The Mojave Desert Sights

Kelso Dunes

  • Geological Site
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 11/12/2015

Fodor's 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 short 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, contains several rooms of desert- and train-themed exhibits.

Sight Information


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, California, 92309, United States


760-252–6100; 760-252–6108


Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Visitor center daily 9–5

Published 11/12/2015


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