Desert Discovery Center
Near Barstow, California
Desert Discovery Center does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!
In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with the Governor’s shelter in place order, the BLM will temporarily close this site until further notice to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
For a list of closures please visit our COVID-19 Update page
For the latest news and events at the Desert Discovery Center, please visit the Facebook page.
The Desert Discovery Center (DDC) is a 7,000 square foot facility surrounded by 12 acres of public land located in the heart of Barstow, CA. The DDC is comprised of a unique partnership between several government, educational, and non-profit organizations originally established in 2005. They include the BLM who own the DDC and surrounding property, National Park Service, Barstow Unified School District, Barstow Community College, Mojave River Valley Museum, City of Barstow, National Park Conservation Association, Off-Limits Design, The Mojave Desert & Mountain Recycling Authority, Southern California Edison and Main Street Murals non-profit Corporation.
As a result of this collaborative effort, the partnership created environment-based education programs that provide focused learning of the natural world while inspiring environmental stewardship. These programs are offered to a diverse population including K-12 students, high desert residents, and visiting public from all over the world and we receive upward of 10,500 visitors per year and growing.
Old Woman Meteorite
The Desert Discovery Center also houses the “Old Woman Meteorite”, the second largest meteorite found in the United States which weighed 6,070 pounds when discovered in 1975.
It is 38" long, 30" wide and 34" high. It's mostly composed of iron, contains about 6% nickel and has trace amounts of cobalt, phosphorus, chromium and sulphur.
The meteorite was discovered in late 1975 in the southwestern portion of the Old Woman Mountains. Its authenticity was verified by Dr. Roy Clarke of the Smithsonian Institute.
In 1980 the Smithsonian sent the meteorite back to the California Desert where it was placed on permanent display at the Desert Discovery Center in Barstow where it continues to amaze and inspire our visitors.
Native Plant and Animal Habitat
A native plant and animal habitat is also housed in the secret garden and pond area where visitors can enjoy the peaceful environment with art installations and meet our popular resident tortoises.