Providence Mountains SRA

State Recreation Area

The park has been closed since 2011 due to major infrastructure issues.  The Department is in the process of repairing these crucial issues to reopen the park to the public as soon as possible.

Most buildings in the park have been repaired and the Cavern has been inspected.  A new well is being installed and the existing generators must be replaced (the park is operated solely on generator use).
Pending successful siting of the new well, it is anticipated that the park will be re-opened to the public in 2014.  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.

Tour Times:

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.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
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 Beale 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.

·Park Information

  • Hours of Operation:

    Closed until further notice

  • Park Office Telephone:

    (760) 928-2586

  • Region



    San Bernardino

  • Max Camper Length:

    32 Feet

    Max Trailer Length

    31 Feet

  • Purchase Annual Passes



Operating Hours

Closed until further notice.


Pets are permitted in the developed campground and visitor center areas of the park only. 
They are not allowed in the caverns or on the trails and must be on leash at all times.