Mojave Desert Region of California

The Mojave Desert is a large semi-arid desert area that covers large areas of southeastern California and parts of Nevada and Arizona. Cities and regions include Lancaster and Palmdale in the Antelope Valley, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Lucerne Valley, Needles, Adelanto, Newberry Springs, Rosamond, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Landers, Yermo, Blythe, California City, Barstow, Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley, and Baker. Las Vegas, Nevada and St. George, Utah are also, both located in the Mojave Desert.

The Mojave Desert is commonly referred to as the High Desert because most of it lies between 2,000 and 4,000 feet above sea level. The spelling Mojave Desert originates from the Spanish language, whereas the spelling Mohave Desert is sometimes used.

Underground water can be found in many areas of the Mojave Desert and many water wells exist and produce water throughout the region.

Natural springs are uncommon in the Mojave Desert. Two exceptions are Ash Meadows and Oasis Valley. Ash Meadows is formed from several other natural springs which draw their water from deep underground, Oasis Valley draws most of its water from the Amargosa River.

There are two major rivers in the Mojave Desert. The Mojave River begins in the San Bernardino Mountains as a surface river and then disappears at some point becoming an underground river depending on the amount of rain. The Amargosa River also flows partly underground. Both are sources of well water.

The Mojave National Preserve was established in 1994 with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act which also established Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park. The preserve offers an excellent visitor center, water sculpted canyons, ancient lava flows, limestone caverns, massive sand dunes, and immense Joshua Tree forests.

The Mojave Air and Space Port, located in Mojave, California is licensed for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft and serves as a local airport for both civilian and military use. The general-use public airport has three runways. .

Mojave, California, established in 1876, is an unincorporated community Iocated about 50 miles east of Bakersfield in the western region of the Mojave Desert. It is home to Edwards Air Force Base, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, and is near the Palmdale Regional Airport.

The California portion of the Mojave Desert is home to Edwards Air Force Base, the Mojave National Preserve, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

The Morongo Basin is a valley located within the Mojave Desert. The High Desert area is east of San Bernardino and the San Bernardino Mountains, and north of the Coachella Valley. Communities within the Morongo Basin include Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, and Landers. The Marines Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms is also located in the Morongo Basin.

Twentynine Palms is a small city in San Bernardino County and the Mojave Desert, and serves as one of the main entry points to Joshua Tree National Park which lies immediately to the south near The Oasis of Mara. The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), the largest United States Marine Corps base in the United States, is adjacent to the city.

Joshua Tree National Park is located north of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, near Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert. The popular park includes nine campgrounds, rock climbing, and extensive hiking trails. Lookout point at Keys View offers views of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and the Salton Sea.

The Mojave Memorial Cross, officially the White Cross World War I Memorial, was erected by a group of Christian war veterans in the Mojave Desert on publicly owned desert land in 1934 to honor those killed in the war. It was maintained by a group of veterans at no expense to the taxpayers. The Christian cross was boarded up in 2002 as a result of litigation brought by a group that opposed the Christian symbol. In 2010, the cross and its cover were cut down and stolen. The cross was found over 500 miles away in 2012 and has been erected and rededicated on private land.

Tecopa is a small town located in the Mojave Desert that is famous for its three natural hot springs resorts. Historically, the economy was based primarily on silver mining, but tourism is now the primary attraction.

Many investors are acquiring rural land, including desert land in California for commercial campsites, solar farms, and wind farms, all of which can generate monthly income. Others, including land bankers, acquire such land for recreational purposes or long-term investment.


Edwards Air Force Base

Edwards Air Force Base, established in 1933 as Maurice Bombing and Gunnery Range, is a major United States Air Force installation in the Mojave Desert region of California that covers 470 square miles. Most of the base is in Kern County, but the eastern portion is in San Bernardino County, and the southern section in partly in Los Angeles County. California City is a short distance to the north, Lancaster is to the southwest, Barstow is to the east and Victor Valley is to the southeast. The base is a major employer in the High Desert, averaging over 10,000 military and civilian employees.


California Route 66 Museum

The California Route 66 Museum is located in the High Desert on Historic U.S. Route 66 in Old Town Victorville, in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County. The Victor Valley Museum offers rotating exhibitions and extensive historical photos and memorabilia. The non-profit museum was founded by the Old Town Victorville Heritage Preservation organization. It is supported by donors and patrons.


High-Desert Nature Museum

The High-Desert Nature Museum was founded in 1964 as a non-profit organization in Yucca Valley which is located within the Morongo Valley in San Bernardino County. The area is referred to as the High Desert. There are more than 4,000 exhibits in the museum including Native American artifacts, native gems and minerals, ranching and mining implements, an excellent kids corner, and much more. New exhibits are constantly being added.


Twenty Mule Team Museum

The Twenty Mule Team Museum was established in 1984 in Boron which is a small community in the Mojave Desert within Kern County. The mission of the museum is to acquire and document artifacts, including photos, pertaining to local history and to the history of borax mining in Boron and the surrounding areas. The museum is open to the public and is supported by donations which are always appreciated. It is located just north of Edwards Air Force Base and a short distance southeast of California City.



Fishponds - Mojave

Fishponds is one of the locations where the Mojave River rises to run on the surface of its course through the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County. The site of the ponds is in the eastern section of Barstow. Fishponds was named after the Mohave tui chub fish that are found only in the Mojave River. Note that the fish term is spelled Mohave, while the river term and region is spelled Mojave.


Mojave Road - Mojave Trail

The Mojave Road, also known as the Old Government Road, is a 147-mile unmaintained rough dirt road, previously called the Mojave Trail. The road stretches from Beagle's Crossing on the Colorado River north of Needles, to Fork of the Road along the north bank of the Mojave River which is just east of Barstow. The road was first traveled in 1776 by Spanish Franciscan missionaries. The Mojave Road has been designated a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.


Ivanpah Solar Power Facility

The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert near the border with Nevada. The facility covers 3,500 acres and was commissioned in 2014. It has 173,500 collectors and produces a gross capacity of 392 megawatts. In 2014, it was the world's largest solar thermal power station.


Mojave Solar Project

The Mojave Solar Project (MSP) is a concentrated solar power facility in the Mojave Desert located approximately 20 miles northwest of Barstow. The facility covers 1,765 acres and was commissioned in 2014. It has 2,256 collectors and produces 250 megawatts.


Solar Energy Generating Systems

Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert approximately 14 miles northwest of Barstow. The facility covers 1,600 acres and was commissioned in 1984. It has 936,384 collectors and produces 354 megawatts.


Genesis Solar Energy Project

The Genesis Solar Energy Project is a concentrated solar power station located in the    Mojave Desert on 1,920 acres approximately 25 miles west of Blythe in the  Lower Colorado River Valley in eastern Riverside County. The facil ity was commissioned in 2014 and has 500,000 collectors. It produces 250 megawatts average. One Megan can power 750 homes.


McCoy Solar Energy Project

The McCoy Solar Energy Project is a photovoltaic power plant in the Mojave Desert near the city of Blythe in the far eastern part of Riverside County. The 2,300 acre facility was commissioned in 2014 and produces 250 megawatts. It is adjacent to the Blythe Mesa solar project. On average, one megawatt can power 750 homes.


Blythe Mesa Solar Project

The Blythe Mesa Solar Project is a photovoltaic power plant in the Mojave Desert adjacent to the McCoy Solar Energy Project in Blythe. The facility occupies 2,000 acres and produces 485 megawatts. It was commissioned in 2016. On average, one megawatt can power 750 homes.


Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve

The Mitchell Caverns are three limestone caves located in the Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve which is in the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area in the Mojave Desert. Two of the three caves are open to the public. Guided tours are available on a reservation basis. Located in San Bernardino County, the caverns have been designated as a US. National Natural Landmark.



Little Rock Creek

Little Rock Creek is a 16.7 mile long stream in the San Gabriel Mountains and Mojave Desert. The headwaters are in the Angeles National Forest, just west of the 8,199 foot high Mount Williamson peak. From there the stream flows to Little Rock Reservoir which is impounded by the Little Rock Dam. From the dam, any excess overflow water, which is small, drains into the Antelope Valley in the western Mojave Desert where there is no outlet.


Mojave Desert News

The Mojave Desert News, founded in 1938, is a newspaper that is now headquartered in California City. It claims to be the longest running newspaper in east Kern County and reports on news in Kern County, including California City. In addition to news, it covers opinion, local sports, and schools.

Benefits of Planting Trees