Mojave Trails National Monument

Visit 29 Palms California Discover Mojave Trails National Monument

Spanning an incredible 1.6-million acres, and created by Presidential Proclamation on February 12, 2016, Mojave Trails National Monument connects to Joshua Tree National Park along its southern border and Mojave National Preserve on its northern border in California’s Mojave Desert region.

Located a short 30-minute drive east from 29 Palms and comprised of more than 350,000-acres of previously Congressionally designated Wilderness in the California desert, Mojave Trails is home to a stunning mosaic of rugged mountain ranges, ancient lava flows, and spectacular sand dunes. The monument protects irreplaceable historic resources including ancient Native American trading routes, World War II-era training camps, and the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of Route 66. Additionally, the area has been a focus of study and research for decades, including geological research and ecological studies on the effects of climate change and land management practices on ecological communities and wildlife.

While visiting 29 Palms, we encourage you to plan some time to go out and discover this vast and beautiful part of the California desert region. Whether you’re interested in hiking and stargazing, keen to find some new OHV routes, looking to go rockhounding or wildlife viewing, or intrigued to explore historic sites and scenic geology, Mojave Trails offers an exciting diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities, all within a short drive from 29 Palms.

Through a unique partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, the City of 29 Palms was established as an official Gateway Community to Mojave Trails National Monument in 2018. Visitors will find a great variety of resources, maps, and information about Mojave Trails at the 29 Palms Visitor Center, located at the corner of Hwy 62 and Desert Queen Ave in downtown 29 Palms.

Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark is a 10,000-year-old volcano and adjacent lava flows, located next to the original and iconic Route 66. Recognized for its visual and geological significance, Amboy Crater was first established as a National Natural Landmark in 1973 and is one of Mojave Trails’ most popular sites, offering a unique opportunity to experience and explore one of the youngest volcanic fields in the U.S. Day use area includes shade ramadas, picnic tables, vault toilet restrooms, paved road and parking lot, interpretive kiosk and scenic observation point. Due to the extreme heat the basaltic rock reflects, hiking to Amboy Crater is recommended only in the late fall through the early spring season.

Cadiz Dunes Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System in 1994, and part of the newly designated Mojave Trails National Monument in 2016. Located just 40 miles east of downtown 29 Palms between Highway 62 and the historic Route 66, the road to these pristine sand dunes takes you through some of the most gorgeous locales the Mojave Trails National Monument has to offer. Ever changing in contour and pattern, and spanning nearly 20,000-acres, these majestic and remote sand dunes are shaped by the north winds blowing sand off the Cadiz dry lake. Untouched and unspoiled in beauty, these dunes are home to a unique variety of flora and fauna, including the rare Borrego milkvetch.

Mojave Trails National Monument is home to some of the most well-preserved Desert Training Center training sites and camps, preserving one of the most extraordinary achievements in U.S. military history. Between April 1942 and April 1944, more than 1-million soldiers and 60 armored, infantry and artillery divisions, and fighter pilot and heavy bomber squadrons trained here under General George S. Patton, participating in what is considered some of the most realistic war games ever conducted, under the harshest conditions imaginable. In a very real sense, many battles of World War II were won on these desert lands. *When planning a visit to explore this area of the monument, please do your part to honor, protect, and conserve this area. These public lands serve as a living memorial where the public can learn about this extraordinary chapter in America’s history and the removal of artifacts and use of metal detectors is prohibited.

Official Bureau of Land Management Mojave Trails National Monument resources:

Mojave Trails National Monument Website

Mojave Trails National Monument Interactive Map / PDF Map

Bureau of Land Management Needles Field Office:
1303 S. Hwy 95
Needles, CA 92363
(760) 326-7000

Always Leave No Trace
While enjoying your visit, help minimize your impact by staying on designated paths, packing out litter, respecting other visitors and wildlife, leaving natural and cultural resources as you find them, and following the Leave No Trace seven principles:

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org