El Mirage Recreation Management Area

Quick Facts

El Mirage Recreation Management Area

California

(760) 252-6000

Map Directions

Things To Do

   

Overview

The El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area is a great place to explore in off-highway vehicles, camp, hike, rockhound and relax. Located in the Mojave Desert on the western edge of San Bernardino County near the Los Angeles County Line, it is a must visit site. The areas of interests include El Mirage Dry Lakebed, the Shadow Mountains, El Mirage Basin, and the Twin Hills area. This makes up 24,000 acres of public and private land. Elevations range from about 2,800 feet at the El Mirage Dry Lake to more than 3,800 feet in the Shadow Mountains. The lakebed is a flat playa formed in an un-drained basin. Silt and clay are deposited into this basin during periods of heavy rain. When the "lake" dries, a hard pan dry lakebed is left. This hard, smooth surface is ideal for the unique activities conducted at El Mirage. The basin between the lakebed and the Shadow Mountains is covered with creosote bush and crossed by deep dry washes. Most Off-Highway vehicle use occurs here. Along with casual recreational riding, many OHV and motorcycle clubs stage "runs" and competitive races. Riding is mostly over easy terrain, but visibility can be obscured by six to ten foot tall creosote bushes. The Shadow Mountains are a group of eroded igneous peaks bordering the northern edge of the riding area. These mountains run through the center section and east of the main access, Mountain View Road. The Shadow Mountain peaks offer moderate to hard riding terrain, and are a challenge for experienced riders. The Twin Hills area is on the east side of the riding area between the Little Shadow Mountain group and US Highway 395. This flat basin is punctuated by small mound-like hills and gets light riding activity.

Map of El Mirage Rec. Management Area

Latitude, Longitude: 34.604751, -117.544807

READ MORE

Activities

  • Camping

    Camping is permitted on the El Mirage Lakebed, but no more than 100 feet from the edge. This keeps the smooth center section of the lakebed clear for night riders. Many flat and secluded areas for camping are in The Basin. The Shadow Mountain peaks offer moderate to hard riding terrain, and are a challenge for experienced riders. Canyons within these mountains make excellent camping areas and offer seclusion for four-wheel drive campers. Watch for open mine shafts in these areas. There are camping possibilities in Twin Hills, but motor home campers might find driving in this area difficult.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Most visitors ride motorcycles, ATVs, or tour in four-wheel drive vehicles. There is a road network in place so visitors may camp in most sections of El Mirage. This area is also used extensively for competitive racing events and commercial filming by permit.

    El Mirage's unique flat lakebed is a destination for many visitors. There is ultra-light and other aircraft activity that would not usually be found in other riding areas.

Seasonality/Weather

During summer months, temperatures can reach a high of 120 degrees F. Summer thunderstorms can come with spectacular force, although most of the minimal precipitation falls during winter months. Winter lows can fall to 5 degrees F. at night, with highs in the 60 to 70 degree F. range during the day. Spring and Fall temperatures are moderate and fall between these extremes.

Park Partners

BLM Volunteer Program/Friends of El Mirage

(760) 245-8691

Directions

Driving

The El Mirage OHV riding area is located west of Adelanto, California, between US Highway 395 and the Los Angeles County line. Most visitors enter from US Highway 395 near Adelanto by taking Chamberlaine Way (formerly Crippen Avenue) west to Koala Road. Turn right on Koala Road and follow the signs toward the town of El Mirage. At El Mirage Road, turn left. Just east of the town of El Mirage, take Mountain View Road north to enter the El Mirage OHV Recreation Area. A sign located at this intersection will direct you to the recreation area.

If you are coming from Palmdale, take Palmdale Boulevard eastbound and turn north (left) at 240 th Street . Turn east (right) at Avenue P. At the San Bernardino County line, Avenue P becomes El Mirage Road. Follow El Mirage Road through the town of El Mirage. Just east of the town of El Mirage, take Mountain View Road north to enter the El Mirage OHV Recreation Area. A sign located at the intersection will direct you to the recreation area.

The speed limit on Mountain View Road is 25 mph. Speed bumps are placed to control speed. Only street legal vehicles can use this paved access road.

Flying

El Mirage's unique flat lakebed is a destination for many visitors. There is ultra-light and other aircraft activity that would not usually be found in other riding areas.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(760) 252-6000

Road conditions

(760) 252-6000

Links