birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wilderness | Hiking | Mojave National Preserve | Backroads
Macedonia Canyon Road - Eastbound
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Mojave National Preserve
Macedonia Canyon Road
Macedonia Canyon Road

Overview

Macedonia Canyon Road is a 4WD road that runs east-west between the paved Kelso-Cima Road (Kelso Depot area) and Wild Horse Road (Hole-in-the-Wall area). Towards the pavement, the road was graded dirt, but farther up in the canyon, the road runs in a sandy wash. In my jeep, I've driven it both ways in 2WD, but there is so much soft sand that it would be quite unwise to drive the road in a 2WD-HC vehicle.

This road provides access to hikes, ranches, and primitive camping areas in the Panamint Mountains, as well as a "short-cut" (well, perhaps an interesting alternative route) between Hole-in-the-Wall and Kelso.

Link to map.

Macedonia Canyon Road

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about being in the desert, ... the road is easy in a 4WD vehicle, and much of the lower road should be passable in a carefully driven 2WD-HC vehicle. If driving a 2WD vehicle, inquire locally and use your own good judgment about road conditions, as the road is sandy and subject to washouts. Otherwise, this is a relatively safe road with no unusual hazards.

Note that the railroad underpass is a bit low. Not-too-tall vehicles can get under the tracks, but the Park Rangers once left a light bar here.

While out in the desert, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, the area is remote, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Macedonia Canyon Road
Macedonia Canyon Rd (view E from Kelso-Cima Rd)

Getting to the Road

This road is located in Mojave National Preserve, about 2 hours south of Las Vegas.

From town, drive south on I-15 to Mojave National Preserve. The west end of Macedonia Canyon Road is accessed from the paved Kelso-Cima Road (Table 1, Site 1476), and the east end is accessed from the dirt Wild Horse Road (Site 1478).

The Road

From the pavement on Kelso-Cima Road (Site 1476), Macedonia Canyon Road turns southeast into a sandy wash and passes under the railroad tracks that parallel the pavement.

Macedonia Canyon Road
Macedonia Cyn. Rd uses wash under railroad tracks

Emerging from under the tracks, the road runs smooth and easy to the southeast and in about 100 yards passes through an old gate in a barbed-wire fence marked with a Macedonia Canyon Road sign.

The road continues to run smooth and easy, and eventually bends left, but still runs southeast. There is a little sand on this section, but it serves mainly to smooth out the bumps. The vegetation here is typical of mid-elevation Mojave Desert (Upper Sonoran Life Zone) with lots of Creosote Bush, White Bursage, Brittlebush, and Mojave Yucca.

At about 2.5 miles out, the road bends left to run due east up the bajada. Then, in another 0.5 miles, the road bends to the right and begins to angle up and across washes, now heading southeast again.

Macedonia Canyon Road
Road passes under railroad bridge

At about 3.75 miles, the road arrives at a signed intersection (Site 1506). The road straight ahead seem to run to a ranch, but Macedonia Canyon Road turns left.

Beyond the turn, the road runs northeast to climb the bajada. Near the base of the mountains, the road becomes more sandy, and by 4.8 miles out when the road enters Macedonia Canyon, the road is quite sandy.

The canyon is fairly narrow in some spots, but it generally is an open canyon with a sandy wash and typical wash vegetation (e.g., Desert Willow, Honey Mesquite, Desert Almond). At about 6.3 miles out, the road turns right out of the sandy wash to climb the hillside, pass over a novel cattle guard, and arrive at Wild Horse Canyon Road (Site 1478). This is the edge of the old burn zone (Pinyon-Juniper Woodland Life Zone) where almost all of the Singleleaf Pinyon and California Juniper burned some years ago. It is interesting to see it recovering.

Macedonia Canyon Road
Initial roadway is firm sand
Macedonia Canyon Road
Road sign at fence
Macedonia Canyon Road Macedonia Canyon Road
Macedonia Canyon Road
Roadway becomes more sandy
Macedonia Canyon Road
Road curves to the SE
Macedonia Canyon Road
Turning south to traverse the bajada
Macedonia Canyon Road
Crossing a broad wash
Macedonia Canyon Road
Road intersection; Macedonia Canyon Rd turns left
Macedonia Canyon Road
Turning left on Macedonia Canyon Rd (note road sign)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Road climbs the bajada ...
Macedonia Canyon Road
... and becomes more sandy
Macedonia Canyon Road
Entering Macedonia Canyon, proper
Macedonia Canyon Road
Deep sand
Macedonia Canyon Road
Deep sand
Macedonia Canyon Road
Road turns out of wash
Macedonia Canyon Road
Interesting design for a cattle guard; cross slowly
Macedonia Canyon Road
Macedonia Canyon Road at Wildhorse Road

Macedonia Canyon Road - Westbound

Macedonia Canyon Road
Macedonia Canyon Rd near Wild Horse Road (view NW)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Macedonia Canyon Rd on gate at cattle guard
Macedonia Canyon Road
Sandy wash (view SW)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Sunset in the Mojave Desert (view SW)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Sandy wash (view SW)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Sign at road intersection (view S)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Crossing broad washes (view NW)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Smooth, straight road (view NW)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Approaching railroad underpass (view NW)
Macedonia Canyon Road
Railroad underpass (view NW)

Table 1. Highway Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Verified
1476 Kelso-Cima Rd at Macedonia Canyon Rd 632168 3885015 35.10107 115.54991 3,103 GPS
1478 Wild Horse Rd at Macedonia Canyon Rd 640789 3882685 35.07889 115.45575 4,965 GPS
1506 Macedonia Cyn Rd at Turn 636945 3881958 35.07287 115.49802 3,967 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 140204

Backroads Hiking Around Mojave Preserve Hiking Around Las Vegas Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads