Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center
The Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center is the main contact station in the higher-elevation, central part of the Preserve, the most heavily used by people spending time in the Preserve. More people visit the main Kelso Depot Visitor Center, but most of them are simply traversing the Preserve.
At the visitor center, visitors will find helpful staff and written information, a bookstore with local books and relevant gifts, restrooms with flush toilets, water, and a pay telephone. A campground and a picnic area are located nearby. Visitors might consider calling (760-252-6104 or 760-928-2572) before arriving to get information on road conditions, the status of the spring wildflowers, and other current details.
Link to map.
Staff are friendly and knowledgeable
Hours of Operation
The visitor center is scheduled open Wednesday-Sunday, 9-4, during winter (October-April). During summer (May-September), the visitor center is only open Saturday, 10-4. Staffing is limited, so the visitor center may be closed when park personnel are out on a rescue or something else important. In an emergency when the visitor center is closed, drive back out Hole-in-the-Wall Road, cross the pavement, and continue east to the fire station where somebody should be around.
Rangers lead interpretive talks, guided nature walks, and evening programs during the winter season (October-May). Rangers usually talk about what interests them, but expect to hear about local geology, archaeology, botany, and the night sky.
When closed, check the door for written info
Things to Do on Your Own
Several trails begin at or near the visitor center. The Banshee Canyon overlook is a fenced walkway overlooking Banshee Canyon, a wonder of time and erosion. The Rings Loop Trail and the Banshee Peak trails start in the visitor center parking lot, and the Nature Trail, where plants are identified, starts across the road from the visitor center.
Longer trails start a few minutes up the road at the Rings Trailhead. These include the Rings Trail, Barber Peak Loop Trail, Cactus Garden Loop, Hole-in-the-Wall to Mid Hills Trail, and Tall Yuccas Trail.
The birding isn't bad around the visitor center. Look for Say's Phoebe, Crissal Thrasher, Phainopepla, House Finch, and Cactus Wrens. In Banshee Canyon, listen for Canyon Wrens.
When closed, check the board for written info
Getting to the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center
Hole-in-the-Wall is located in Mojave National Preserve, about 2 hours south of Las Vegas. From town, drive south on I-15 into California to Nipton Road (Table 1, Site 1008). Turn left onto Nipton Road and drive east 3.6 miles. Turn right onto Ivanpah Road (Site 1264) and drive south 3.2 miles. Turn right onto Morningstar Mine Road (Site 1265) and drive southwest 15 miles to Cima (Site 0832), where the road crosses railroad tracks and continues as the Kelso-Cima Road. Continue 4.6 miles on Kelso-Cima Road. Turn left onto Cedar Canyon Road (Site 0832) and drive east 6.0 miles (becomes a dirt road 2.3 miles out). Turn right onto Black Canyon Road (Site 0833) and drive south 9.5 miles. Past the campground, turn right onto Hole-in-the-Wall Road (Site 0836) and drive west about 0.2 miles to the Visitor Center, on the left.
From the south, exit I-40 onto Essex Road (Site 1474). Drive north 9.9 miles. Turn right onto Black Canyon Road (Site 0845) and drive north 9.7 miles to Hole-in-the-Wall Road (Site 0836), on the left.
Table 1. Highway Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.
||Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center
||Hwy I-15 at Cima Rd
||Kelso-Cima Rd at Cima
||Cima-Kelso Rd at Cedar Cyn Rd
||Cedar Cyn Rd at Black Cyn Rd
||I-15 at Nipton Rd
||Nipton Rd at Ivanpah Rd
||Ivanpah Rd at Morning Star Rd