00
Shares

8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures

06.07.18

Start Exploring
8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
00

Shares

Advertisement
  • Exploring an arch at night along the Arches Rock Nature Trail in Joshua Tree National Park.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • A clear night sky showcases a gorgeous starscape over Arches Rock Nature Trail in Joshua Tree National Park.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Sweeping desert views await around every corner of the Barber Peak Loop.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • In some sections the Barber Peak Loop Trail is very easy to follow!- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  •  Twin Tanks Backcountry Campsite.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Sunset at Twin Tanks Backcountry Campsites.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • The cliff walls are dotted with holes along Rings Loop Trail.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • The Rings Loop Trail flattens out as it loops back.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Water pumps are sometimes available; plan to bring your own water to Hole in the Wall Campground.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • The Hole-in-the-Wall Campground is an excellent base for exploring the Mojave Desert.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • An abandoned mineral springs pool at the Desert Studies Center.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Overlooking the Mojave National Preserve.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Bighorn sheep can sometimes be seen near the Desert Studies Center.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • One of the many petroglyph panels found in the main gallery area along Trail 100 in Petroglyph Canyon.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Hikers point out prominent volcanic peaks in Petroglyph Canyon.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Archaeologists believe up to 1,700 unique designs are visible within the Petroglyph Canyon area.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • The sanctuary is home to some of the tallest Joshua Trees in Los Angeles County.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • A soft sand track through the Alpine Butte Wildlife sanctuary is not recommended for travel. It's better to park on the outskirts of the area and walk in.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • The Alpine Butte sanctuary benefits from colorful sunrises and sunsets, especially combined with the distant San Gabriel Mountains and visible urban lights of Palmdale and Lancaster in the background.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
  • Sign along Avenue O. There are no main entrances, but Avenue O makes as a good a place as any to begin your walk.- 8 Must-do Mojave Desert Adventures
Article
Contributor

At first glance, the Mojave Desert may seem like a desolate place. It features a seemingly endless landscape of little shade, oppressive daytime heat, and frigid temperatures at night. A closer look, however, reveals the beauty of this massive desert. Coyotes prowl at dusk, strange flowers bloom from cacti, iconic Joshua trees disrupt the horizon, and jagged peaks reflect sunrises and sunsets like sounding boards, amplifying the purples and oranges the sun casts as it moves across the sky.

From rock climbing to wildflower hunting to camping, there’s no shortage of Mojave Desert adventures. Even hiking is something you can do here, although it’s best to start early to beat the midday heat.

The majority of the Mojave Desert is in Southern California and home to legendary public lands such as Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve, and Death Valley National Park. The desert extends into Nevada and corners of Utah and Arizona as well, encompassing almost 50,000 square miles of the Southwest. It’s know for the distinctive Joshua trees and extreme weathers.

While the main characteristic of summer in the desert is a blazing heat (it can reach up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit on the valley floor), in the fall, temperatures stay between 70 and 90 degrees during the day.

When adventuring in the Mojave Desert, make sure you budget for more water and more time that you think you would normally need, even if you visit during a more pleasant time of year. Don’t rush, and if possible, get out and enjoy the landscape at dusk or dawn to see the landscape come alive with colors.

Here are eight must-do adventures in Mojave Desert: 

  1. Arch Rock Nature Trail, Joshua Tree National Park, California
  2. Twin Tanks Backcountry Campsite, Joshua Tree National Park, California
  3. Barber Peak Loop, Mojave National Preserve, California
  4. Rings Loop Trail, Mojave National Preserve, California
  5. Hole-in-the-Wall Campground, Mojave National Preserve, California
  6. Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx Mineral Springs Resort, Mojave Desert, California
  7. Petroglyph Canyon, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada
  8. Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Mojave Desert, California
Advertisement
Comments

Comments

Published By

Published by

Contributor
5 Adventures Explored

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info