Size: 144,915 acres
Kelso Dunes Wilderness is located in San Bernardino County, California 95 miles west of Barstow, California. The area is 3 miles north of Ludlow. Maps of the area can be obtained from the Bureau of Land Management Field Office in Needles, California.
Area Description :
The 154,175-acre (approximate) Kelso Dunes Wilderness derives its name from the large sand dunes complex located outside of its eastern boundary in the Mojave National Preserve. From the flat Broadwell dry lake bed in the west, the area slopes into the northern most end of the gentle rounded granite Bristol Mountains. Mixed in this central area are flat topped, volcanic mountains, such as Broadwell Mesa, and an extensive desert wash system. The eastern portion of the area drops into the broad Budweiser Wash, which drains into the sea of sand known as the Devils Playground (located mostly outside wilderness boundaries). Vegetation is sparse and is predominantly creosote bush desert scrub, desert wash scrub, and sand dune plant associations. Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including a small herd of bighorn sheep, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards.
Getting There : To access the southwest corner of this wilderness, take the Kelbaker Road exit from Interstate 40 and go north for approximately 4.6 miles. Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the land owner and do not use these lands without permission.
Additional Information :
Permits are required for commercial or organized activities.
Hiking, horseback riding, hunting, camping, rock hounding, photography, and backpacking are examples of activities that can be enjoyed in this wilderness.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
Temperatures are fairly mild in the early spring, late fall, and winter; generally 30-80?F. Summer temperatures are extremely hot. Temperatures are commonly over 115?F and can get well over 120?F. Always carry water; desert springs are not reliable water sources.
Signs indicating "Wilderness" and "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" are placed at various intervals. Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary; however, the boundary is set back 30 feet from unmaintained dirt roads and 300 feet on paved roads.
Mechanized or motorized vehicles are NOT PERMITTED in a wilderness.
Hunting, fishing, and non-commercial trapping are allowed under state and local laws.
Pet are allowed, but please keep your pets under control at all times.
Horses are permitted, however you may be required to carry feed.
Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaelogical materials is a felony. Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging or offering to do so is prohibited by law.
CAMPING: Camping is permitted, limited to 14 days. After 14 days, campers must relocate at least 25 miles from previous site.
Help BLM preserve California's fragile deserts. Please park your vehicle or set up camp in previously disturbed sites.
Gathering wood for campfires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down materials. Do not cut live vegetation.
The BLM encourages all desert recreationists and travelers exploring public lands, not only within southern California but through the west, to use propylene glycol based antifreeze/coolant in their touring and recreation vehicles. Proven safer, it will have minimal impacts on the wildlife and the environment should a leak occur.
- Desert Access Guide:
- Soda Mountains
- Newberry Springs
- USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
- Broadwell Lake, Broadwell Mesa
- Cowhole Mountain
- East of Broadwell Lake
- Soda Lake South
- West of Broadwell Mesa
- West of Budweiser Wash
- West of Glasgow
- Budweiser Wash
- Kelso Dunes
- West of Glasgow