Mojave Trails protects historic resources including ancient Native American trading routes, World War II-era training camps, and the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of Route 66. Towering sand dunes, remnants of a volcanic past and a rainbow-hued gorge are just a few of the irreplaceable natural treasures also found here.

AFTON CANYON is “the Grand Canyon of the Mojave”. It’s a great day trip – take a picnic and go exploring! It’s a popular spot for birding due to its year round water. It also has a campground if you’d like to stay the night and do some serious stargazing.

AMBOY CRATER is a geologic highlight. Take the three-mile hike and explore the 250-foot-high cinder cone that is one of North America’s youngest volcanoes. It’s a great place to spend the day with the kids. 

GOFFS LOOP is a great drive in the eastern part of the monument. From Needles, take 1-40 through the Bigelow Cactus Garden, then turn north on Goffs Road and see a bit of historic Route 66.

HISTORIC ROUTE 66 runs from Ludlow to just west of Needles. See the last undeveloped stretch of this iconic road that connected America for many years. Distance: 78 miles. Estimated drive time: 1 hour 20 minutes.

AMBOY ROAD is a scenic drive from Joshua Tree National Park. Gain a spectacular glimpse of the grand basin that is the heart of Mojave Trails as you travel north to Amboy and Route 66. Distance: 50 miles. Estimated drive time: 1 hour.

MOJAVE ROAD was originally one of the overland routes that brought American pioneers to California. Much of it is unchanged since those days! It is extremely rugged in parts. Recommended for experienced 4WD travelers only. Distance: 147 miles. Estimated drive time: Varies.


The cities of Barstow and Needles anchor the monument on the west and east. Visitor Information is available at BLM Field Offices in both of these locations.


Though many surrounding communities offer gas, food and lodging, services within the monument are as follows:

Afton Canyon – Easy Access Campground
Ludlow – Gas Stations and Cafe
Amboy – Gas, Snack Foods and Souvenirs
Fenner – Gas, Restaurant and Souvenirs
Fort Mohave – Gas, Restaurant and Market
Amboy Crater – Picnic Facilities with Shade Structures

Additional camping is available at Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve.


Travel with plenty of water. Don’t assume you can find drinks on your trip. The average adult needs a minimum of half a gallon of water a day.

Always start with a full tank of gas. Fill up when you pass a station, even if you still have plenty of fuel. It may be a long distance to the next station.

Cellphone reception can be spotty to nonexistent. Don’t rely on your phone or GPS maps to navigate. Always carry an up-to-date printed map of the area.

Think before you leave paved roads! If an incident occurs on a remote road, it can be a long time until help arrives. Be safe and drive with care.

Climb to the top of Cadiz Dunes. It’s gorgeous in the evening or on a moonlit night.

Check out the old WWII Training Camps. Look out for the old rock lines and imagine Patton’s troops training there. You might even see old tank tracks!

Drive Route 66. Allow plenty of time to explore the old towns along the way. Pick up some souvenirs in Fenner and grab lunch in Ludlow.

Stop in at Amboy after visiting the crater – the self-proclaimed “ghost town that ain’t dead yet.” If Roy’s Cafe is open, stock up on road trip snacks and Route 66 trucker hats.

Explore Bigelow Cholla Garden Wilderness. It’s California’s densest population of the weirdly beautiful, fluffy-looking Cholla cacti – look but don’t touch! Cholla spines can be extremely difficult to remove.