You may think a desert is barren and ugly with little to offer the avid outdoors man. The truth is very far from that. The Mojave, like any other great outdoor location offers great hikes, amazing views, wildlife, and a night sky that is hard to beat anywhere else. The Mojave just like all great deserts is extremely hot during the day and extremely cold at night. The sunsets and sunrises are remarkable as the sun strikes the glowing reds, burnt oranges and tans of the beautiful desert landscape. The night sky is so rich with stars, you see more light than black sky. Shooting stars race through the sky so frequently you lose count and a full moon turns night into day.
I was lucky enough to sleep under the stars at Hole in the Wall campground over the Thanksgiving holiday. The campsite gets its name from the 1000s of holes that dot the surrounding mountain walls. Leaving the San Diego Area, I was headed for a 3 day backpacking trip in Zion National Park, the Mojave campsites were an easy in between stop right off Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The campgrounds have pay stations you can access anytime and are rarely filled. The campsites are only 12 dollars and accept cash and personal check. This was my first visit to the Mojave during this time of year. The day time temperature was a beautiful 63 degrees but at night it dropped to 23. A full moon lit up the desert landscape like I have never seen before. When I woke up early to take great sunrise photos, I was blessed with an amazing scene. Almost in unison, as the sun rose in the east, the full moon set in the west. I turned back and forth from the sun to the moon as they crested over the silhouetted mountains trying to take as many pictures as I could. I truly enjoyed my short one day trek into the Mojave and plan to return again soon. I highly recommend this trip for any outdoors or photography enthusiast.