Bert Smith Rock House (Mojave National Preserve)

Bert George Smith was a World War I veteran, who suffered the effects of shell shock and was a victim of poison gas. The Bureau of Veterans Affairs sent him to live in the desert with the hopes that he would live a longer life, due to the dry climate.

Smith built this cabin in 1929, originally as a wood framed building, adding the stone in later years. Despite his short life expectancy, Smith lived at his cabin at Rock Springs until the mid-1950s. He died in 1967, at a rest home.

The stone cabin has been restored both inside and out by the National Park Service. There is no access to the inside of the cabin, yet you can view the inside through the windows.

There is a small picnic area and pit toilets near the cabin, and a hiking trail leads from behind the cabin to lower Rock Springs.



About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.