Kingston Range Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

For your next outdoor adventure, it's worth considering a trip to California's Kingston Range Wilderness. It's a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing RV holiday.

Located in San Bernardino County in the state of California, Kingston Range Wilderness is a Bureau of Land Management property that consists of 252,149 acres of land. This recreational facility was designated a national wilderness in 1994. The mountains found within this region reach up to 7,000 feet in height, a breathtaking sight to behold.

There are many different routes to reach Kingston Range Wilderness; all of them extremely picturesque. One of the most popular treks includes a scenic drive through the small town of Tecopa. This route leads through the California Valley, an area known as a natural desert locale.

This beautiful natural space is divided into three distinct sections. Among the most popular spots is an area known as the Amargosa Unit. This section of the wilderness contains Amargosa Canyon and is home to a crystal clear stream that flows year-round. This natural body of water provides an important resource for area wildlife including many species of birds.

The center section is known as the Kingston Unit and consists of 17 miles of mountainous terrain sitting at 6,000 feet above sea level. It is this set of mountains that are known as the Kingston Range. The final unit is called the Shadow Mountain Unit, and it is home to a vast portion of the mountains from which this section takes its name.

A region that is both diverse and rich ecologically, there are over 505 species of plants found here. 32 of them are considered rare. But it is not just plant life that thrives within the Kingston Range Wilderness. There are many varieties of wildlife which flourish in this desert land. Among the varieties of animal life seen in this region are bighorn sheep, burros, ground squirrels, coyote, jackrabbits, roadrunners, quail, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and many lizard species.

An extremely remote locale, there are plenty of nearby campgrounds where RV and tent campers can enjoy primitive style camping conditions. Located near to many different attractions, families can enjoy the best of country living while still maintaining the opportunity to enjoy the amenities of the big city.

For a relaxing vacation that will leave you longing to return again and again, plan a trip to Kingston Range Wilderness. It's an amazing place for an RV getaway.

RV Rentals in Kingston Range Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

Access to Kingston Range Wilderness can be obtained from I-15, a two-lane, paved highway situated nine miles to the east of Highway 127. Alternate routes to this property include the Old Spanish Trail Highway or the Excelsior Mine Road. To reach the facility from Excelsior Mine Road, visitors will need to take the Cima Road exit off Interstate 15 just outside of Baker, California.


It is important to note that Excelsior Mine Road is made of dirt and gravel, so motorists will need to reduce their speed to prevent any damage to their vehicle from flying rocks. The road is only wide enough for traffic to flow one way. Exercise caution if traveling through this region with a travel trailer or RV.

Parking

There is no on-site parking located at Kingston Range Wilderness due to its extremely remote location. Motorists are asked to park their vehicles within 30 feet of the dirt access road and to travel the remainder of the distance to the wilderness grounds on foot.

Public Transportation

There is no public transportation available to Kingston Range Wilderness.

Campgrounds and parking in Kingston Range Wilderness

Campsites in Kingston Range Wilderness

First-come first-served

Afton Canyon Campground

Afton Canyon Campground, a BLM property, is open for year-round camping for RV and tent campers. There are 22 campsites available on a first-come, first basis. This campground offers primitive-style camping conditions. Each site is complete with a fire pit and picnic table.

The on-site amenities include vault toilets and drinking water on occasion.

Dogs are welcomed on the grounds but must remain leashed at all times.

All trash must be taken with you when you leave the premises.

Since access to this campground is via dirt roads, a high clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

Campers should be aware that trains occasionally travel through the premises.

Calico Ghost Town Campground

Calico Ghost Town Campground is located in Yermo, California. This property offers RV and tent camping year-round with sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Dogs are welcome on the property but must remain leashed at all times.

This camping facility offers full power, water, and sewer hookups and is capable of accommodating large RVs and trailers.

Found on the grounds for public use are bathrooms, showers, and hiking trails.

This property is much-loved for its incredible valley views.

Alternate camping

Hollow Hills Wilderness Area

Hollow Hills Wilderness Area is a popular spot for primitive-style camping conditions. A true rustic experience, there are no amenities provided at this secluded desert locale.

Though both RVs and tents are permitted here, RV and tent campers will need to bring water with them as none is provided on the premises.

Since access to this campground leads off-road, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended. RV campers are welcome on the premises, but the property is best-suited to tenting.

Camping stays are limited to a maximum of 14 days.

Dogs are permitted on the grounds but must remain leashed at all times.

Since no trash cans are available on the premises, you must take all garbage with you when you go.

Seasonal activities in Kingston Range Wilderness

In-Season

Mojave National Preserve

Nestled in the heart of Southern California, Mojave National Preserve is a delight for the senses. The landscape is marked by rich sand dunes, volcanic remains, and a vast expanse of forest comprised of the infamous Joshua trees. In the summer months, this beautiful property is blanketed with lush wildflowers in a rainbow of different hues.

With over 1.6 million acres to explore, families can enjoy hiking through the grounds, snapping photos along the way. A journey through the premises reveals old mine sites no longer in use as well as former military properties, and ranches now abandoned.

Located between two metropolitan areas, the atmosphere atMojave National Preserve is decidedly serene.

Death Valley National Park

No visit to Kingston Range Wilderness would be complete without stopping by Death Valley National Park. Located in a basin below sea level, this recreational area is renowned for its drought conditions and intense heat in the summer months. Death Valley National Park is incredibly scenic and boasts of such topographical features as frosty mountain peaks and lush wildflowers.

Though the heat can be excruciating, the property is a natural habitat for many species of wildlife including many types of fish.

One of the most popular activities here is backcountry hiking. Be sure to bring along lots of drinking water for your visit to Death Valley National Park. The scorching temperatures will ensure you need it.

Mojave Megaphone

Located between the California towns of Baker and Ludlow is an object named the Mojave Megaphone. This unusual object is fastened in place at the pinnacle of a hill of 100 feet in height. Constructed of heavy-duty pieces of iron, it is unknown how the megaphone came to the place where it now rests.

It has been proposed that the megaphone's original purpose may have been to act as an alert system for area residents who would have been affected by chemical or gas testing. Another popular assertion is that the bell was covered with a skin then used as a drum.

Though the origins of the megaphone are not known, it is definitely worth a road trip to check out while in the area visiting Kingston Range Wilderness.

Off-Season

World's Largest Thermometer

Another unusual site worth visiting is the World's Largest Thermometer. The brainchild of an area businessman, the world's largest thermometer isn't technically a thermometer it all. It is an electric sign which stands as a monument to one of the most memorable scorching hot days ever experienced in Death Valley.
The sign sits in the middle of a parking lot in Baker, California. It is 134 feet in height to reflect the temperature reached on that fateful day in 1913.
A local businessman is responsible for paying for the construction of the sign. Though it once accurately told the daily temperature; today, it is in disrepair.
Other places to visit at this site include a small restaurant. a gift shop, and a convenience store.
Today, the sign is for sale for any interested parties in need of a thermometer in the middle of the desert.

Mojave Lava Tube

The Mojave Lava Tube is an interesting place to explore. Essentially a tunnel created by molten lava, visitors to this space can enjoy the rare experience of seeing first hand the results of this volcanic overflow.

The texture of the walls bears evidence of the ravages of heat on the land. Holes in the upper parts of the tunnel reveal glimpses of sunlight.

Found within the Mojave National Preserve, families have the opportunity to visit two recreational attractions in one visit. The preserve bears witness of many years of volcanic eruptions on the premises. It is believed that no volcano has been active within this space for over 7.6 million years.

To reach the lava tube, you will need to drive nearly five miles down Aiken Mine Road. This stretch is unpaved; however, driving conditions are quite favorable.

Ibex Dunes

For those with access to a vehicle with four-wheel-drive, a trip to the Ibex Dunes will not disappoint. Located near to Baker, California, and not far from Kingston Range Wilderness, the sand dunes represent an opportunity for adventure.

The sand dunes are nestled between a former talc mine and the town of Sarasota Springs. The region is extremely picturesque with its hilly dunes in sharp contrast to the flat expanse of desert. Bring along a camera to record the beauty that surrounds you.

The area is extremely quiet, making it a peaceful place to hike or enjoy a few moments of reflection.

Bring lots of water as the dunes are located in Death Valley, and the temperatures can be scorching.

Find the perfect campsite.