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Indio to Pahrump Routes


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CA 62 to 247 to 15 means you'll have to drive through Apple Valley and Victorville, about 10 miles of stop and go suburban traffic. If you take I-10 to I-215 and the Cajon Pass, time your departure to get through San Bernardino and over the pass before 6 AM or between 10 AM and 3 PM to avoid the worst of the traffic.


If I have the time, I like to take I-10 east to Cottonwood Springs Rd. and the south entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, then drive through the park to 29 Palms. The park has a day use fee unless you have a Geezer Pass.


Or take CA 62 from I-10 to 29 Palms.


From 29 Palms, jog north and take Amboy Rd east (it then turns north) and go up and over the ridge to Amboy on Old Route 66. Take Old 66 east about 6 miles then go north on Kelbaker Rd. through the Mojave National Preserve to Baker. Then continue north to Shoshone and Pahrump.


The Preserve has a very nice museum at the park headquarters in the old railroad depot in Kelso. It's worth a stop.


Taking CA 62 to 29 Palms and then north through Amboy is slower driving but time-wise only slightly longer than taking the freeway. They're good secondary roads that aren't on the default routing of most mapping programs though you can force them if you set Amboy as a waypoint. You'll have moderate traffic to 29 Palms and then only see the occasional car between there and Baker. North of Kelso there's several miles where the tar part of the asphalt has receded, leaving the protruding gravel. It's still smooth, but you'll hear it in your tires like crossing an iron grate bridge.

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