September 23, 2005

Current Conditions: Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve conditions for September 23, 2005 posted on the National Park Service site:

Current Conditions

Mid Hills Camprground [sic] is closed due to a recent fire. Hole-in-the-Wall Campground is open. Mitchell Caverns is open.

Due to recent flood damage, Cedar Canyon Road, and Black Canyon Road between Cedar Canyon Road and Hole-in-the-Wall Campground, are open to high clearance and 4-wheel drive vehicles only. They are not recommended for passenger cars.

Wild Horse Canyon Road is closed.

The unpaved portion of Lanfair Road is open to 4-wheel drive traffic only.

The Mojave Road through Lanfair Valley has been severely eroded. Use caution.

Piute Springs: The fence around Piute Creek has been removed and the area is now open to the public. The Creek was fenced off one year ago after a fire destroyed plants growing in and along the stream. The closure gave streamside vegetation an opportunity to reestablish without trampling by people walking along the creek. Piute Springs is a popular 4-wheel drive destination accessable [sic] from Highway 95 on the east side of Mojave National Preserve.

Call 760 733-4040 daily, or 760 252-6101 on weekdays, for current information.

Fire Restrictions
Campfires and charcoal fires are prohibited, except at Hole-in-the-Wall Campground. Portable gas stoves are allowed. Please be careful with fire.

4-Wheel Drive trip: The Mojave Road. Originally part of a network of Indian trails, the route became a wagon road when the Army established a series of outposts across the desert in the 1860s. The road was the major route across the Mojave Desert until the arrival of the first railroad route in 1883. The Mojave Road bisects the Preserve from east to west. There are several access points. A guidebook is available at park information centers. Consult rangers for current road conditions.

Hackberry Complex Fires

On June 22, 2005, lightning sparked a number of fires in Mojave National Preserve, burning 70,736 acres. The fires, collectively called the Hackberry Complex, burned through the Hole-in-the-Wall and Mid Hills area and to the north as far as the southern end of the New York Mountains. A separate fire burned in the Hackberry Mountains.

Those visiting the burned area should be alert to new hazards. Dust is a significant problem, as ash from the fires combined with dust from heavily-used dirt roads limits visibility. Be careful around the skeletons of dead trees, as they can shift and fall. Abandoned mine sites may pose new hazards, as headframes and other structures may be unstable.