Rainbow Basin National Natural Landmark

4.9/5 (8 reviews)
In the Mud Hills, northwest of Barstow, California, is Rainbow Basin Natural Area, one of the most beautiful locations in the Mojave Desert. Rainbow Basin Road meanders through this area, providing terrific views of the amazing rock formations. Around each turn, something new, something stunningly s...Read More
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Highlights of Rainbow Basin National Natural Landmark

Desert Category IconDesert
Iconic Category IconIconic
Scenic Category IconScenic
Highest Elevation
3179 ft
Shape of Trail
Loop
Typically Open
Year Round
Best Direction
Counter-Clockwise
Official Trail Name
Rainbow Basin Road
Nearest Town
Barstow
Nearest Services
Barstow
Management Agency
Bureau of Land Management
District
Barstow Field Office

Overview

In the Mud Hills, northwest of Barstow, California, is Rainbow Basin Natural Area, one of the most beautiful locations in the Mojave Desert. Rainbow Basin Road meanders through this area, providing terrific views of the amazing rock formations. Around each turn, something new, something stunningly simple or incomprehensibly complex, hangs over the passage, each more colorful and fascinating than before. This land is surrealistic, with other-worldly landscapes. Over the millennia, water and wind have sculpted the soft layers of sandstone and sediment to create a mishmash of shapes, colors, and fantastic formations, exposing brilliantly colored formations made of slabs of red, orange, white, and green stones tilting at crazy angles.

A parking area provides hiking access to explore deeper into the Basin.

Once a verdant marsh, the Basin was home to many prehistoric creatures whose remains were embedded in the canyon walls, providing a great experience to hunt for these ancient remains. A permit is required to disturb or remove any fossil in the Basin.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Guide Overview
9 Waypoints
29 Trail Photos
1 Trail Concerns
8 Community Reviews
1 Video
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