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About Kelso Dunes

Seen from a distance, the cream-colored hills of the Kelso Sand Dunes stand out in bright contrast to the surrounding mountains. Stretching over 45 square miles from the salt flats of Soda Dry Lake, the dunes rise to the surprising height of 600 feet above the valley floor, and are one of the largest dune complexes in the west.

In the early days of the railroad, Kelso was a stop where passengers could disembark in the desert a few miles northeast of the dunes. The now-abandoned town and stop are the namesake of the Kelso Dunes.

The Kelso Dunes, along with some of the rugged terrain to the northwest are called the Devil's Playground. They are also part of the Mojave Preserve, a unit of the National Park system, which protects a large area of southern California's Mojave Desert. The elevation at the dunes is about 800 feet. Interstate 15 passes by several miles to the north, and the dunes can be seen from there, in the distance.

The dunes are open for walking through but not for motorized recreation.

Street Index

a sand dune
Kelso Dunes Road
Kelso Dunes Trail

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