2021 Mojave Desert

Registration for the Pacific Cell FOP trip to the Mojave Desert is now open.
28-31 October 2021

    There are two steps. Make sure you do both! Some people have paid, but not registered. It is very important to do both!

  1. Register via the google form.
  2. Pay registration fee via PayPal.

Please go to this link to register: https://forms.gle/1PmMPUPHfUK79th4A

After registering, send PayPal money to MojaveFOP2021@gmail.com as a friend in the amount of $40 (students) or $50 (non-students) for registration. Use this link https://paypal.me/MojaveFOP2021

We have reserved the Black Canyon group and Equestrian campground in Mojave National Preserve for the nights of Thursday October 28 through Saturday October 30. We will need to vacate the campground when we leave for the final stops on Sunday morning, October 31. There is currently NO WATER at the campground. You can bring in your own water or fill water at the Hole in the Wall campground or the picnic area adjacent to the Hole in the Wall Visitor Center.

The campground has a maximum occupancy of 100 people. We will continue to accept registrations beyond 100 people but those folks will need to claim a first-come, first-served site at Hole in the Wall or Mid Hills campgrounds, or take advantage of dispersed camping (some Preserve suggestions here: https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/undeveloped-campsites.htm).

Regulations for dispersed camping in the Preserve are detailed here: https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/camping-regs.htm

PLEASE FOLLOW ALL PRESERVE REGULATIONS WHILE IN THE PRESERVE! Including speed limits, fire restrictions, etc. More information can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/moja/learn/management/laws-and-policies.htm

For this trip: please make sure your spare tire is in good shape, and that you have the tools and knowledge to change it. Bring everything you need to survive in the desert (water -1gal/person/day, food, shelter, clothing, etc.). October/November temperatures, on average, range from the upper 50’s to upper 70’s during the day and lower 40’s to upper 50’s at night, depending on elevation.

For stops in the Preserve carpooling will be required. Outside of the preserve carpooling will be encouraged. Some stops will require high-clearance and 4WD.

The Rideshare Google Sheet is now set up. Please head over here to offer or seek potential carpool opportunities.

Please direct additional inquiries to Andy Cyr at MojaveFOP2021@gmail.com

We hope to see you in October.

Andy and Dave on behalf of all the trip presenters

Join us in the central Mojave Desert for a trip through the tectonic, volcanic, and hydrologic geology of the central Mojave Desert in and around the Mojave National Preserve. It has been 13 years since the most recent Pacific Cell trip in the Mojave, and we will present new science about:

  • Quaternary faulting of the Eastern California shear zone
  • Eruptive history of the Cima Volcanic Field
  • Paleo springs and wetlands of the Mojave and southern Great Basin
  • The timing and mechanisms of alluvial fan deposition related to Quaternary climatic variability
  • Pedogenesis and rock fracturing

We will be traveling extensively on unmaintained dirt roads. High clearance, four wheel drive vehicles will be necessary for parts of the trip. We recommend an additional spare tire as well, if you can manage it. Carpooling will be strongly encouraged for stops within the National Preserve.

Some important points:

A. The group camp capacity is limited. If you are NOT in the group camp look for a second email with details for the Preserve-designated overflow spot. If you do not receive a second email then you registered early enough to be in the Black Canyon group camp. The earliest we can occupy the camp is 1:00 on Thursday October 28th. Please stay in the group camp area, which is pretty much anywhere north of the bathrooms.

The campground details are here: https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/camping-groups.htm

Note, there is no water, so please fill before you depart home or at Hole in the Wall visitors center. There is also planned road maintenance somewhere on Black Canyon Road. Nothing will be closed, but be watchful for road crews and heavy equipment.

We cannot enter the campground until after 1:00 PM.

B. If you are getting this message from Jay on the FOP listserv and have not registered, please do so asap. I need to give NPS as close to the real headcount as possible the day before the planned start of the trip.

C. Because there will be people camping in more than one place we are going to gather along Cedar Canyon Rd prior to departing for the day. The first day of stops is FRIDAY, Oct. 29. We will begin gathering at 8:30 AM with the goal of departing at 9:00 AM. There is planned road maintenance on several roads in the Preserve. Please follow posted signage.

D. There is a lot of information in the Introduction of the guidebook that NPS has asked to distribute to all of you. This includes Leave No Trace principles and information about travelling in desert tortoise habitat. Please review this information prior to the trip.

E. Mojave National Preserve has lifted the fire ban but will re-implement it if it is windy, which many of you know could happen any time in the desert. If you can donate some firewood to the cause it would be very much appreciated. But in case NPS does re-implement a ban maybe bring along some battery-powered string lights, if you have them, and we can make the picnic pavilion a festive gathering place.

F. COVID – NPS requires that all participants in a group activity with more than 50 people practice proper social distancing where/whenever possible, and wear a mask when social distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status. We will be distributing cloth FOP face masks along with the tee shirts. USE THEM! Per the permit requirements we will also have plenty of supplies for proper hand hygiene.

Below is a link to a Google Drive Folder that contains:

1. A kmz file of all of the stops and some other important points (e.g., group camp and overflow camp);

2. Two georeferenced PDFs of the stop locations plotted on a satellite base, one with and one without Quaternary faults from the USGS and CGS fold and fault database;

3. The ride share google sheet Jay shared last week. Please also try and organize in-trip carpools too, especially if you know you will not be arriving until late on Thursday night;

4. Completed guidebook! This has the usual stop descriptions, turn-by-turn directions with location info, and several appendices that contain reprints or other resources related to some of the stops.

5. A few 1:100,000 scale surficial geologic maps of the areas we will be visiting.


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