You’d never expect to find this hidden gem in the Mojave Desert. Did you know about the Mojave Lava Tubes?

On a cloudless day, these secret caves are a dream come true. When you explore the caves, you’ll find a magical beam of light pouring through the ceiling. Stand in the right spot, and it will look like you’re getting beamed up by aliens!

Before you head out on your adventure, make sure you have a battery-powered flashlight, full tank of gas and plenty of food and water. It’s also smart to keep radiator coolant and oil on hand. We recommend bringing a large car with 4WD. Plus, you can pack all your friends in!

The Mojave Desert Preserve is far away from any city, so there are no nearby gas stations or rest stops. We strongly recommend leaving pets at home.

Getting to the lava tubes is tricky.  Any adventurer knows that many places worth exploring are off the beaten path. Lava tubes are one of those crazy natural phenomena you have to experience at least once in your life. This lave tube has its own natural skylights. 

You can find full directions on how to get there here. After driving 5 miles down an unmarked road in the northwest part of the desert preserve, you’ll reach the road’s turn out to the lava tube trail.

You’ll be in the middle of nowhere, but hey, that’s part of the adventure!

On the trail, you’ll have to walk over bumpy black volcanic rocks and head up an incline. After walking a quarter-mile, you’ll come to a spur on the right side. Head on; the lava tubes are closeby. 

At the second hole, you’ll see a flight of stairs leading you down into the lava tubes. Bring a battery-powered flashlight, your buddies, and head on in. It’s sixteen steps down. Make sure to watch your footing.

Inside, you’ll be amazed at the sights. The main cavern has fantastic views from the light pouring into the tube on the cave floor. You’re going to want to take tons of photos.

At the end of the main cavern, you’ll find a second area with another beam of light. While it’s not as impressive as the first, it’s still worth seeing.

The small dust particles in the air make the sights so beautiful. After you’ve taken your pics and explored, you can head back to your car the same way that you came. Make sure to respect the environment and leave no trace. Happy exploring!

Lava Tube Trail: Mojave National Preserve

Location: Mojave National Preserve

Price: Free

Hours: Open 24 hours 

Why You Should Go: You can explore awesome underground lava tubes in California! 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.