Food, Cooking, Picnic, Tailgate, & Backyard Recipes plus more...
BEST Places to Picnic
Custom Search

Golden State (CA) Picnic Menu | Picnic Tips | Grocery Shopping Tips | Picnic Recipes

Home >> Best Places to Picnic >> Places to Picnic CA

Picnic Recipes
Picnic Menu Ideas & Planning

reat recipes for your next picnic

Chili Bowl
Main Dish
Penn Dutch
Pot Pies
Slow Cooker
Veggies-Side Dish

Mojave National Preserve

Write to
Mojave National Preserve
2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, California 92311

Visitor Information
(760) 252-6100

Group Camp Reservations
(760) 928-2572

(760) 252-6174

GPS: 34.883333, -115.716667

View Larger Map 

Rose-colored sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and mile-high mountains are all part of the scene at Mojave National Preserve. Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, this new park was established in 1994 through the California Desert Protection Act. The Preserve encompasses 1.6 million acres of mountains, jumble rocks, desert washes, and dry lakes; outdoor enthusiasts appreciate the opportunity for solitude here not easily found at other southern California parks.

Plant and animal life varies by elevation. Desert tortoises burrow in creosote bush flats, while the black and yellow Scott's oriole nests in Joshua trees higher up the slopes. Mule deer and bighorn sheep roam among pinyon pine and juniper in the Preserve's many mountain ranges.

Mojave Desert experiences change with the seasons. Infrequent winter snows sparkle on the mountains. With enough moisture, spring wildflowers carpet the desert with vivid colors. Summers are hot; hikers and campers explore the higher elevations such as Mid-Hills and the New York Mountains. The cooler temperatures of fall mark hunting season. A network of dirt roads offers year round opportunities to explore by 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Human transportation routes have long crossed the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Road refers to a particular corridor used to traverse this dry expanse. Originally used by Native Americans, and later by Spanish and American explorers and travelers, the road was named by the U.S. Military when it established several outposts along the militarily protected road.

Water is the primary determinant of travel in the desert. It is relatively plentiful along the California coast and at the Colorado River, so the trick is to find water in between. There are a string of watering holes or springs - Piute, Rock, Marl, and Soda - that move into the Mojave River system and make for a natural travel route across this region. This would be the route later called the Mojave Road.

Homesteading is often thought of as a phenomenon of the nineteenth century, but in the desert - one of America's last frontiers - homesteading continued well into the twentieth century. The prospective homesteader could gain title to government land for a fee, provided they made certain "improvements" to the land. Various homesteading laws required different improvements, but usually included building a dwelling and often provided for clearing land and/or planting crops. Around 29 Palms, California small shacks still dot the landscape, built in the years after World War II to satisfy claims for a homestead.

Within Mojave National Preserve homesteading began in 1910 in the Lanfair Valley, and continued to the middle of this century. Here land originally went in 160 acre parcels, although later laws allowed this to expand to 320 acres and then 640 acres. In addition to building a house, the homesteader had to clear a certain amount of land and plant crops. Once they had satisfied these legal requirements, the land was theirs.

Motorists driving through Mojave National Preserve are often surprised to find the substantial Kelso Depot. It seems out of place sitting alone in the desert. The question is asked - why here?

Kelso Depot did service the small town of Kelso, which at various times in its history had as many as several hundred people. But this does not not explain the size of this railroad station. In fact, Kelso Depot was far more than a depot, for here the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad (later the Union Pacific) combined in a single building a depot, an employees boarding and rooming house, and a restaurant which served both employees and as a meal stop for passenger trains.


  • Beale Mountains

  • Cima, California

  • Cima Dome & Volcanic Field National Natural Landmark

  • Clark Mountain

  • Devils Playground

  • Granite Mountains

  • Ivanpah, California

  • Ivanpah Mountains

  • Kelso, California

  • Kelso Depot

  • Kelso Dunes

  • Kelso Mountains

  • Lanfair Valley

  • Marl Mountains

  • Mid Hills

  • Mojave phone booth

  • Mojave Road

  • New York Mountains

  • Providence, California

  • Providence Mountains

  • Vanderbilt, California

  • Vontrigger Hills

More Picnic Sites


Powered by ... All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
E-mail | AlansKitchen Privacy Policy | Thank you

Contact Us | About Us | Site Map