask a question or share your experience

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *