Road Conditions

Road conditions map with Cima Road highlighted in Red for Closure, Map current as of April 14 2024 Map warns of dangerous conditions and closure of Hart Mine Road in east of Preserve. Warning box indicates 1 hour delays on railroad crossing by Kelso Depot
Road Conditions Map for Mojave National Preserve, effective April 14, 2024. Cima Road CLOSED from Kelso Cima to Interstate 15. Click on map for high resolution downloadable PNG file. Save or print this map for your visit. Use this map instead of a third party site.

NPS / MOJA Media

Road Conditions Effective April 14th, 2024
Be sure to check regional State and County road conditions links below.

Primary Roads

CAUTION Rough Pavement Conditions May Exist

Many of the paved roads in the preserve were constructed decades ago, and are showing their wear with narrow shoulders, drop offs, and recurring potholes. Use at your own risk, drive carefully.

The National Park Service is actively working towards a major repair and rehabilitation project for Kelso Cima and South Kelbaker Roads. See

Title of image Slowly Safely Tortoisely illustration with tortoise and text Natural soundscapes, clear night skies, and clear air define the Mojave Desert - a refuge from speed
Natural Soundscapes, Clear night skies, and clean air define the Mojave Desert - a refuge from speed.

NPS / Artwork by Raymond G Perez Design

Effective January 26th 2024

Road Status Notes
Black Canyon Road


Road open, some washboard

Essex Road OPEN

Road open, use this road accessible to Mitchell Caverns and Hole in the Wall Visitor Center. Please ignore closed status on third party navigation and GPS applications/devices. Do not follow GPS directions onto a dirt road.

Ivanpah/Lanfair Road

Some washboard

Kelbaker Road

Open, Watch for potholes, Travel with caution.
CAUTION: Subject to 1 Hour delays at Kelso railroad crossing

Cedar Canyon OPEN

Some washboard and bumps

Kelso-Cima Road OPEN

Use caution, Drive 55, watch for tortoise on roadway. Limited restroom facilities available at Kelso Depot parking area.

Cima Road
CLOSED 3/20/2023 to 6/30/2024 to All Vehicles

Cima Road CLOSED due to construction. Access to Teutonia Peak Trail, White Cross World War I Memorial requires independent use of a map and routefinding with a heavy duty 4WD high clearance vehicle on approved backcountry routes.

In order to protect public safety and road crews in the area, DO NOT DRIVE ON OR CROSS CIMA ROAD DURING CLOSURE with any vehicle.

Morningstar Mine Road OPEN

Use caution, drive 55, watch for tortoise on roadway

Zzyzx Road OPEN

Use caution in small gravel section with potholes and ruts


Backcountry Roads

a white Jeep on rocky black lavabeds
Trips off pavement require an extra level of preparedness for all sorts of rocky, sandy, and other tire-puncturing terrain. Highway-legal vehicles are allowed to travel on existing unpaved roads, but services are non-existent and self-reliance is essential. UTVs, ATVs are prohibited on all roads.

NPS/K. Lewandowski

April 14, 2024 Update:

All Backcountry Roads May Have Unknown Damage due to Hurricane Hilary - Travel at Your Own Risk

  • Many unimproved and backcountry roads in the preserve require high clearance of 8" or more and 4-wheel drive with a low range transfercase and heavy duty tires. All-wheel-drive SUVs and other similar vehicles may not be appropriate for many preserve backcountry routes.

  • Road conditions can change quickly. Check back here at for latest conditions on the specific roads you plan to travel before you leave the pavement.

  • Cell phone service is unreliable or nonexistent in most of Mojave National Preserve. Plan on being self-reliant for emergencies.
  • DO NOT make drive off established roads or make new roads by driving around washed out or damaged areas. You could be held financially liable for repairing resource damages and/or citation for breaking federal regulations.
  • Report any adverse conditions you notice to a ranger with images and GPS coordinates and description, and e-mail us
Road Status Description
Aiken Mine (Lava Tube Access) OPEN 2WD high clearnance route from Kelbaker Road and Aiken Mine Road is OPEN
Black Canyon OPEN Some washboarded areas.
Brannigan Mine 4WD ONLY deep washouts, may be impassible to even expereinced 4WD vehicle operators.
Castle Mountains 4WD ONLY Very rough roads.
Cedar Canyon OPEN Rough road with washouts and washboarding
Clark Mountains 4WD ONLY All roads need 4WD and high clearance.
Colosseum Mine 4WD ONLY Beyond BLM boundary. Steep grades, impassable in sections.
Carruthers Canyon OPEN - Watch for Road Crews Carruthers Canyon is now open as of 3-25-2024. Road repair crews will be in the area doing final repairs this week. Please stay on established roads vs illegal vehicle tracks in the area.
Deer Springs 4WD ONLY Sandy with deep washouts.
Fort Piute 4WD ONLY Very rocky; no street tires. The rocks are sharp and pointy, likely to puncture a tire.
Globe Mine 4WD ONLY Sandy in spots.
Green Wells Cutoff 4WD ONLY Rocky with washouts.
Hart Mine Road CLOSED - VERY HAZARDOUS Heavy road damage and missing wooden culverts have created very hazardous conditions where road may collapse at any time. DO NOT DRIVE ON HART MINE ROAD
Hidden Hills 4WD ONLY Sandy with washouts.
Ivanpah OPEN Between Morning Star Mine Road to Lanfair to Goffs Schoolhouse.
Kelso Dunes OPEN, Washboard and potholes;
Drive SLOW & watch for tortoise!. Some washboard and potholes. 2WD accessible to the main trailhead and undevelopted camping area. 4WD, high clearance required west of camping area and along powerline road.
Lanfair OPEN Potholes in pavement section. Sandy in the washes, but with no flooding a two-wheel drive could make it to the junction with Ivanpah. Use caution.
Macedonia Canyon 4WD ONLY; LIMITED OVERHEAD CLEARANCE Sandy and rocky. Many vehicles (even Jeeps with external gear) will not be able to fit under train tressle towards Kelso-Cima Road to access this drive.
Mojave Road

4WD with heavy duty tires, 4L low range transfer case, and high clearance required for safe travel. Not appropriate for All Wheel Drive SUVs.
New York Mountains 4WD ONLY
Valley View 4WD ONLY 2WD until you reach the ranch. Afterwards its 4WD and high clearance beyond the ranch.
Vulcan Mine 4WD ONLY Very rough on east side.
Walking Box Ranch (Castle Mountains NM) OPEN Well graded gravel road suitable for most vehicles
Wildhorse Canyon 4WD ONLY Sandy, rocky, and uneven breaks in some sections.
Wood Wash 4WD ONLY Sandy with washouts.


Desert Driving Pro Tips

Required knowledge for a successful desert adventure. 


The long and winding road takes constant maintenance.

a desert road with a broken shoulder a desert road with a broken shoulder

Left image
A road near Hole In the Wall Visitor Center
Credit: NPS/J. Petruncio

Right image
The same road after maintenance
Credit: NPS/J. Petruncio

The preserve encompasses 1.6 million rugged acres intersected by long, bumpy, old-timey historic and lonesome roads. NPS maintenance crews are working on maintaining these roads so visitors here may recreate and explore safely. Please help the NPS by slowing down, obeying speed limits, and watching out for wildlife. 

a dirt road through a desert canyon
Desert Driving Safety

It's hot and sunny out there. Safe travel through rugged desert terrain requires more than a driver's skill.

Historic Lunch Room Sign at Kelso Depot
Food And Lodging Near The Preserve

Food and lodging near Mojave National Preserve


Last updated: April 15, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311


(760) 252-6100
For emergencies including vehicle breakdowns, dial 911

Contact Us