This modern imaging video features picturesque desert scenery and a few points of interest in the Mojave National Preserve. This big national park is located in the Mojave Desert next to the California-Nevada Border. A wide variety of both low and high desert terrain can be experienced in this vast preserve. There are also several old west relics to explore, which include mining sites and the historic Kelso Depot. The Kelso Dunes are yet another attraction and a couple of developed campgrounds are also pictured in this video. These cozy spots are nice options for setting up a basecamp when doing a full tour.
Two major freeways run by the north and south ends of this park, so access is fairly easy. The dirt roads are usually smooth enough for a light duty SUV, but a rugged high ground clearance vehicle is a better choice. This region is prone to flash floods, so it is best to check the weather report when making plans and not take any risks.
On the other hand, inclement weather is like a dream come true, because it adds such a dramatic effect to the Mojave Desert scenery. I photographed the preserve about one year into my very lengthy Covid 19 camping venture that lasted from late 2019 thru mid 2022. By that time, the weather no longer mattered, because I was guaranteed to have to deal with whatever came my way. When sleet was forecasted for the preserve, all I could do was say "well, this will be interesting" and I looked for the first campsite available at the Hole In The Wall Campground. It is not everyday that sleet and snow becomes reality in the Mojave Desert, but it happened during my visit!
Imagining the Mojave Desert with a light dusting of pure white snow may be difficult to do, but fortunately the pictures say a thousand words. The desert snow storm started with light rain and graupel, then as the temperature dropped, the snow came down and it was quite a peaceful sight to see. The desert air really cuts to the bone when icy cold, so only a few choice pictures were taken between squalls before crawling into the zero degree sleeping bag at sundown.
I woke way before dawn to get underway to view the desert winter wonderland before the sunlight melted it all away. Camping onsite made it all happen, since the nearest towns are way down the road. After photographing the snowy Mid Hills area, I was off to the Kelso Depot, which happened to be closed because the Covid pandemic was raging. The heavy steel cage Kelso Jail sitting in the desert exposed to the elements is morbid imagery at its best.
The Kelso Dunes were right next door and this attraction is famous for all sorts of wild animal footprints early in the morning. Sidewinder rattlesnake tracks are interesting to see, but the weather was too cold for the reptiles to be out. Rabbit tracks were everywhere and a few examples can be seen.
The Mojave National Preserve is well worth touring and as always, there is much more to see than what is pictured in this Destination West Org video. It does not snow in the Mojave Desert too often, so try not to miss the opportunity if you happen to be in the neighborhood!
YouTube time marks:
Mojave Preserve Snapshots 00:00
Hole In The Wall Campground 0:14
Midhills Campground 5:12
Kelso Station 10:16
Kelso Dunes 13:56
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*This website will be going through renovations soon. Separate destination articles will be combined after the videos replace the outdated photo gallery system. As many readers know, most of the writing was done on the fly while camping, so many articles read like a rough draft. The articles will be cleaned up and edited. Many of the old photos were straight out of the camera due camping limitations as well, so you will finally see full living color images, just like in the new videos. Another goal is to make navigating the index pages easier and condensing the articles will help. This website will continue into the future and your patience is greatly appreciated!
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