We set out to see a few of the highlights of the East Mojave and successfully saw each one. They included a hike to the top of Table Top Mountain, the Mojave Lava Tube, a hike to the top of one of the cinder cones in the Cinder Cone Lava Beds, Cow Cove, the Amboy Crater, and a visit to Roy's Cafe in Amboy.
Roy's Cafe is an interesting place to visit and it is even more interesting to know it's history, (see: http://www.rt66roys.com/). It is located on a very active part of the old Route 66 Highway that sees a lot of activity on weekends. Today, Roy's is a "Cafe" in name only as they cannot serve any food until they abate the asbestos in the building. It does serve as a lonely gas stop for those traveling Route 66 and who are willing to pay north of $5 per gallon. But, since it is the only gas for many miles around and its a great place to visit, it's worth the trip.
We had originally planned to see the Kelso Train Depot, in part because they were supposed to be serving food and beverages. Since they have closed the concession (and no food or beverages are available) and since everyone had been there before, we skipped it. If you have not visited the Depo, it is worth the time to check it out.
It would take years to see most of what the East Mojave Desert has to offer, but we had a good start. For those who want to enjoy the Desert, there are a few bits of advice that will help to ensure your enjoyment.
- 1. This area is massive and getting from one place to another will take time and a lot of gas. Everyone in our party was carrying 10 extra gallons of fuel and for some, it was not nearly enough. If you run low, there are no gas stations that are nearby.
2. There are very few established campgrounds, but they do exist. The best camping however is dispersed or wilderness camping. This means that you will need to bring everything that your camp site requires, such as tables, chairs, and water. Water is one of those things that is difficult to find in the desert (unless you know where to look). Bring plenty!!!
3. Even in the best of times, the weather in the Desert is unpredictable. Be well prepared for big changes, when you least expect it.
Here are pictures of the areas we visited:
Hike to the top of Table Top Mountain Table Top is about 6100 feet and the climb to the top requires some effort. The views at the top however are well worth it!!!.
Hike to the Amboy Crater
View of the Caldera
On the Rim
Lava that overflowed the cone
The Mojave Lava Tube
On top of the tube
View from the tube
Hike to Cow Cove Cow Cove contains a large number of petroglyphs - here are a few.
On the way