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Mojave National Preserve: Lava Tubes and Sand Dunes
October 21, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm PDT$50.00
This venture is a one day excursion to the vast and extinct lava fields at Cima to explore a hollow 10,000 year old lava tube. If you have severe claustrophobia, this may not be for you, but I assure you that it is well worth the descent into the depths of this beautiful underground treasure.
From the Lava Tube, we will make our way to Kelso Depot for a small lunch break and then shortly thereafter, we head to Kelso Dunes, a giant playground of skyscraper sized sand dunes. Here we will spend the rest of the day until sundown. When the golden hour comes, have your cameras ready because they have a tendency to be explosive when the weather is just right. Our last and final stop after the dunes will be at the Mad Greek in Baker for a nice dinner and some much needed decompression time.
- There is a maximum occupancy of 20 people for this Venture.
There will be hiking involved on this venture so please know your limits. The Cima Lava Tube is a half mile round trip from the trailhead. There are 200 ft (61 m) of total vertical hike on this trail which puts it in the ‘Easy’ hiking category. You will encounter loose footing along the trail so you should take precaution for your ankles and make certain you watch your step or bring some boots with sturdy ankle support. The elevation at the Lave Tube trailhead is approx. 3,500 ft. (1,066 m).
The Kelso Dunes are vast and littered with all sorts of potential trails, however if you wish to scale the biggest dune to get a shot, please be aware that the wind blasts are significant depending on time of year. It is not uncommon to experience high winds approaching 40 mph near the top of the bigger dunes, so bundle up and wear glasses or goggles if you wish and definitely some kind of secured hat or head garb to withstand the sheets of sand that you will get pelted with on occasion. The tallest of the Kelso Dunes is a 640 ft. (195 m) monster and involves a 3.44 miles ( 5.5 km) round trip from trailhead and back. The elevation at the Kelso Dunes trailhead is approx. 2,500 ft. (762 m).
In regards to temperature, The park can reach Summer averages of 92.8ºF(33.8ºC) and during the Winter, the temperatures can reach an average low of 29.5ºF(-1.4ºC).