Johnson Valley Ohv Area
Bureau of Land Management, California.
Johnson Valley is a varied landscape for the off-highway vehicle driver. It is punctuated by steep red rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valley, dry lake beds and sandy washes. Elevations range from 4,600 feet at Hartwell Hills to 2,300 feet at Melville Dry Lake.
Vegetation consists of creosote scrub, annual grasses, wild flowers and Joshua Trees. Johnson Valley offers a riding opportunity for every skill level.
Know Before You Go
Out of State Vehicles: OHV users must comply with all California rules and regulations governing Off-Highway vehicles. Please see below for a partial list of key regulation and visit the California OHV Page for more information.
- Weather: The area is hot and arid, with summer high temperatures ranging from 100 to 120 degrees F. Winter low temperatures may drop below freezing with highs in the 70's. Typical of the desert, winds are frequent and strong, and humidity is generally low.
Off-Highway Vehicle Use
The southeast portion of the riding area offers a large mass of hills known to the rock crawler world wide as the “Hammers.” This area is for experts and has gained the attention of off-roaders in recent years through an event called “King of the Hammers,” experts only need apply. North of the Hammers offers a quality riding experience for novice and intermediate riders and some small dune riding experience.
There are two car/truck courses for racing in the north central and western portions of the valley. Anderson Dry Lake on the western boundary of the area is used for casual riding for intermediate and novice riders. It is popular with off-roaders. The butte boasts areas with small rolling hills for the novice, rocky ridges for the more experienced riders, huge rock structures for the rock crawlers and is a poplar place for motorcycle trials events.
The 96,000 acre off–highway vehicle riding area has something for every rider at every skill level. Approximately 53,000 acres of Johnson Valley is a shared-use area with the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MGAGCC) located in Twentynine Palms, CA.
The following partial list of regulations and tips should help OHV users and other recreationists appreciate and enjoy the use of these public lands.
ATV riders must wear protective helmets.
- Observe posted signs. Fenced areas mark sensitive wildlife and plant habitat, and are "closed" to vehicle use. The "open" riding areas are also posted and those on foot should be aware of their locations.
- All vehicles must be registered or permitted to operate in the State of California and a green sticker or license plate clearly displayed.
- Maximum speed for OHVs is 15 MPH within 50 feet of a campsite (?), animal, or pedestrian.
- OHVs must be equipped with an approved muffler and spark arrester.
- Flags are required on all OHV's in this recreation area for visibility and safety.
- Please respect private property.
- Auto Touring
- Horseback Riding
- Recreational Vehicles
- Wildlife Viewing
The riding area can be entered from Highway 247 at Old Woman Springs Road or Camp Rock Road, 55 miles southeast of Barstow. Most visitors access the area off Camp Rock Road by driving north off of Highway 247. Staging for many competitive events is at Anderson Dry Lake, 10 miles north of Highway 247 and east of Camp Rock Road. These are graded dirt roads.