Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, USA, between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The preserve was established October 31, 1994, with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act by the US Congress, it was the East Mojave National Scenic Area, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. Mojave National Preserve is vast. At 1,600,000 acres, it is the third largest unit of the National Park System in the contiguous United States. Natural features include the Kelso Dunes, the Marl Mountains and the Cima Dome, as well as volcanic formations such as Hole-in-the-Wall and the Cinder Cone Lava Beds; the preserve encloses Providence Mountains State Recreation Area and Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve, which are both managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Impressive Joshua tree forests are found in parts of the preserve; the forest covering Cima Dome and the adjacent Shadow Valley is the largest and densest in the world.
The ghost town of Kelso is found in the preserve, with the defunct railroad depot serving as the Visitor Center. The preserve is traversed by 4 wheel drive vehicles traveling on the historic Mojave Road. Climate in the preserve varies greatly. Summer temperatures average 90 °F, with highs exceeding 105 °F. Elevations in the preserve range from 7,929 feet at Clark Mountain to 880 feet near Baker. Annual precipitation varies from 3.37 inches near Baker, to 9 inches in the mountains. At least 25% of precipitation comes from summer thunderstorms. Snow is found in the mountains during the winter; the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 designated a wilderness area within Mojave National Preserve of 695,200 acres. The National Park Service manages the wilderness in accordance with the Wilderness Act, the CDPA, other laws that protect cultural and historic sites in the wilderness; the following climate data is for a higher elevation area in the preserve. See Climate of the Mojave Desert. Mojave Memorial Cross Official website Photo tour of Mojave National Preserve - from USGS
Clark Mountain Range
The Clark Mountain Range is located in southeastern California, north of Interstate 15 and the community of Mountain Pass. The range stretches 15 miles in a southwest-northeasterly direction, beginning in the Mojave National Preserve, ending near Stateline Pass, about one mile from the Nevada border. Clark Mountain, at 7,929 feet above sea level, is the principal peak of the range; the foothills of the range are in creosote scrub and Joshua tree forests, which adjoin the dense Joshua tree woodlands atop Cima Dome. Higher up, pinyon pine and juniper grow on the "sky island" which occasional rains create above 6,000 feet; the north side of the crest contains a small forest of white fir trees, difficult to reach. Clark Mountain is one of three mountain areas. Interstate 15 traverses the Mescal Range to the south; the small town of Mountain Pass is located just south of the range on the north side of I-15. The Mountain Pass rare earth mine owned by Molycorp Minerals is a reactivated rare earth element mine on the southern flank of the mountain.
A major mine expansion project began in January 2011. The range contains the Umberei Mine. Cima Dome & Volcanic Field National Natural Landmark Mojave National Preserve Zdon, Andy. Desert Summits. Spotted Dog Press: Bishop, CA, 2000
Mountain Pass, California
Mountain Pass is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, United States. It is situated on Interstate 15 in the southeast mountainous desert region of the state 15 miles from the Nevada border at an elevation of 4,730 feet - the highest point along I-15 between California and Nevada, it has a population of 30. The most prominent feature of the town, its reason for existence, is the Mountain Pass rare earth mine, an open pit mine for rare-earth elements; the mine and its associated processing facilities are owned by MP Mine Operations LLC, which purchased the assets out of bankruptcy on July 10, 2017
Interstate 15 in California
Route 15, consisting of the contiguous segments of State Route 15 and Interstate 15, is a major north–south state highway and Interstate Highway in the U. S. state of California, connecting San Bernardino and San Diego Counties. The route consists of the southernmost 289.24 miles of I-15, which extends north through Nevada, Utah and Montana to the Canada–US border. It is a major thoroughfare for traffic between San Diego and the Inland Empire, as well as between Southern California, Las Vegas and points beyond. South of its junction at Interstate 8 in San Diego, the highway becomes SR 15, extending 6.13 miles to Interstate 5, about 12 miles from the Mexican border. This segment was signed as a state route instead of an Interstate, but it is being upgraded to Interstate standards so it would become part of I-15 in the future. Including this segment, the entire length of Route 15 is 295.37 miles in California. Interstate 15 has portions designated as the Escondido Freeway, Avocado Highway, Temecula Valley Freeway, Corona Freeway, Ontario Freeway, Barstow Freeway, CHP Officer Larry L. Wetterling and San Bernardino County Sheriff's Lieutenant Alfred E. Stewart Memorial Highway, or Mojave Freeway.
I-15 and SR 15 are part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, are part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. I-15 from SR 76 to SR 91 and SR 58 to SR 127 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System, but it is not designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation. SR 15 begins south of I-5 at 32nd Street near Harbor Drive. After this, SR 15 has an interchange with SR 94, cited as not being up to Interstate standards; the route interchanges with I-805. Between the Polk Avenue and Orange Avenue overpasses, the freeway goes under a city park, built on top of the freeway during construction in 2001. Pedestrian bridges were built at Monroe Avenue and Landis Street to reduce the effects of the freeway geographically dividing the community. Between I-8 and I-805, SR 15 follows the former alignment of 40th Street, its former routing as a city street.
It continues seamlessly into the southern terminus of I-15 at I-8 in San Diego. On the northbound conversion to I-15 at I-8, there is no "End SR 15" sign. There are various local names for the highway, such as the Escondido Freeway between San Diego and Escondido. I-15 between SR 163 and Pomerado Road/Miramar Road is known as the Semper Fi Highway in recognition of the nearby Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. I-15 between Scripps Poway Parkway and Camino Del Norte is known as the Tony Gwynn Memorial Freeway in recognition of Tony Gwynn known as Mr. Padre, who played for the San Diego Padres. North of the Escondido city limits, it is known as the Avocado Highway, whose designation ends upon entering Temecula. There are other local names. Heading northward, I-15 begins at I-8, at the same place that its continuation, SR 15, begins its southward journey. I-15 goes through Mission Valley and Kearny Mesa, intersecting with SR 52 just before merging with SR 163. After traversing the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, I-15 comes into Rancho Peñasquitos, where it intersects with the end of SR 56.
Northward, the route crosses Lake Hodges inside the upper San Diego city limits. I-15 continues north into Escondido, where it interchanges with SR 78. North of Escondido, I-15 goes through hilly terrain and farmland, passing under the Lilac Road Bridge and approaching the community of Fallbrook near the SR 76 interchange, it passes the community of Rainbow and crosses the county line into Riverside County and descends into the Inland Empire. In Temecula, SR 79 runs concurrently with I-15 for. In Murrieta, I-15 splits from its only spur route in California, I-215, which retains the Escondido Freeway designation and runs through the two largest cities in the Inland Empire, San Bernardino and Riverside. I-15 continues north as the Temecula Valley Freeway. I-15 runs along the eastern edge of the Santa Ana Mountains, passing through the cities of Wildomar and Lake Elsinore. In the city of Lake Elsinore, I-15 intersects SR 74, an important surface route connecting the Coachella Valley with the communities of Idyllwild, Perris, Lake Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano.
It continues through the suburban areas in the western Inland Empire as the Corona Freeway, passing Corona. During this stretch of the highway, I-15 intersects a major east-west highway. North of SR 91, I-15 continues through the bedroom communities of Norco and Eastvale, while skirting the western edge of the city of Jurupa Valley. I-15 enters San Bernardino County just past its intersection with SR 60, another major east-west highway, which connects I-15 with the city of Ontario and the Chino Valley. I-15 passes through the city of Ontario on its way to I-10, the main east-west artery though Southern California. North of I-10, I-15 passes through the major suburban communities of Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana as the highway intersects SR 210, an east-west highway skirting the San Bernardino Mountain Range. SR 210 connects I-15 to major foothill communities, such as Pasadena and San Bernardino. I-15 crosses old US Route 66 during this stretch of highway, signed as