Traveling the Mojave Road

Mojave Road Plaque

Since Claudia and I returned to the States from Baja, I’ve been a bit obsessed with finding “interesting” off-pavement routes for us to travel. We spent some time in California’s Mojave National Preserve last winter and I saw the Mojave Road outlined on the map, but I didn’t realize how interesting and important the route was until I came across the website Mojaveroad.com this past summer.

Starting in the late 1600’s, Indians used this network of paths as a trade route to the west and from the mid 1700’s to the mid 1800’s European and American explorers traveled these paths during western exploration and expansion. When Fort Mojave was established on the Colorado River in 1859, this networks of paths became a military wagon route and by the late 1860’s outposts were established to ensure the safe transport of supplies, mail and travelers.

In present day, the Mojave road is a 140 mile unmaintained route through the desert for road legal 4-wheel drives, motor bikes, mountain bikers, etc. We took the 4-wheel drive option and spent five days traveling the Mojave Road from Powerline Road on the eastern border of Mojave National Preserve to Camp Cady at the western terminus. Along the way we took a few detours to some of the must see sights and a trip down Macedonia Canyon, which we took a trip back up as well because the bridge at the exit is too low for the Land Cruiser to pass under.

There are many great websites describing the Mojave Road, specifically AdventureDuo.com, Syncro Safari, and Dirtopia, which I used to plan this trip, so rather than add to the words that are out there, I’m choosing to tell about this great route through photos. Thanks for visiting and enjoy.

Powerline RoadPowerline Road

Fort PiuteRemains of Fort Piute

Entering Mojave National PreserveEntering Mojave National Preserve

Bus on the Mojave RoadThe Mojave Bus

Suspension Testing on the Mojave RoadSuspension Testing on the Mojave Road

Driving Through Joshua Trees Along the Mojave RoadDriving Through Joshua Trees

Stone House Along the Mojave RoadStone House Along the Mojave Road

Government Holes on the Mojave RoadGovernment Holes

Hiking Banshee CanyonHiking Banshee Canyon

Yuccas in Macedonia CanyonYuccas in Macedonia Canyon

Exit to Macedonia CanyonExit to Macedonia Canyon

Whoop-De-Doos on the Mojave RoadWhoop-De-Doos on the Mojave Road

Land Cruiser at the Mojave MailboxThe Mojave Mailbox

Frogs on the Mojave RoadThe Mojave Road Frog Pond

Inside the Lava TubeInside The Lava Tube

Driving Dry Soda LakeCrossing Dry Soda Lake

Travelers Monument on Dry Soda LakeThe Mojave Road Travelers Monument

Route Through Afton CanyonRoute Through Afton Canyon

Burried Boxcar in Afton CanyonThe Buried Boxcar in Afton Canyon

Cliffs of Afton CanyonCliffs of Afton Canyon

Crossing the Mojave RiverCrossing the Mojave River

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2 thoughts on “Traveling the Mojave Road

  1. We’re really enjoying your photo-journal. You know, save for a few pavement crossings and the need for a bridge across the Snake River, you can drive from the end of the Mojave Road to a “braid” of the Oregon Trail just south of our house—all on dirt. :-)

    Allen R.

    1. Thanks Allen. Just thinking about the Mojave Road extension you mentioned has me wanting to go. It won’t happen on this trip, but I have it logged in my future plans. There are lifetimes worth of adventures just within the US border.

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