Pathfinder | 81 pts
The climb up Kelso is easy, although walking on sand can be interesting at first. I didn't make it all the way to the top, as I wanted to visit the Mitchell Caverns at 1pm. The hike is about 2 miles long, each way (I'm estimating), and the elevation gain is between 800 and a thousand feet. I stopped about 200 feet short of the peak, perhaps a quarter mile short of the top.
Morning is the time to make this hike, as there are few people out then and the temperature is not yet boiling. December was the perfect time for this hike. The morning was cool and breezy, and the air was clear due to a recent storm a few days before.
The graded road is about 3 miles long to the trailhead. It's well marked just off Kelbaker Road. At the end of the road is a nice parking area with restrooms. The trail is obvious and easy to follow.
I found the experience exhilarating and interesting. When I started the hike at 8am there was no one around for miles. At first there were signs of previous explorers - footprints and a few candy wrappers. As I proceeded up the trail, the human footprints faded and were replaced by animal prints - hundreds of them. It was plainly obvious there was an active nightlife in this place.
All in all, it was a calm hike, relatively simple and close to civilization. A good place to see what a sand dune really is and to see the desert up close.