Day 5: Road Trip to Kelso Dunes

Kelso Sand Dunes California

Day 5: Road Trip from 29 Palms to the Mojave National Preserve to explore the Kelso Sand Dunes 

Directions to Kelso Sand Dunes Trailhead

“KelsoLocated in the heart of the Mojave Desert in California, the Mojave National Preserve offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to discover the magic and solitude of the desert, with its signing sand dunes, cinder cone volcanoes, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of spring wildflowers. Discover old mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts, and an incredible diversity of desert flora and fauna. Start your Mojave National Preserve adventure at the exotic Kelso Sand Dunes, which are some of the tallest sand dunes in North America.

Start your Mojave National Preserve adventure at the exotic Kelso Sand Dunes, which at a height of 650-feet above the desert floor, and a land mass of 45-square miles, are some of the tallest dunes in North America! Hike the 3-mile round trip to the top of the dunes and be rewarded by beautiful views of the expansive desert landscape and consider staying to watch the breathtaking sunset give way to a stunning night sky bursting with stars. For those feeling extra adventurous, plan an evening visit and hike the dunes under a bright full moon!

Getting there from 29 Palms:

  • Distance from downtown 29 Palms: 84 scenic miles
  • Directions: From Hwy 62 and Adobe Road, drive 2 miles north on Adobe Road to Amboy Road. Follow Amboy Road northeast for 48 miles. Turn right on National Trails Hwy (Route 66) and drive east for 6.5 miles to Kelbaker Road, where you’ll turn left and drive 26 miles north to Kelso Dunes Road. Turn left on Kelso Dunes Road and arrive to trailhead in 3 miles.

Road trip essentials:

  • Road map of Mojave National Preserve (cell/GPS reception will be unavailable for most of the trip)
  • Your sense of adventure, and full tank of gas
  • Plenty of water and salty snacks to stay hydrated
  • Hiking shoes, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and extra layers of clothing – temperatures drop as the sun sets!
  • Camera and tripod to capture the stunning views
  • Telescope/binoculars for late-night stargazing

Plan your visit:
Mojave National Preserve Map
• More information about Amboy Crater
Lodging in 29 Palms

Trip Planning Ideas & Itineraries