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The Mojave Desert Sights


  • Geological Site

Updated 05/05/2014

Fodor's Review

Created millions of years ago by volcanic activity, Hole-in-the-Wall formed when gases were trapped between layers of deposited ash, rock, and lava; the gas bubbles left holes in the solidified material.

According to some tale spinners, a member of the Butch Cassidy gang gave the area its name because it reminded him of his former hideout in Wyoming. You will encounter one of California's most distinctive hiking experiences here. Proceeding clockwise from a small

visitor center, you walk gently down and around a craggy hill, past cacti and fading petroglyphs to Banshee Canyon, whose pockmarked walls resemble Swiss cheese. From there you head back out of the canyon, supporting yourself with widely spaced iron rings (some of which wiggle precariously from their rock moorings) as you ascend a 200-foot incline that deposits you back near the visitor center. The 90-minute adventure is mildly dangerous but wholly entertaining.

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Sight Information


From I–40, take Essex Rd. exit, drive north 10 miles to Black Canyon Rd., and continue north another 10 miles, Mojave National Preserve, California, 92309, United States




Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Hole-in-the-Wall, 24 hrs; visitor center, Fri.–Sun. 9–4

Updated 05/05/2014


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