The Other California: Amazing photos of the Mojave Desert

Posted on 22 April 2016

If you’ve only ever experienced California through popular culture, chances are you imagine it as a mixture of San Francisco and LA, with surfing. But there’s waymore going on in the ‘Golden State’, and one of its greatest assets has just been thrown into the world spotlight by a new ecology initiative. President Obama has created three new ‘National Monuments’ out in California’s beautiful desert, effectively creating the second-largest desert preserve in the world. When you clap eyes on the region, you’ll see why. As the photos below show, the Mojave, which has backdropped countless drives from the Cali coast to the bright lights of Vegas, is just stunning.


With loads of cheap city centre-hostels available in Californian cities, it’s easy to find a base to explore this fascinating region – so book up, pack your hiking boots and backpack, hire a car and get out there.

Hostels - Mojave desert
© Copyrights: Matthew G

Heading over the California state line just outside Las Vegas


Hostels - Mojave Trails National Monument
© Copyrights: Bob Wick

Ancient lava flows and sand dunes to die for, Mojave Trails National Monument is, well, monumental


Hostels - T-Bird in Joshua Tree National Park
© Copyrights: Don Graham

 What is more Californian than a T-Bird in Joshua Tree National Park?!


Hostels - Route 66
© Copyrights: Vicente Villamón

Head out into history down Route 66 from from LA (all the way to Chicago if you want!), and this kind of thing happens. It really is there – it’s not just something they made up.


Hostels - Golden Eagle
© Copyrights: regexman

Caption: Keep your eyes peeled in Castle Mountains – and across the Mojave National Preserve – and you might well spot a golden eagle or two. There are bob cats and mountain lions out in those hills, too.


Hostels - Kelso Depot, Mojave National Preserve
© Copyrights: Fabio Achilli

Kelso is a ghost town, but the old railroad depot was saved from certain death in the ‘90s when it became the Mojave National Preserve’s visitor centre.


Hostels - Post Office
© Copyrights: Johan Viirok

No really, very little happens in Kelso. Thinking about sending a postcard? Maybe try WhatsApp instead.