Meander along the original trail west blazed by Father Francisco Garces, 1775-1776, the same road thousands of men and women followed almost one hundred years later, seeking their fortunes in California. Walk the along the Mojave River at the site of what once was Camp Cady, a fort settled to protect travelers along the Santa Fe and Mormon Trails en route to San Bernardino and Los Angeles.
Camp amidst the eroded volcanic formations of Rainbow Basin Natural National Landmark then drive the long loop to the charcoal-colored mesas of the Black Mountains Wilderness Area. Afton Canyon’s riparian habitat provides some of the finest bird watching opportunities in the state while also serving as a gateway to the old Mojave Road. Out in seemingly the middle of nowhere, in the heart of what is now Mojave National Preserve, is the spectacular Kelso Depot, it’s great Spanish architecture, a ghostly monolith on the vast desert plain. Prospectors and miners left their marks on the land and mountains with mine shaft and yawning glory holes. Some left with pockets full of gold while others lost everything, even their lives.