The Mojave Desert

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Mojave Desert - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Calico Ghost Town

    Ghost Town

    This former silver-mining boom town was founded in 1881, and, within a few years, it boasted 500 mines and 22 saloons. Its reconstruction by...Read More

  • 2. Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex

    Museum/Gallery

    Friendly and enthusiastic staffers conduct guided tours of this 53-square-mile complex at Fort Irwin Military Base, 35 miles north of Barstow...Read More

  • 3. Havasu National Wildlife Refuge

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    In 1941, after the construction of Parker Dam, President Franklin D. Roosevelt set aside Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, a 30-mile stretch...Read More

  • 4. Kelso Dunes

    Nature Sight

    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...Read More

  • 5. Manzanar National Historic Site

    Historic District/Site

    A reminder of an ugly episode in U.S. history, the former Manzanar War Relocation Center is where more than 11,000 Japanese-Americans were confined...Read More

  • 6. Petroglyph Canyons

    Tour–Sight

    Thousands of well-preserved images of animals and humans are scratched or pecked into dark basaltic rocks at Big Petroglyph and Little Petroglyph...Read More

  • 7. Afton Canyon

    Canyon

    Because of its colorful, steep walls, Afton Canyon is often called the Grand Canyon of the Mojave. It was carved over thousands of years by...Read More

  • 8. Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards Air Force Base

    Museum/Gallery

    This museum, at what many consider to be the birthplace of supersonic flight, chronicles the rich history of flight testing. Numerous airplanes...Read More

  • 9. Alabama Hills

    Mountain

    Drop by the Lone Pine Visitor Center for a map of the Alabama Hills, and drive up Whitney Portal Road (turn west at the light) to this wonderland...Read More

  • 10. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

    Forest

    About an hour's drive from Independence or Bishop you can view some of the oldest living trees on Earth, a few of which date back more than...Read More

  • 11. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    The California poppy, the state flower, can be spotted throughout the state, but this quiet park holds the densest concentration. Eight miles...Read More

  • 12. Antelope Valley Indian Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    This museum got its start as a private collection of American Indian antiquities gathered in the 1920s by artist and amateur naturalist Howard...Read More

  • 13. Antelope Valley Winery/Donato Family Vineyard

    Store/Mall

    Cyndee and Frank Donato purchased the Los Angeles–based McLester Winery in 1990 and moved it to Lancaster, where the high-desert sun and nighttime...Read More

  • 14. Bagdad Café

    Restaurant

    Tourists from all over the world flock to this Route 66 eatery, built in the 1940s and where the 1987 film of the same name was shot. The divey...Read More

  • 15. California Route 66 Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Visitors from around the world still think of Historic Route 66 as one of the best ways to see the real America and this 4,500-square-foot museum...Read More

  • 16. Casa Del Desierto Harvey House

    Historic District/Site

    This historic train depot was built around 1911 (the original 1885 structure was destroyed by fire) and was one of the original Harvey Houses...Read More

  • 17. Desert Tortoise Natural Area

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    It may not always be easy to spot the elusive desert tortoise in this peaceful protected habitat but the approximately 40-square-mile area often...Read More

  • 18. Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area

    Nature Sight

    A mile from the San Andreas Fault, the namesake of this attraction is a natural bowl-shape depression in the earth, framed by 300-foot rock...Read More

  • 19. Eastern California Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    The highlights of this museum dedicated to Inyo County and the Eastern Sierra’s history include photos and artifacts from the Manzanar War Relocation...Read More

  • 20. Exotic Feline Breeding Compound's Feline Conservation Center

    Zoo/Aquarium

    About two dozen species of wild cats, from the unusual, weasel-size jaguarundi to leopards, tigers, and jaguars, inhabit this small, orderly...Read More

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