Mojave Road, West

Total Miles
31.3

Elevation

679.70 ft

Duration

5 Hours

Technical Rating

4

Moderate

Best Time

Fall, Winter, Spring

Trail Overview

The first part of the drive is uneventful as you head west from Kelbaker Road. Crossing Soda Lake is fairly routine, too, when the lake is dry. Concerns peak, however, if it has rained recently. You may be forced to take a long detour (described in mileage log). If you can cross the lake, you then enter an area where the trail may be obscured by wind-blown sand, increasing your chance of getting lost. Finally, you pass through Afton Canyon, which includes two crossings of the Mojave River. At rare times, these crossings can be very deep. Only street-legal vehicles are allowed inside Mojave National Preserve. OHV area west of preserve.

Photos of Mojave Road, West

Mojave Road, West
Mojave Road, West
Mojave Road, West

Difficulty

Moderate (when dry): Variable conditions may include: deep mud, soft wind-blown sand and difficult route-finding. Without question, 4-wheel drive is required. GPS is highly recommended.

History

In the 1860s, Soda Springs was a small military outpost and stage stop. In 1944, the abandoned property was claimed by Dr. Curtis Springer, who developed it into a health resort. He named it Zzyzx as a gimmick to make it easy to find at the end of any alphabetical listing. He was evicted by the BLM in 1974. Concrete buildings and abandoned pools still remain (see map). Today, it's a Desert Studies Center run by California State University under the auspices of the Mojave National Preserve.

Technical Rating

4

Status Reports

Trey Benke
May 28, 2023
4x4
Open
Dusty
Rough/Deteriorated
Washboard
Andrew Connors
Apr 08, 2023
2021 Ford Bronco
Open
Dusty
Muddy/Wet
Rough/Deteriorated
Washboard

Access Description

If you're driving as a continuation of Mojave Road Central, cross Kelbaker Road and follow sandy road northwest. This point is 14.1 miles southeast of Baker and 20.6 miles northwest of Kelso.

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