Sarah and I head out to the Granite Mountains for a three day camping trip. Had spotted this area on my last trip with Claude and his dog Rocky. Joshua Tree without the people and somewhat better. It’s a small mountain range off of Kelbaker Road which links Highway 40 with Kelso Dunes within the Mojave National Preserve. Never ending rock formations and desert vegetation. Everything seems to have been laid out “just right.”
Geology (from Wikipedia)
Some of the more striking rock formations in the Mojave National Preserve lie in the Granite Mountains. These granitic rocks have eroded into unusual rounded shapes that include spires, perched boulders, and curved cliff faces.
Granitic rocks represent the roots of ancient continental-margin volcanic systems. Most of the granitic rock in the Mojave Desert is late Mesozoic in age (80 to 180 million years old). The granites formed at depth within a volcanically active mountain range comparable in geologic setting to the Andes chain in South America.
The granitoids formed by the slow cooling and solidification of molten magma bodies that developed above sinking slabs of oceanic crust overridden by the edge of the continent. At least 55 or 60 million years elapsed between the crystallization of the last Mesozoic magma bodies and deposition of the youngest-preserved overlying strata.
Several springs exist in the Granite Mountains, though they may not flow year round.