Description - Ridgecrest BLM resource area covers land between the West Mojave and the Sierra, Great Basin and San Joaquin Valley bioregions. The wide variety of landscapes support a rich biodiversity as well as a nationally significant arid wildland recreation resource. Segments of nineteen distinct mountain ranges are located here, with the highest elevation reaching over 11,000 feet above sea level. Other landforms such as tufa towers, badlands, deep canyons, lava flows, dry lakes, sand dunes, cinder cones, wide valleys and alluvial fans provide a varied setting for desert exploration, discovery and solitude.
Copyright: Bureau of Land Management
Ridgecrest Field Office Mountain scene
- Recreating on the Ridgecrest BLM is ideal for those who enjoy a remote adventure. Backpackers and equestrians find rugged and challenging environments where nearly two-dozen wilderness areas test their backcountry skills. Void of vehicular use, these areas, particularly the spectacular east slope canyon in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, provides an ideal birding location. Each spring from March to May neotropical migrant songbirds pass through the area. Piper Mountain and Argus Range, with elevations reaching over 6,000 feet along with the addition of rich spring water, is model habitat for desert bighorn sheep. Wildlife watchers and others will want to keep a watchful eye to ground. Rattlers inhabit the region. A more pleasant find is the alligator lizard, a big name for a small creature whose length is a mere 18 inches but sports a feisty bite when caught. Look for the alligator lizard frequenting both the moist areas of the foothills and the dry grasslands around streams. A particularly interesting area to explore is the volcanic remnant called Fossil Falls. The area is a result of a lava spill into the Owens River Channel approximately 20,000 years ago. One of the resource area's developed trails is Rademacher Hills. The path is 8.5 miles in length extending through desert terrain and open to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. Journey into the Trona Pinnacles, one of the most unusual geologic wonders in the California Desert. It is located about 2,000 feet above sea level in the Western Mojave Desert and provides an ideal quest fall, winter, and spring - particularly dramatic on a full moon.
Recreation - Recreational opportunities in this area include bird watching, wildlife viewing, multi-use trails, viewing scenery, wildflower viewing, camping, and OHV use.
Climate - Days in south-central California are typically clear with less than 25 percent humidity. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high of 85 degrees F and a low of 50 degrees F respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 degrees F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 100 degrees F during the day and not cooling much below 75 degrees F until the early morning.
The Ridgecrest Field Office is located in the northern part of the Mojave Desert south of the Sierra mountains.