Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mojave Desert Lava Tube

Last week I posted about Amboy, CA. After exploring Amboy, my wife, granddaughter and I continued our journey, hoping to find something called the Mojave Lava tube. We left Amboy and headed north through the Mojave Desert Preserve. The lava tube is about 19 miles SE of Baker (as the crow flies). Exit Kelbaker Road on an unmarked dirt road heading NE (35.155378, -115.790415). On Google Maps, the dirt road is marked Aiken Mine Road. Follow it for about 5 miles to a dirt parking area. It's a short hike up to the lava tube, but the rocky volcanic soil makes it a little challenging. Be sure to research where you are going ahead of time, and perhaps download some waypoints to follow as you drive, and then hike, to the location. I read a number of Google reviews from people who where unable to find the lava tube. Oh, and avoid this area in the summer. Too darn hot!
We were driving a Honda AWD CR-V and made it without any problem. It looked to me like a standard 2WD could make it if you proceed cautiously and avoid soft sand.

Lilly leading the way on a nice blue sky day. At one time, you were allowed to drive up here, but now it's open to foot traffic only beyond the parking area. Somewhere up there is a big lava tube!

Eventually, you will notice a large hole in the ground with a metal stairway leading down to the rocks below.
Going down!!

After descending the stairs, it's not immediately obvious where the lava tube is. The terrain is a jumble of rocks! It turns out there is a low ledge you need to go under (in the shadows so hard to see). No problem for Lilly, but I was down on hands and knees going under the ledge, balancing my cell phone as a flash light and trying to keep my camera out of the dirt.

Lilly, looking a little like the "Creature from the Lava Tube"!!
The main part of the lava tube is large and roomy. It also has a skylight. Unfortunately, we were not in the tube at the right time of day. But I've seen photos posted from this spot where the beam of light shining through the skylight hits the floor. You can stand under it for a very dramatic photo!

Perhaps it was too late in the day, but the shaft of light was coming in at about a 45 degree angle and hitting the wall, not the ground. Still fun to see!


Time to leave the lava tube and head on to our next destination. From Amboy, to the Mojave Desert Lava Tube, to... seriously? Vegas?? Talk about a culture shock!

Lilly went from the desolate loneliness of Amboy, to the rocky, dark and unforgiving landscape of the lava tube, to being pampered in a Vegas hotel room. I must say, she made the transition remarkably well đŸ˜‰

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!!

46 comments:

  1. Quite beautiful shots inside that tube.

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  2. That's amazing!! Such a little girl bravely going into what looks to me to be snake heaven. The little town where my mother is from, Dubois, Idaho has a lava tube that is quite long and during the cold war was converted into a fallout shelter. It is no longer that but is kept locked up except for tours.
    I've been to the lava tubes in Hawaii, they are pretty cool as well. Especially the ocean front ones that lead to pools inland.

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  3. That lava tube was really off the beaten path. Definitely not a summer excursion.

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  4. Another wonderful adventure for her to remember. Watching a movie a couple of nights ago, I saw a spot in Death Valley I remember from a trip in 1951. Wasn't quite the same, but still... I remember the trip and the spot fondly.

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  5. Lilly is a lucky duck to have such an adventure at such an early age.

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  6. Yes,Lilly did all those as long as she has her Ipad :)

    Incredible lava tube. Larger than I saw in HI.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  7. Lilly sounds like a good travel companion in your wanderings.

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  8. That's an amazing find and a great adventure for Lilly! A few years ago, we did a trip out west: Telluride, Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion. The final stop was Vegas. I get your culture shock.

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  9. You do interesting explorations. Quite inspiring to read

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  10. Lava tube caves are so cool! Nice photos.

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  11. That is one very cool tunnel and cave!

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  12. Beautiful photos.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  13. Hello, the Lava Tube is cool. What a neat adventure for Lilly! The shaft of lighting is dramatic, great for photos. Enjoy your day! Have a happy weekend.

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  14. I think you are giving Lily exactly the right kind of education - and she earned her place in the fluffy bed.

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  15. Kids are flexible.

    Now I've seen a lava tube. Gotta go to Wikipedia and learn how they are made.

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  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lava_tube

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  17. That lava tube is really something to see, great photos!

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  18. We have traveled full time for the past 22 years, you still open areas we never touched and some, like the Lava tube, we had never heard of. THANKS for taking us along.
    Sherry & jack now in Pennsylvania.

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  19. Lily is the 'star of the show' ~ What an amazing place and what adventures you are sharing her ~ ^_^
    Not to mention your excellent photography ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  20. How amazing it must be to see in person, and quite an adventure!

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  21. PArt of a volcano that is so cool finding that and exploreing it. I musy say Lilly looks well at home wil all the chddly toys

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  22. Great photos of the lava tube. I never heard of that before so I thank you.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  23. The lava tube is an interesting experience, surely!
    I had never heard of anything like that.
    ...and your little beauty has grown up! :)

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  24. Fascinating post. Beautiful child. I LOVE her bed mates!

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  25. That last photo is so cute!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  26. Pretty cool to go inside the lava tube. Looks like Lilly has it all figured out :)

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  27. My back would never survive this but, what a photo op, especially if the light is right. Wow!

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  28. What great adventures you have in your beloved Mojave Desert!

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  29. Absolutely Amazing Timing On That Light Beam - Well Done

    Cheers
    P.S. Here ( https://www.radiofreeamerica.com/show/magic-carpet-ride-1-kafm-community-radio ) Is The Link To My Last Radio Show

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  30. Really a totally adventurous trip. Three cheers for Lily!

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  31. wow this trips looks like so much fun!!

    Jadieegosh

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  32. Lily is a brave girl to venture into the dark lava tube. Amazing shots inside the lava tube. Have a great weekend!

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  33. Great posting again. Brave granddaughter and the next background for Lara Croft is already found.

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  34. I love how intrepid Miss Lily wears a pink dress to explore lava tubes! That was fascinating as I’d never even thought of seeing the inside of a lava tube myself.

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  35. What a place. Never seen anything like it. Thank you for sharing.

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  36. Interesting post explaining a terrific place, and, as always, great pictures !

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  37. That lava tube cave is amazing....Lilly looks so fearless all alone in there (I know G &G were right close at hand, but I have no doubt that young lady could handle that climb alone! She can obviously handle anything that happens (even Las Vegas )).....what a nice vacation it all was.

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  38. An interesting outing. Lily made a good model for you and gave a reference point for the size of the lava tube. She looks like she is ready now to enjoy the rest.

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  39. Kids can be wonderfully adaptable.

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  40. Amazing shots..especially Lily standing in the light!

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  41. You and your family have the best adventures! I like that you are setting such a fine example for Lilly!

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  42. We visited lava tubes in Hawaii. And lots of other things hot and melty. You always find the out-of-the-way adventures. It reminds me of Pat Tillet. I haven't heard from him in awhile.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sharon. I talk to Pat on a somewhat regular basis. He has stepped away from blogging for a while, but he's having many fun-looking RV adventures! I hope he starts posting again. He's such a wealth of information!

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