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.
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.
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:
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|New 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 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-Wall Rings Trail|
This 1.5-mile loop takes visitors through a landscape of pocketed rocks. Ringbolts allow fun passage through narrow canyons.
This 8.5-mile hike summits a 6,365-foot peak in the Granite Mountains.
This 5-mile off trail trek summits a peak with commanding views over the Providence Mountains.
This 3-mile round trip hike travels up and into this crater adjacent to Mojave National Preserve.
|Hikes 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.
|Pictograph Trail in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (California)|
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 in Joshua Tree National Park (California)|
This level 1.5-mile loop visits a foreign-looking reservoir and petroglyphs engravings within the Wonderland of Rocks.
|Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse’s Tank in Valley of Fire State Park (Nevada)|
This 0.75-mile hike travels down a sandy path lined with petroglyphs to a natural basin formed in the sandstone.
|Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park (Nevada)|
Step right up to see Native American rock art on this 0.1-mile trail with stairs up a rock face to a collection of petroglyphs.
|Malama Trail (Hawaii)|
This 0.2 to 1.2-mile hike visits rare rock carvings in Puakō Petroglyph Archeological District on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i.
|Mojave National Preserve|
There are a few campgrounds and endless roadside camping within the preserve.