Mojave National Preserve is located in the heart of the Mojave Desert; this new park was
established in 1994 through the California Desert Protection Act. The Preserve encompasses
1.6 million acres of mountains, jumble rocks, desert washes, and dry lakes; outdoor enthusiasts
appreciate the opportunity for solitude here not easily found at other southern California parks.
The Mojave Desert may have a reputation as being a hot, rattlesnake-infested sandy wasteland,
but it has numerous special places of interest, with its rose-colored sand dunes, volcanic cinder
cones, Joshua tree forests, and mile-high mountains. The vast open spaces do have a special,
stark beauty of their own, which has to be experienced in person to be fully appreciated. Despite
the apparent emptiness, quite a lot of the land is put to use; there are four huge military bases,
up to 50 miles in extent, and scattered but extensive habitation in the area west of Barstow. What
remains is not just sand and inhospitable mountains, but also ghost towns, volcanic craters and
lava, historic sites and buildings, various other unusual geological features and even a diverse
range of wildlife. Flora and fauna varies by elevation. Desert tortoises burrow in creosote bush
flats, while the black and yellow Scott's oriole nests in Joshua trees higher up the slopes. Mule
deer and bighorn sheep roam among pinion pine and juniper in the Preserve's many mountain ranges.
For in depth information about Mojave National Preserve, please visit their website