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Desert Studies Center

How to Get to the Desert Studies Center


The Desert Studies Center is located at Soda Springs (a.k.a. “Zzyzx”), on the western shore of Soda Dry Lake, and in the northwest corner of the Mojave National Preserve.  We are accessed via Interstate 15, the main highway between the Los Angeles area of Southern California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.  From the west, take I-15 North towards Barstow and Las Vegas.  About 58 miles past Barstow, take the Zzyzx Road exit, and turn right.  From the Las Vegas area, take I-15 South towards Baker/Barstow/Los Angeles, and take the Zzyzx Road exit (about 6 miles past Baker, California) and turn left.

Once on Zzyzx Road, continue south to the DSC - at road’s end - about 4.3 miles.  The road is paved along most of the route (wildlife water along the short dirt section – please drive SLOWLY).  Guests with reservations may pass through the entry gate, turn left and follow signs to the parking area.  NOTE:  visiting members of the public must park in the National Park Service parking area, on the right just before passing through our gate.  Visitors are free to explore the area on foot during daylight hours. Dogs must be on leads while visiting, and are not allowed in the buildings.

The Area

The Center is situated on the shore of Soda Dry Lake at an elevation of 237 meters (938 feet) and at the western edge of the Mojave National Preserve. As such it serves as a convenient departure point for groups visiting the Death Valley National Park, the Kelso Dunes, the Afton Canyon riparian areas, the Cima Dome and Volcanic area, the historic Mojave Road, the Early Man Site at Calico, the Providence, New York, Granite, and Clark mountains, and many other interesting features and localities in the East Mojave Desert.