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THE OUTDOORS DIGEST | BRIEFS

Mojave opens visitor center

November 29, 2005|Gary Polakovic

A long-awaited visitor center has finally opened at the refurbished Kelso Depot at Mojave National Preserve.

The sprawling desert park between Baker, Calif., and the Nevada and Arizona borders has lacked a focal point to attract visitors since it opened more than a decade ago.

After two years and $3.8 million of improvements, the historic Spanish-style railway depot now offers tourists maps and information on trails and campgrounds, natural and cultural history and resources about the desert environment.

The center opened Oct. 28, and about 300 visitors a day find their way to it off Kelbaker Road, 32 miles southeast of Baker. "It's critically important. It gives us some identity," says Larry Whalon, acting superintendent for Mojave National Preserve.

The park encompasses much of the east Mojave Desert and features Joshua tree forests, red-rock canyons and many historic sites used by Indians, pioneers, miners and railroads.

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-- Gary Polakovic

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