The Old Mojave Road (Government Road) is an east-west route that enters the Mojave National Preserve off the highway 95 in Nevada, and Afton Canyon on the west side. Some sections are rough and sandy; 4 x 4 recommended. Roads can become slick, muddy and impassable after rains. Be sure to inquire about road conditions, especially if you plan to cross Soda Dry Lake.
The Mojave Road is party of the Old Spanish Trail, which is a 700 mile long historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements near Santa Fe, New Mexico with those of Los Angeles, California. The Old Spanish trail’s rugged terrain discouraged the use of wagons. It was always a pack route, mainly used by men and mules. Used by Indians to transport goods from the southwest to trade with the Chumash and other coastal tribes, this route later served the cause of westward expansion. Military forts were established along the route to protect key water sources and provide assistance for travelers.
The route at one time was for all intents and purposes lost until Dennis Casebier and Friends researched the route and reestablished the trail as if it know today and is a popular four-wheel drive road.
The eastern section of the Old Mojave Road leaves US 95 in Nevada near Laughlin moving westward. The eastern section climbs up to Fort Piute and continues past an old corral one a rocky climb. Once up on the plateau, the road continues to travel west to Nipton Road.
The central section starts at Nipton Road and continues west to Kelbaker road near Baker, CA. The road starts rather narrow with high brush offering the opportunity for some new desert pin-striping.
A short declination which offers the only real obstacle near Rock Spring. Burt Smiths cabin and the Government Holes water offer short hikes and distractions from the trail. Once you cross the Kelso Cima Road, about 5 miles of “whoop de doos” will rock you to sleep. The center section offers the most to see, and if you choose one section, this would be it in our opinion.
The western section leaves Kelbaker road and continues west into the dry soda lake south of Baker. The western section of the route can best be described as dry and sandy. A larger mine complex and Afton Canyon are the major sights.
In addition to over 100 miles of 4×4 trail, the Old Mojave road offers access to mines, old homesteads, and other 4×4 routes. The Old Mojave can be run either way and in a single long day, or in thirds with access being provided from Kelbaker road out of Baker or the Nipton Road in the the East. However, for the best experience, take your time and run the trail in Multiple days and overnight in one of many primitive or established Campgrounds.
Old Mojave Road Trail Map