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Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Just returned from a trip from Palm Desert to Utah and back.Since people frequently ask about the scenic route between the Palm Springs area and Las Vegas, I figured a few pictures would help out.

I started the route thru the Mojave Preserve at the Cima Road exit off I-15. Then followed Cima Road to Cima.From there took Kelso Cima Road to the Kelso Depot. Then Kelbaker Road under I-40 to Route 66, National Trails Highway.The boundary of the preserve ends at I-40.

Took Route 66 to Roys motel in Amboy, then took Amboy Road to 29 Palms and Utah Trail Street. Utah Trail is the north entrance road to Joshua Tree National Park.

Utah Trail crosses Hwy 62, which eventually runs into I-10 in Palm Springs.

https:/…DriveThruMojavePreserve

Santa Ana, CA
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1. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Thanks for the photos, Dez.

See on the right side of the screen that Underdog_SPP has become a "Destination Expert"?

He can add itineraries. I think that one you posted a few weeks ago about driving through the Preserve would be a good one for him to add.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Hi Dez40 and others

We have had to change our plans a bit and I had booked two nights at La Quinta. I am now concerned as we need to be in LV to collect brother - in - law from airport at 1.30 on 24th Dec. So I am thinking is this a good plan.

Stay only one night at La Quinta and leave PS area around 2.30 - 3 on 23rd.

Do Joshua Tree and end up in 29 Palms before dark.

Next day drive scenic route through Mojave arriving at LV Airprt by 1.30.

Is 29 Palms the best place to stop ( I figure this will take about 2.5 hours off the last days travel). Any better ides?

Thanks

Ange

Encinitas...
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3. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

I believe the time changes this Sunday.Right now the the sun falls behind Mt San Jacinto about 6pm. After Sunday it will fall about 5 pm.That's the worst part about winter, it gets dark so early.But it will get light early.

The drive from La Quinta to the west entrance of JoshuaTree National Park takes about an hour.You could do the quick drive thru from the west entrance to the north entrance and watch the sunset in the park. Then go check into a hotel in 29 Palms.There are several newer hotels, the one that caught my eye last time was the Courtyard Marriott, but there are others.

There is no lodging between 29 Palms and Primm ,Nevada.

The north road entrance to JTNP is called Utah Trail Street that hits Amboy Road and on to Vegas.

Your other option is to stay in La Quinta two nights, then get up early and drive thru to Vegas.Last week, I left from near La Quinta at 4:30 AM and was watching the sunrise over the desert, watching the first light of day hit the Kelso dunes at 6:30.

The drive from LQ to 29 Palms without the detour thru JTNP is less than 1.5 hours.

Be sure to fill your gas tank in 29 Palms. There is fuel at Amboy and Cima Road, but its pushing $5/gallon. Watch your speed in the preserve. Its posted 55 and highway patrol is all over the place. If you don't see them on the road, look up. They fly a blue white and gold Cessna 172.Don't ask how I know that!!

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Yes Danny, I also wonder but nothing against Underdog.

The drive Dez did also is one of our favorite trips. In fact we did it again a few days after Dez.. Ange, from 29Palms you can drive in 3.5 hours to Las Vegas. Count on 4 with a stop at Roy's Cafe and 4.5 with another stop at The Beanery in Kelso. Take loop 212 from I15 to LAS..

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Hi Dez

Thanks for the above. I don't really want to miss the JTNP, so I think we will have the night at 29 Palms.

Don't worry about us sticking to the speed limit - it is so ingrained in us.

Can you also recommend the best place to stop before LV to pick up beer etc?

Cheers

Ange

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

One would not say all Aussies stick to the speedlimit if you drive Nullarbor Plain ;) I agree for Vic. Police is waiting for you.

Buy your beer in 29Palms. No other places till Primm for that.

Encinitas...
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7. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

You can buy your beer or other liquor in La Quinta.There are several grocery stores,and there is a Trader Joes at Hwy 111 and Washington if you want more oddball types of beer. Or you can wait until 29 Palms, or there is an ARCO Am/Pm gas station mini mart on St Rose Parkway at Interstate 15 right as you get into Vegas, if you want beer only.You may want to buy a cheap cooler at Wal Mart or Target in La Quinta to put drinks and snacks in.

Be sure to bring water for your trip too.

Since your time at JTNP is going to be very short, you will probably only going to have time for a drive thru.If you have a little more time, a nice quick hike is Hidden Valley Loop.Another easy trail that has a lot of bang for the buck is Wall Street Mill Trail.That starts near Barker Dam trail, and goes past an old cabin, old trucks, a windmill, and ends up at the mine.There is a second parking area just off Queen Valley Road that will get you a few hundred yards closer if you want.

Be sure to see Skull Rock. Its right off the main road thru the park.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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8. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Here is a link to the Wall Street Mill hike.

hikespeak.com/trails/…

Santa Ana, CA
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9. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

Thanks for the info on Wall Street Mill.

I've added it to my wish list for my next trip out there, whenever that is.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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10. Re: Trip Thru The Mojave Preserve

By the way, all the roads I described on the Mojave Preserve route are paved.

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