AMBOY to KELSO Fieldtrip

The trip for 17 Feb (assuming not too bad weather) could visit Amboy Crater, then the Kelso Dunes, Kelso Depot, and the Kelso Lava Tube, ending up at Baker..
Good tires and standard clearance (no Corvettes or other low-clearance vehicles) are needed for the 4.5 mi dirt road to the Lava Tube.
Altogether, about 7.25 hrs driving time.  Amboy Crater takes 1.5 hrs to actually climb the thing; Kelso Dunes take probably 30 min of fun rolling around (or an hour to climb to the top). Kelso Depot takes probably a half hour.  Lava tube takes a half hour round trip from the parking lot - head lamp/flashlight needed; hard hat recommended.  To go to both sections, one has to crawl through on hands and knees on damp dirt for about 15 feet.

When I scouted this trip last weekend, I left my house at 9AM, and got to 29 Palms at 4PM.  I went to the parking lot of Amboy Crater, but did not climb it on this scouting trip.  Nor did I really spend any time at the Dunes.
All roads are paved except the road from Kelbaker Rd to the Lava Tube parking lot.


I-15/215 to Amboy Crater: allow 2.5 hrs
Starting from the Jct of I-15 and I-215 in Devore,

Off at Bear Valley Road, go to ParknRide at 12068 Amargosa Rd. Victorville CA.  Leaving here at 8am.

Then 42 or so miles to Barstow and Jct of I-40
Keep right to take I-40 E via EXIT 184A toward Needles.
Then 50.00 miles

Take EXIT 50 toward Ludlow.
Then 0.30 miles

Turn right onto Crucero Rd.
  1. If you reach I-40 E you've gone about 0.2 miles too far
Then 0.07 miles

Turn left onto National Trails Hwy.
Then 26.36 miles to Crater Rd, at 86261 National Trails Hwy, Amboy CA,

Follow Crater Rd to its ending at a parking lot with vault toilets.
2 hrs 20 min driving time from I-15/215 Jct to Crater Rd.

Amboy to Kelso Dunes: allow 1 hr
Go east on National Trails Hwy (Old US 66) until road is blocked; turn left on Kelbaker Rd.
Continue on Kelbaker Rd as it goes under I-40, and then up to to the pass through the Granite Mountains. 
Continue on Kelbaker Rd to the Kelso Dunes sign - you will notice some building and tanks on the West side of the road at the Kelso Dunes turnoff. 
Follow Kelso Dunes Rd about 3-4 miles to the end at the Dunes.
Allow an hour.

Kelso Dunes to Kelso Depot: allow 15 min
Return to Kelbaker Rd, turn North on Kelbaker Rd.  Proceed to stop sign about 8miles.  Stop, continue, cross tracks, turn right on Kelso-Cima Rd.
Turn in to Kelso Dept parking lot.
Kelso Depot is a restored train depot from the time of steam passenger trains.

Kelso Depot to Kelso Lava Tube: allow 20 min to turnoff, and another 20-30 min on dirt road
Leave Kelso Depot, going back to Kelbaker Rd.  Turn right (North) on Kelbaker Rd. Go about 14.7 miles north on Kelbaker Rd.  There will be a dirt road taking off
on the right (East), with a white-painted rock (about a foot in diameter) marking the spot.  The road is NOT signed.  The entrance to the road has a scraped area by it. 
The road is called AIken Mine Road, and will show as such on many GPS units.  Travel 4.5 miles on Aiken Mine Road, keeping to the left at the sign that says "Lave Tube Trail"
The road ends in a circular parking area (actually, the road continues as a 4WD trail, but is impassable for any except Jeep-type vehicles).
The trail to the lava tube follows the jeep road about 150 yds, then a foot trail takes off to the right (the SE), and the lava tube is about 50 yds up the foot trail)

Kelso Lava Tube junction to Baker, CA: allow 30 min (19-20 miles)

Baker, CA back to Jct 15/215 is about 2 hrs (120-125 miles)