This was my first time camping at Afton Canyon, a BLM run campground about an hour east of Barstow. It’s only about 10 minutes off the I-15 freeway but you would never know it! This small but well-kept campground offers access to amazing outdoor opportunities and sits by a true desert oasis. Despite being in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Afton Canyon is the only place where the Mojave River flows aboveground year-round! With ample riparian habitat you get many different ecological experiences at this one of a kind site. The canyon itself is called “the Grand Canyon of the Mojave” and is an awesome geologic feature. The riparian habitat makes wildlife in the area abundant. Plus, the famed Old Mojave Road 4x4 trail runs right through the area.
The campground itself is nice and secluded. Each site has a well-constructed fire-pit/grill and a shade structure over the picnic table. The campground has potable water and pit toilets too. I stayed at a site near the back so we could explore the surrounding area for critters. There are a lot of cool things to see from lizards, kangaroo rats, snakes and more often than not big horn sheep!
A few downsides: There are active train tracks that run by the campground though they did not run all night, which was nice. I had no problem with noise from the trains late at night or early in the morning. The one issue I had was the mosquitoes! Because of the water from the Mojave River the mosquitoes when I was there (April 18) were REALLY bad. I’m a mosquito-attractor and easily got 40+ bites without even realizing they were out. Not too pleasant the next day! So even though you're headed for the desert pack your bug repellant and use it.
As a Dyrt Ranger, I also get products to test and review in the field. At this campground I tested the Aftershokz Trek Air Headphones.
These headphones are wireless with bone conduction technology, which means they don’t actually go in your ears. Wrapping around the ears, they sit on your temples and just behind you ear - very futuristic! My favorite qualities are:
- The sound quality is great though it’s even better when you wear the provided ear plugs! I would say it’s comparable to other wireless ear buds currently on the market.
- They sit very comfortably on my head and don’t move around when active and they don’t get sweaty.
- As someone with smaller ear holes (is that the right term?) they don’t hurt my ears which is great!
- The buttons are easy to use and straightforward. They also have a built-in mic so it can be used to talk on the phone, say when you’re in the car!
- The charge lasts quite a while on these headphones, and it charges rather quickly. The cord is also pretty universal which makes charging a breeze!
- Finally, they come in a convenient smooth matte bag so everything (including the cord and ear plugs) can stay together. And I LOVE the forest green color I picked.
They are truly great active headphones and are perfect for outdoor activities when you want to enjoy the world around you or hear you friends while hiking but still want to listen to your tunes! Plus, the bone conduction means that everyone around you isn’t forced to enjoy your music – please say no to hiking with Bluetooth speakers and get some of these!!!
This camp site is a BLM campground with water and and Pit toilets. Stargazer's, off-roaders and Boy Scouts use this campground. It's one of the few places that the Mojave River flows above ground. This is a really nice campground.
Nice little place tucked away in the Mojave. Not sure exactly how many campsites as we stayed towards the front , there are vault toilets available. The train tracks are directly across from the camp, I liked it:) There are several old mines nearby and a cave you can climb to the top of the mountain through. There’s just plenty to do near this campsite so it’s 5 star all the way;):)
I’ve stayed here every year for the past three years as part of a class studying Mojave Desert Ecology generally the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. It can be windy and hot that time of year. There is lots of wildlife and the geology seems neat. There are pit toilets, no showers some shade structures which are newish. It’s a good pretty campsite not far from I-15 and close to other areas of Mojave Natl Preserve.