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El Mirage Dry Lake OHV Area

Monday, January 03, 2022

Other Names

Shadow Mountains, Mojave Desert, Crows Nest, Resurrection Hill, Twin Hills Road, Rabbit Hole Mine

Last Known StatusOpen

This is a large and open area located in the Mojave Desert that consists of a dry lake bed, miles of surrounding sand washes, desert trails and scattered play areas that are open to all off-road vehicles. The trails are open year-round but the lake bed is off limits during wet weather. During weekends this place can be packed with visitors (dry lake racing) but it gets very little use during the week.

The El Mirage Visitor Center is open daily during business hours but self pay kiosks are available that accept credit cards and cash (exact change only). The office has coffee, snacks and ice but also sells helmets, gloves, goggles and sunglasses at reasonable prices.

There are a dozen designated campgrounds to choose from, and many sites come with a shade gazebo, picnic table, BBQ grill and fire ring. The campgrounds are big rig friendly, so finding the right site is fairly easy.

Recent improvements include a designated 54-acre fenced off training area that has loading ramps, restrooms, picnic tables and a large shade gazebo. Free ATV training courses are held here every second Saturday of the month for kids ages 6-17.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenYear-RoundCA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted year round
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedYesResidents of any state not listed must purchase a Nonresident OHV Use Permit. (AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs & Jeeps (registered)Permitted
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
PermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
2 Stroke EnginesCertain TimesCA OHMVR restrictions apply
MX Helmet RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areasnot permitted on lakebed or more than 100 feet from shore
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
permit required during fire season
Night RidingYes
Trail BlazingPermitted
AlcoholProhibitedglass bottles prohibited
Rule EnforcementFew/Periodic
CommentThis area was free but as of October 1, 2008 the El Mirage Cooperative Management Area is now a fee area.


Approx Size24,400 acres (38 sq mi)
Miles Of Trail40
Climate TypeDesert
Elevation2800 to 3800 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has mostly hard pack terrain.Mostly
SandThis trail has some sandy areas.Some
MudThe trail has little mud after it rains.Little
DustThe trail has almost all dust on typical days.All
RocksThis trail has little rocks.Little
TreesThe trail has few trees.Fewmostly Joshua Trees
Steep HillsThis trail has few steep hills.Few
Water CrossingsThe trail has some water crossings.Some
Small JumpsThis trail has few small jumps.Few
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has no berms.None
Sand/Gravel PitsThis BLM land has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis BLM land has no single track trails.None
RoadsThis BLM land has some roads.Some
IntersectionsThis trail has almost all intersections.All
Rider TrafficThe BLM land has almost all rider traffic on typical days.All
ShadeThis BLM land has few shaded areas.Fewshade is provided by the gazebos within the campsites
Ranges/GunfireThis BLM land has few shooting ranges or gunfire.Few
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards not marked)
heavy rider traffic during weekends, deep ditches, debris
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has mostly beginner terrain.Mostly
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has little expert terrain.Little
Commentarea can get windy making the trails and lakebed very dusty


AreaMotorized Trails, Dry Lake Bed


Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (SE)Adelanto/Circle K (760) 246-6997
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (SE)Adelanto/Circle K (760) 246-4222
Potable Water Water5-20 Miles (SE)Adelanto/Circle K (760) 246-6997
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (SE)Adelanto RV Park (760) 246-7775
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (SE)Adelanto RV Park (760) 246-7775
Primitive Camping Campground5-20 Miles (SE)KOA-Victorville (760) 245-6867
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (SE)Adelanto/Circle K (760) 246-6997


ParkingYes ($0.00)
EntryYes ($15.00 per vehicle)
Parking, riding, and camping are included in the entry fee.
RidingYes ($0.00)
Tent: $0.00
RV: $0.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $0.00
CommentDay pass is $15/day and is good until noon the next day. Weekly pass is $30/week or $90/year.


Prosfree, can camp anywhere, miles of trails to explore, descent desert scenery
Consno shade, windy, dusty, very busy during weekends
Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended Stay1-2 Days
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityAdelanto, CA
Address20471 Mountain View Road, Adelanto, CA 92301
Go Back To California List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Adelanto, CA
1) Take US-395 to Chamberlin Ave.
2) Turn west on Chamberlin Avenue, continue 2.2 miles
3) Turn right (north) on Koala Avenue, continue 1 mile
4) Turn left (west) on El Mirage Road, continue 5 miles
5) Turn right (north) on Mountain View Road, continue 1.5 miles
6) Continue past stop sign about .5 miles (paved road will turn to dirt)
7) Stage anywhere.


Contact InfoBLM - Barstow Field Office
2601 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311
(760) 252-6000
Contact InfoEl Mirage Visitor Center
75 Colusa Road
El Mirage, CA 92301
(760) 388-4411
Contact InfoATV Safety Institute
(877) 216-8779
(760) 983-9417
CommentATV training courses.


El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

El Mirage Dry Lake OHV Area Trail

This is a good example of the terrain surrounding the lake bed. All off-road vehicles types are welcomed.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Man on Honda 250 ATV catching a little air.

As you see in the background, the area does fill up on weekends and hosts many special events, such as the land speed trials.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Honda TRX 250 going up small hill.

There are various small play areas scattered throughout the area surrounding the dry lake bed.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Honda TRX250 ATV riding on hardpacked desert trail.

Most of the trails immediately surrounding the dry lake bed look like this; Great for beginners.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

A large group of RV campers and trucks parked on a dry lake bed.

Many people park on the lake bed itself.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Yellow Honda Fourtrax 250 riding through sandy berm on makeshift motocross track in the desert.

You can see the dry lake bed in the background here.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Man on Honda 250 ATV riding on flat terrain.

As you get near the lake bed, the terrain gets really flat.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Man on Honda 250 ATV turning around on wide and sandy wash.

There are numerous sandy 4x4 trails to explore.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Honda 250 riding up small sandy hill.

Another view of the dry lake bed from the trail.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Woman on Honda Fourtrax 250 riding down sandy ATV trail.

This is a good place to bring a beginner or the family.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Woman on Honda ATV parked on desert trail.

Antother view of what to expect here.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Honda Fourtrax 250 riding down wide and sandy 4x4 trail.

This is what you will mostly encounter here - wide and sandy ATV and 4x4 trails.


El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

View of staging area with a couple trucks parked in the background.

Another staging area easily accessible from the main road.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Honda 250 ATV going through sandy trail.

The trails are flat and wide, perfect for beginners.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

View of lakebed with scattered Joshua Trees.

This is another view of the lake bed taken from a nearby staging area.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

View of staging area with shade gazebo.

Here is an example of one of the staging areas. Amenities include sun shades and vault toilets.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

View of paved road ending and turning to dirt.

This is the main entrance road. Turn left here to go to the lake bed, or continue straight to find multiple staging areas.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Woman on Honda TRX 250 ATV getting a little air from a small hill.

There are countless little jumps in the area around and on some parts of the lake bed.


El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

View of flat lakebed with two dirt bikes.

The lake bed is vast and mostly smooth.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Woman on Honda TRX 250 riding through deep berm on make-shift motocross track in the desert.

This huge berm is one of the many play areas and make-shift tracks in the area surrounding the dry lake bed.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Scenic view of desert ATV and Jeep trails in the Mojave Desert.

There are also many trails in the hills surrounding the area. These trails get tougher and offer the most interesting terrain.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Scenic view of desert trails and lake bed in the far distance.

A view of the lake bed from one of the many staging areas.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Honda TRX250 going up small hill.

One of the small play areas with rolling hills.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Group of ATVs, dirt bikes and dune buggies riding on lake bed.

On the lake bed there are ATVs, motorcycles, and passenger cars all going in random directions. You really have to be alert.

El Mirage Dry Lake Trail Photo

Group of RVs, trucks and ATVs near the lake bed.

There are plenty of great places to camp or park for the day.

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