SBXX: Mojave National Preserve

Our final stop of Spring Break XX will be Mojave National Preserve. The entire park is considered a part of the Mojave desert. Even so, it is home to a variety of climatic zones and a wide range of flora and fauna. The entire park is designated wilderness area which means that it is nearly entirely undeveloped and natural. It also means that there are not many trails. While the entire area of the park is open to backpacking, I’ve found this the most difficult to plan a hike for. The endless possibilities are actually pretty intimating. I’ve decided that it’s probably best for us to ease into this one by sticking to the one trail that does seem to be established. I can see us venturing widely here in future trips, but we’ll start just by learning the lay of the land.

Our plan is to hike a lollipop made by combining the Mid Hills Trail and Barber Peak Loop Trail. At 16.5 miles this will be the longest hike we take. It’s relatively flat though with only 2,400 feet of elevation gain. Being in the desert, the water options are pretty limited. Lucky the route not only has a trail to follow, but also brings us past a visitor center just over halfway through. We’ll have a midhike water refill and a bathroom. What luxury! I think the only other big hike we’ve had a bathroom halfway through was the Canyonlands one we did last summer.

Nothing says “SPRING BREAK!!!” like walking 16 miles through the desert. There better be a margarita at the end of this trail.

There are a ton of other parts of the park I’d love to see. Sadly, I think we’ll probably be pretty limited in what we have time for beyond our main hike. It seems inevitable that we’ll have to add this to the list of parks we want to return to some day. If you have ever visited Mojave National Preserve and know of a spot we shouldn’t miss please share in the comments!

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