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Review Highlights
Well worth the stop over

The Kelso Dunes is a beautiful little destination that we came across on our travels and... read more

Reviewed 25 August 2018
Ken09
,
London
Beautiful and fun, but hot during the day

The Kelso Dunes directions on the website is accurate and easy to find. There is a nice bathroom... read more

Reviewed 2 July 2018
Jim W
,
Tempe, Arizona
via mobile
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All reviews bring lots of water mojave national preserve wear a hat coming down great hike desert experience went straight down hill well worth the stop train depot parking area worth the trip visitor center los angeles death valley kelso trailhead
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Reviewed 25 August 2018

The Kelso Dunes is a beautiful little destination that we came across on our travels and unexpectedly, it was definitely worth taking a break here to stretch the feet and enjoy the views.

Thank Ken09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2018 via mobile

The Kelso Dunes directions on the website is accurate and easy to find. There is a nice bathroom (large fancy port a potty - but permanent) at the beginning of the trailhead.

It takes about 20-30 minutes to get to the edge of the dunes. From there up. At the base, it is still very picturesque. You will see many lizards, grasses and such. The further you go, the dunes get more and more pure (less grasses and such).

It can be very hot in the summers. Spring and fall can be hot as well. Check the weather, wear a hat, and most of all, bring lots of water. Early morning is best.

Note that the trail is well defined at the beginning. Once st the base, it is not.

Thank Jim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2018 via mobile

if you have the right light the dunes appear very bright compared to the rest of the landscapee. a very impressive sight

1  Thank Christoph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2018

After reading about this on TripAdvisor, we decided to make this a stopping point on the way through the Mojave National preserve. The sun was out and we could not have had a more beautiful day. Fortunately, we took the advice we read seriously and were prepared with hats, sunblock, and lots of water. We had two children with us, ages 11 and 8, and we did not initially plan to make it to the top. Given the sand, it was challenging just to make it to the dunes. When we finally got to the dunes we felt like we had to attempt to make it to the top. Well trying to hike to the top was 10x harder than I initially thought. Hiking through the sand is really tough and the sun was intense- of course there is no shade! When we finally made it to the top the feeling of accomplishment, the pictures, and the view made it worthwhile. We had the top to ourselves and it was as if we were in our own world. If you are in the area, and you like a challenge, this is a must do. Parking is not an issue, but we did see people coming back early because they did not have enough water to safely attempt a trek to the top. We each had a Camelback which worked perfectly. A hat and sunblock are a must with kids and you should prepare for them to be exhausted on the way back. The sand is deep and our boots were full by the end. Our kids are in good shape and they were pretty much shot after the activity. Do not attempt to take this on if you are planning other activities (hikes or exploration) for later in the day.

2  Thank rgilpin99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2018

We stopped at Kelso Dunes while taking a scenic driving tour through Mojave National Preserve. The 600' dunes are visible from Kelbaker Road (paved two-lane highway) but to get closer, one must turn off onto unpaved Kelso Dunes Road (about 7.8 miles south of Kelso). The access road is graded dirt/gravel and leads about 3 miles to a trailhead where there's a parking area and restroom. When we visited the road was dry and dusty with some washboard that made it bumpy, but we were able to drive it in a low-clearance passenger car. A hiking trail leads 3 miles (roundtrip) into the sand dunes. The trail surface is dirt and sand (not wheelchair accessible). Hiking up and down hill through the sand is more difficult so allow plenty of time. Be prepared for sun exposure and drink plenty of water.

1  Thank CrankingChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2018

I have never climbed or hiked in sand dunes before, so this was a very unique experience for my husband and I. We arrived around 3pm and stayed until the sun went down around 6:15. The setting sun hitting the sand dunes is photographically stunning! Yes, it is strenuous climbing up sand that constantly shifts under your feet. It took about 1.5 hours to climb all the way up and about 40 minutes to come back down!

Thank jlava88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2018

The Kelso Dunes are just off of KelBaker road not far from Kelso Depot. The dunes are interesting to see and walk on but drive to the Depot Visitor Center to get more information and see a fantastic old train depot museum/visitor center. This is 20 miles off of highway 40 but worth the trip to see a bit of the National Preserve and some history.

2  Thank 707clayg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2018

It has been a few years since I have done this hike. It is a lot more strenuous than it looks. Think of it this way, walking up and down hill on a loose sandy beach for a mile or so then climbing up that beach at a steep angle for nearly another half mile. As a personal challenge I went straight up the face of the middle dune. It is much easier to take the left trail up the spine of the dune. Once at the top the view is stunning and breathtaking you as can see for a hundred of miles. Coming down is much easier. Fill the gas tank and bring lots of supplies as there none close by. Stateline Primm from the north, Twenty Nine Palms from the south are your best bets. Remember, if you carry it in, carry it out, and descending yields to ascending.

1  Thank CATTSAR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2017

I made it all the way to the top. It took me around 1 hour and 45 minutes, its so hard to walk in sand. but it worth the walk. once you get to the top you will see a beautiful view and its a beautiful silent. I went in November so it was just me.

Thank Tonmilv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2017

Worth it to stop there and check out the dunes when in the Mojave Preserve. Pretty cool spot and worth a photo op. Similar to the Dunes in Death Valley.

Thank coachee1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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