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El Mirage State Vehicular Recreation Area

El Mirage State Vehicular Recreation Area
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General Information

Description - This recreation area is administered by the Bureau of Land Management in cooperation with California Parks and Recreation and several southern California counties. The focus at this site is recreational off-highway vehicle use and varied activities on the dry lakebed. El Mirage is divided into four general sections; dry lake bed, the basin, Shadow Mountains, and Twin Hills.
There is a perimeter fence around the riding area to limit access to selected routes. The primary route is Mountain View Road as described in the directions. Be careful when riding near the boundary and watch for the boundary fence! The BLM staff in the area have maps and will be glad to point out landmarks for the boundary and supply overview maps.
The lakebed is a flat playa formed in an undrained basin. Silt and clay are deposited into this basin during heavy storms. When this "lake" dries, the hard pan dry lake bed is left. This hard, smooth surface is ideal for the unique activities conducted at El Mirage. These include ultra-light aircraft and gyrocopter flying, model rocketry, remote control airplane flying, landsailing and straight track racing. Many private pilots land on the lake bed and spend the day. The surface character has attracted the interest of many filming companies. A visit for the day will remind one of scenes from recent commercials, music videos, television series and movies. Camping is permitted on the lake bed, but no further than 100 feet from the edge. This keeps the smooth center section of the lake bed clear for night riders.
The basin between the lake bed and the Shadow Mountains is a creosote brush covered area crossed by deep dry washes. This is where most of the off-highway vehicle riders do their riding. Along with casual recreational riding, many southern California OHV and motorcycle clubs stage "runs", and competitive races. Most of the riding is over easy terrain, but visibility is obscured by the six to ten foot tall creosote brush. There are many flat and secluded areas for camping in this area.
The Shadow Mountains are a group of eroded igneous peaks that boarder the northern edge of the riding area and run down the center section, east of the main access, Mountain View Road. These peaks offer moderate to hard riding terrain, and a challenge for the experienced rider. The canyons in these mountains make excellent camping areas, offering seclusion for the four-wheel drive camper.
The Twin Hills area is on the east side of the riding area between the little Shadow Mountain group and U.S. 395. This is another flat basin, punctuated by small mound like hills. This area presently gets only light riding activity. There is camping possibilities in the area, but motor home campers might find driving in the area difficult. There is unmarked access from U.S. 395, which is used occasionally by those familiar with the area.
Some things to keep in mind are that THE LAKE IS CLOSED to vehicle travel WHEN WET OR MUDDY to keep the surface smooth for the various activities conducted on it, camping is allowed anywhere with the riding area that does not block travel on a road and within 100 feet from the edge of the El Mirage Dry Lake; limited to a 14 day stay, and all vehicles must have a muffler or spark arrester and must be registered, either with a license tag or a California "green sticker" OHV registration (CA. Residents only).

Recreation - Most visitors ride motorcycles or ATVs, or tour in four-wheel drive vehicles. There is a road network in place so visitors can camp in most of the sections of El Mirage. The area is also used extensively for competitive racing events and commercial filming by permit. Because of its unique flat surface, the El Mirage Lake Bed is the destination for many visitors. There is a lot of ultra-light and other aircraft activity that would not be found in other riding areas. There are opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, rock hounding, and plant, bird and wildlife watching. El Mirage has many desert tortoise, a state and federally listed threatened species. NOTE: There are many deep mine shafts in the riding area! Please avoid these areas and camp away from mine shafts!

Climate - Days in south-central California are typically clear with less than 25% humidity.
Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 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.

Location - The riding area is located west of the town of Adelanto, between US highway 395 and the Los Angeles County line. Most visitors access the area from US highway 395 in Adelanto by taking Crippen Avenue west and following the signs toward the town of El Mirage. Just east of the community of El Mirage, Mountain View Road goes north from El Mirage Road and enters the El Mirage OHV Recreation Area. A sign at this intersection directs visitors to the recreation area.

If you are coming from Palmdale, take Palmdale Boulevard east to 240th Street and turn left (north). At Avenue P, turn right (east). At the San Bernardino County line, Avenue P becomes El Mirage Road. Follow El Mirage Road through the community of El Mirage and to Mountain View Road. Mountain View Road goes north from El Mirage Road and enters the El Mirage OHV Recreation Area. A sign at this intersection directs visitors to the recreation area.

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More Information

Contact Information:
El Mirage State Vehicular Recreation Area, c/o Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road , Barstow, CA, 92311, Phone: 760-252-6000, Fax: 760-252-6098

Additional Information:
Bakersfield BLM Field Office - The Bakersfield Field Office crosses a large expanse of land from the eastern margin of the Great Basin, westward across the Sierra Nevada Range and the San Joaquin Valley or south Central Valley.
Central Valley Region - California's breadbasket, the great Central Valley, stretches for 450 miles down the center of the state, from Willows to Bakersfield. This region includes culturally diverse communities, historic sites, exceptional outdoor recreation, abundant wildlife and the California Delta.
Inland Empire Region - The Inland Empire lies between the coast and the deserts of Southern California. The Inland Empire offers soaring mountains, alpine lakes, historic sites, lush vineyards and colorful entertainment.
Los Angeles County - Los Angeles County stretches over 4,000 square miles, encompassing high deserts, sparkling beaches, snowy peaks, and meandering megalopolis.

El Mirage State Vehicular Recreation Area - Official site for El Mirage State Vehicular Recreation Area


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