L.A. Dog Lover's Escapes

Afton Canyon Natural Area

Wow! Woof! How does 42,000 acres of mostly off-leash land sound to you and your canine companion? If you don't demand lush green meadows to be part of your elysian ideal, this can be heaven on Earth.

Afton Canyon is one of only three places where the Mojave River flows above ground year-round, so not only has it attracted visitors throughout history, it's also a water dog's delight. If you don't expect fine fishing here, no one will be disappointed.

Keep in mind that hundreds of bird, mammal, and reptile species call Afton Canyon their home, or at least their migratory hotel. It's a great place for wildlife watching, but unless you can trust your dog to stay at your side, you should keep her leashed when anywhere near these creatures.

Camping here isn't the prettiest, but it's comforting to know you're just a stone's throw from another day of off-leash adventures. Sites are $4, and dogs must be leashed in the campground. There are about a dozen sites available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Afton is about 40 miles east of Barstow. From Interstate 15, exit at Afton Canyon Road and drive three miles south to the park. (760) 252-6060.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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