Rod McLaughlin


I finally found the bike route from Joshua Tree CA to Las Vegas NV (27 jan 20...26 feb 20)

From Joshua Tree National Park, follow the signs to 29 Palms. From there, take Adobe Road north then Amboy Road east, then North Amboy Road north, up a long gradual hill, down the other side, til you reach the ghost town of Amboy. This is your last store for 84 miles, and your last water til Kelso, 40 miles north. They only sell junk food, but you can camp in the desert behind the store.

Route 66 was closed, so I turned north on Kelbaker Road. This led to a long gradual uphill, under freeway 40, and on up into the Mojave National Preserve. Then downhill into the oasis of Kelso, where there is a water faucet available 24 hours a day. There is a National Park store, but they only sell tourist tack and expensive candy.

Take the right fork, Kelso Cima Road, toward Cima. You can camp anywhere. Cima is the next inhabited place, with just a farm and a sign saying "Cima Store", indicating times when the area was wetter and supported more people. 

Continue due north on Morning Star Mine Road, not Cima Road. Undulating countryside. When you join the Ivanpah Road, turn left, north. When you reach the next T-junction, you can turn right and ride 7 miles to Nipton - it has a store, hotel and restaurant.

Or you can do what I did, and at this "T-Junction", just go straight across the Nipton road on onto a dirt road. Well, it's partly dirt, but also sand. Google maps led me accurately across the desert north from here, and before you reach freeway 15, at location 35.525, -115.414, turn right, north onto a sandy track marked 'authorized vehicles only'. I wasn't looking forward to pushing my bike 5 miles, but it soon turned into mostly ridable rocky ground. You find you are following an oil pipeline. Stay near it, and eventually, you come to a dry lake, with the most perfect surface for riding a bike  - hard on top, with sand underneath for suspension. 

Then you reach an open gate, a road, a giant MacDonald's sign, and you are at the border of Nevada and back in America. You are also in the Primm Casino/Hotel complex. Don't stay there. Find South Las Vegas Blvd, on the east side of freeway 15. This becomes a dirt road, and 10 miles north is another casino/hotel complex, nicer and cheaper than Primm. I never thought I'd enjoy eating at a Denny's while looking at a collection of off-road cars. The road eventually turns paved as you enter Las Vegas. The picture is mostly to help people going in the opposite direction. At the southernmost point on the roads going round the Primm Casino/Hotel complex, on the east side of the freeway, this is where you leave ugly America behind.



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