Barstow Mojave Desert
Back behind the Rainbow Basin Natural Area and Owl Canyon Campground, Black Canyon is an interesting, scenic, desert canyon of the Mojave desert. Opal Mountain is back here too. Old mines, sandy wahes, free camping and awesome native petroglyphs on contrasting black volcanic rocks. Hence the name Black Canyon!
25 miles north of Barstow, CA From Old Hwy.
58, go north on Irwin Rd to Copper City Rd, turn left and proceed
15 mi. to EF373 (a left turn). About 2 miles before reaching
the dry lake bed. Continue 10 mi on EF373 to Black Canyon Barrier;
dirt road follows base of mesa.
Native art petroglyphs can be seen from the road, but you need to get out and look at them to take the real good photos. 4x4 might be needed in super soft sand conditions, so air down your tires if needed, and keep your speed up thru the thick stuff. A camp shovel, some pieces of lumber and an old blanket or tarp comes in handy for the soft sand and stuck - for all of you 2WD adventurous souls.
Anytime, other than summer, the day time temps are usually quite mild. Sunny and 70 is typical, but 60 degrees and wind, could mean chilly. Windbreakers (wind jackets) are always a good item to have when traveling in the desert, especially during winter. Winter storms can kick up good wind, so check the weather forecast.
in advance. In harsh stormy conditions you want to choose a camp site according to natural wind blocks, but not be inside a deep wash that could flood. You may finally learn how to stake out your shelter. Tie down a new tent properly with guy lines and fly.