Closed until further notice
Providence Mountains State Recreation Area
Most of buildings in the park have been repaired and the Cavern has been inspected. A new well is being drilled and the existing generators are being replaced (Providence Mountains is operated solely on generator use). Pending the completion of the new well and the installation of the new generators, the Department hopes to have the park open to the public sometime in the future. We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this time.
Please check the website periodically for any updated information. Thank you for supporting this gem of the California State Park System.
Providence Mountains State Recreation Area is located on the east side of the Providence Mountain range and has dramatic views of the surrounding Mojave Desert. The lower elevations feature many varieties of cactus and yucca in a creosote scrub habitat. The bright red rhyolite in the higher elevations are home to bighorn sheep and pinyon pines.The park's visitor center is located in the historic home of Jack and Ida Mitchell, who ran a resort here from 1934 through 1954.
Other features include Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve. El Pakiva and Tecopa Caverns are filled with intricate limestone formations and can be visited by taking cavern tours.
All tours of Mitchell Caverns are suspended until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.
The park is located in the eastern Mojave Desert off of Interstate 40, 56 miles west of Needles, 116 miles east of Barstow, and 16 miles northwest of the Essex Road exit. Located at an elevation of 4,300 feet, the park is surrounded by one of the newest National Parks, Mojave National Preserve.
Caution- be prepared to travel in the desert! The nearest fuel station to the park is 24 miles away in Fenner. Carry water in your vehicle in case of an unexpected situation. Food is not available at the park, so plan ahead for meals.
The best weather occurs in the Spring and Fall, but, because of the 4,300 foot elevation at the visitor center, temperatures usually remain moderate throughout the year. Temperatures inside the caverns are at a constant 65 degrees.
Facilities - Activities
The Mary Beal Nature Trail, located near the park's visitor center, is a self-guided moderate walk through the desert. A brochure describing desert plants and animals is available. Another, more strenuous, mile-long trail leads to a spring above the visitor center. There are also cross-country hikes to the many peaks in the Providence Mountain State Recreation Area.
Mitchell Caverns, located in the heart of the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, is a popular tourist attraction. Spectacular and intricate limestone formations found include stalagmites, stalactites, helictites, lily pads, draperies, curtains and popcorn. First opened for tours by Jack Mitchell in 1932, the caverns were purchased by the State in 1954. They are the only limestone caverns in the State Park System.
Located at an elevation of 4,300 ft, temperatures usually remain moderate throughout the year. The most popular months to visit are October through May. Temperatures inside the caverns are a constant, comfortable 65 degrees.
Available Activities and Facilities at Providence Mountains State Recreation Area
En route Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Nature & Wildlife Viewing