Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

The Mojave Desert Sights

Rainbow Basin National Natural Landmark

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Updated 05/05/2014

Fodor's Review

Many science-fiction movies set on Mars have been filmed at this landmark 8 miles north of Barstow. Huge slabs of red, orange, white, and green stone tilt at crazy angles like ships about to capsize. Hike the washes, and you might see the fossilized remains of mastodons and bear-dogs, which roamed the basin up to 16 million years ago. At times, only 4-wheel-drive vehicles are permitted. If you have the time, park and hike.

Sight Information


Fossil Bed Rd., 3 miles west of Fort Irwin Rd. (head north from (I–15), Barstow, California, 92311, United States



Updated 05/05/2014


What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in The Mojave Desert

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By ubruni

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Nov 27, 2013

Came for the Geology. Don't miss the meteorite hunting

This is an excellent stop if you're on your way to the meteorite hunting areas at the playas north and east of Barstow ( The geology is spectacular and you might find some fossils, but make sure you have a high clearance vehicle.

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss