• Kelso Train Depot - Essex, California

      kelso depot
      Photo by Osie Turner
      The Kelso Depot was created in 1905, as a watering stop for the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. Steam engines needed fresh water to make the steep 2 percent climb up the Cima grade. Kelso had reliable springs and a town developed at this location to feed the workers and passengers on the rail line. The train station building constructed in a Spanish Mission Revival style was completed in 1924. The depot's restaurant and boarding rooms remained in full operation until 1985. The National Park Service undertook renovation of the property starting in 2002 and the grand opening of the Mojave Preserve Visitor Center occurred in October, 2005.

      If you go:
      The Depot is open Thursday to Monday, 10 am to 5 pm. No entrance fee. The exhibits upstairs are excellent. If you have time the sand crystals at the nearby Kelso Dunes make a booming sound when running on them. Also, the depot is near the site of the old Mojave Phone Booth.


      90942 Kelso Cima Road
      Essex, California 92332 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Visitor Center Information
      (760) 252 - 6100