The Mojave Desert Sights

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Kelso Dunes Review

As you enter the preserve from the south, you'll pass miles of open scrub brush, Joshua trees, and beautiful red-black cinder cones before encountering the Kelso Dunes. These golden, fine-sand slopes cover 70 square miles, reaching heights of 600 feet. You can reach them via a ½-mile walk from the main parking area, but be prepared for a serious workout. When you reach the top of a dune, kick a little bit of sand down the lee side and listen to the sand "sing." North of the dunes, in the town of Kelso, is the Mission revival–style Kelso Depot Visitor Center. The striking building, which dates to 1923, was extensively renovated last decade and contains several rooms of desert- and train-themed exhibits. The Depot's restaurant, The Beanery, has an early- to mid-20th-century diner look that will have you reaching for your camera.

    Contact Information

  • Address: For Kelso Depot Visitor Center, take Kelbaker Rd. exit from I–15 (head south 34 miles) or I–40 (head north 22 miles), Mojave National Preserve, CA 92309 | Map It
  • Phone: 760/928–2572; 760/252–6100
  • Website:
  • Location: Mojave National Preserve
Updated: 02-05-2013

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