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By: Dave Helgeson

Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area

Places to Ride: Johnson Valley, California









Johnson Valley ORV Area contains 200,000 acres of varied riding terrain. It contains steep rock-covered mountains, gently rolling hills, open valleys, several dry lake beds, sandy washes, and hillsides. Trails snake all over the rolling hills.  The dry lake beds make great speedways and are used regularly for competitive events. Elevations range from 2,300 feet at Melville Dry Lake to 4,600 feet at Hartwell Hills. Whatever your riding skill level is, there is something to challenge every ATV rider at Johnson Valley. Families can stick to the roads, lake beds, and valley floors. Those with a little more horsepower and wanting an adrenaline fix can head to the hills. Temperatures can exceed 105 degrees during the day in summer and fall below freezing at night in winter. Vegetation consists of creosote scrub, Joshua Trees, wild flowers, and annual grasses.

Getting There:

From Barstow, CA take Hwy 247 (Barstow Rd.) south towards Yucca Valley.

At the intersection of Hwy 18 and 247 in the small community of Lucerne Valley, continue east on Hwy 247 (Old Woman Springs Rd.) soon you will reach the first access point on your left which is Camp Rock Road. Enter the Johnson Valley OHV area by taking a left on either Camp Rock Rd. or continue east to Bessemer Mine Road or Boone Road. Please note:  Camp Rock Road and Bessemer Mine Road are graded dirt. While rough, they are suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles and RVs. Boone Road is recommended for 4x4 vehicles only.

Camping:

Camping is allowed anywhere within the riding area. Soggy Dry Lake and Means Dry Lake Bed provide good areas for camping. Vaulted toilets are located at the staging areas. Other than the vault toilets, no other campground amenities are available.

Services:

Food, lodging, fuel, and all other services are available in Yucca Valley. Limited services are available in Lucerne Valley.

Rules & Regulations:

  • Helmets are required on all ATVs! Also, there are no passengers allowed on ATVs.
  • All vehicles must have a muffler or spark arrester and have either a street-legal license or be registered as an off-highway vehicle.
  • Vehicles being operated at night must have head and tail lights.
  • SHOTGUN SHOOTING ONLY IN THE JOHNSON VALLEY OHV AREA! No pistol or rifle shooting allowed!
  • The desert tortoise lives here and is a federally protected species. Please do not handle or disturb these animals.
  • Camping is allowed anywhere within the riding area that does not block travel on a road and is limited to 14 days.
  • Possession or use of pallets or wood containing nails is prohibited (43 CFR 8365.1-6). Translation - Do not burn pallets or wood with nails!
  • It is illegal to damage or destroy archeological sites or remove artifacts.
  • The eastern boundary is shared with the Twenty-nine Palms Marine Air-Ground Combat Center. DO NOT enter this area.

For more information contact:

Bureau of Land Management
Barstow Field Office
2601 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311
Phone: (760) 252-6000
Fax: (760) 252-6098
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow.html
E-mail: http://www.blm.gov/ca/forms/feedback/index.php?fo=4

Be safe, enjoy and I hope to see you on the trails.



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