Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, 3/5/2011
Mojave National Preserve with some old pals. It was a four hour drive one way making for a long day of driving. We did visit other parts of the preserve, namely abandoned houses in Cima, the forest of Joshua Trees that gives Joshua Tree National Park a run for its prickly trees, and the cinder cones and lava flows of the North-West side of the preserve; but the highlight of the trip was a hike in the Kelso Dunes.
Our hike took about three hours including a nice snack break on one of the peaks of sand. Even on a cool day this is no hike for the timid. The sand really eats up your energy and the high slopes of the big dunes are surprisingly steep. Take your time and don't give up. With plenty of rest stops on the slope you can make it to the top of the world. After seeing the top the slide back down in a cascade of sand is well worth the hard work and a welcome reward in spite of the buckets of sand you'll be pouring out of your shoes and pockets... and nether regions. Take lots of water. The desert air will dry you out like cat turds in the litter box.
The preserve offers much more than the dunes. mrs. a-go-go posted some photos of our first visit to the Mojave National Preserve in 2009. Take more than a day if you can, and stay overnight to catch the best morning and afternoon light. Now I just need to get some time off from my new job for another trip to the singing sands.