The Mojave Desert Travel Guide

The Mojave Desert Sights

Calico Early Man Site

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's Review

Editor's Note: This location is no longer in operation.

The earliest-known Americans fashioned the artifacts buried in the walls and floors of the pits here. Nearly 12,000 stone tools—used for scraping, cutting, and gouging—have been excavated here. The apparent age of some of these items (said to be as much as 50,000 years old) contradicts the dominant archaeological theory that humans populated North America only 13,000 years ago. Noted archaeologist Louis Leakey was so impressed with the Calico site that he became its director in 1963 and served in that capacity until his death in 1972. His old camp is now a visitor center and museum. Self-guided tours can be accompanied by a lecture from a volunteer if desired; guided tours are available on request. Volunteers host an open-to-the-public dig the first full weekend of every month from October through May. Digging tools and instructions are provided. Any items found cannot be removed from the site.

Sight Information


Off I–15, Minneola Rd. exit, 15 miles northeast of Barstow, Barstow, California, 92398, USA



Sight Details:

  • $5

Published 07/06/2016


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