Western LA County Council High Adventure Team

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Red Rock Canyon/Mojave Desert Award


The Mojave Desert is a vast area with many different ecosystems, topography, and areas of natural beauty. Wide temperature swings from daytime highs to overnight lows and summer highs to winter lows present survival challenges to the plant life, animal life and even human life that live in and visit the Mojave Desert. Red Rock Canyon, Last Chance Canyon and surrounding areas features scenic desert cliffs, buttes, and spectacular rock formations. After wet winters the floral displays are stunning. The geologic history goes back millions of years. More recent history had the Kawaiisu Indians and other Tribes living and trading there. Many active and abandoned mines also dot the mineral rich area.

The purpose of this award is to encourage an appreciation of the different facets of the desert including man’s history, geologic history, the adaptation of plant life to a harsh climate, and the extremely fragile ecosystems with their slow recovery rates.

See attachment for information resources, including outing location suggestions.



  1. Meet all applicable General Requirements . Consult the Guide to Safe Scouting when planning your trip and bring plenty of water.
  2. This award may be earned by Boy Scouts, Venturers and Girl Scouts.
  3. Know symptoms and first aid for the Boy Scout Tenderfoot, Second Class & First Class rank requirements with special attention to hypothermia, hyperthermia, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration, and snake bites. This area is home to the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and the Mojave Green Rattlesnake which is known to be aggressive.
  4. Camp at least one night in Red Rock Canyon State Park or somewhere else in the Mojave Desert.
  5. Hike at least three miles on an established trail. Take at least three pictures at different places along the trail. One of the pictures should include all the participants on the hike. (Exception only for the photographer)
  6. Visit one of the features in the Red Rock Canyon/ Mojave Desert area and write a one page report about it. Features may be geologic, or other natural feature or man-made like the Burro Schmidt Tunnel, Bickel Camp or the Dutch Cleanser Mine. These are examples. Ask your approval counselor about others that you are considering.
  7. Perform a one hour service or conservation project to aid the desert. The project may be under the direction of the Park Ranger, the BLM, or other organization approved by the HAT approval person. The project may be a trash pick up type project but it is to be a concentrated effort not just the casual picking up of trash while hiking etc.
  8. The Specific Requirements shall supersede the General Requirements if there is an area of conflict.


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