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By: Dave Helgeson

Places to Ride: Stoddard Valley, CA

Mile and Miles of trails
Mile and Miles of trails

Sand Wash
Sand Wash

Designated Race Course
Designated Race Course

Gentle Hills
Gentle Hills


Looking for a place to ride that offers a wide variety of terrain, vistas with great views, and lots of open space for camping? Then spend a weekend at Stoddard Valley OHV area just south of Barstow, California. The area consists of broad valleys punctuated with rocky peaks, rolling hills, and sandy washes snaking through the foothills. The valley floor averages about 2,600 feet in elevation with the peaks running 4,000–4,500 feet which provide plenty of opportunity to work through your gears.

Creosote bushes and an occasional Joshua tree make up the vegetation in the area which leaves plenty of open space to ride. Riders of every skill level will find something to their liking at Stoddard Valley. There are dirt roads that criss-cross the area in every direction for the novice rider or those just looking for a relaxing ride. ATV trails consist of easy trails paralleling the road to cross country routes up, down, and around the peaks and valleys, to hill climbs from steep to steeper with rocks thrown in for advanced riders. The sandy washes provide some great fun as they wind their way into the foothills. Each bend provides another opportunity to send a roost of sand flying into the air. The area also offers a designated race course for permitted events or those just wanting to crack the throttle open a little wider than normal. The tops of the peaks offer a great place to watch the sun set, and many can be reached via roads and/or mountain goat paths.

NOTE: Mine shafts exist in the riding area! Pay attention when off established trails.

The riding area is located south of Barstow in the pie-shaped area between Interstate 15 and Highway 247. The majority of visitors arrive from Los Angeles on Interstate 15 and exit at Outlet Center Drive entering the west side of the OHV area via Sidewinder Road. If you want to camp away from the crowds, enter the east side of the riding area via Highway 247, turn at either Stoddard Wells Road or farther south at the Slash X Café.

Camping spots exist all along the dirt roads in the area. Bring your own firewood if you plan on having a camp fire.

Services: All major services are available in Barstow, ten miles or less from most staging areas in the OHV area.

Rules and Regulations:

  1. Camping is allowed anywhere within the riding area that does not block travel on a road. Camping is limited to a 14-day stay.
  2. Draining of holding tanks, littering and trash dumping is prohibited. Please take
    your trash out with you. Thank You.
  3. All vehicles must have a muffler or spark arrester and have either a street-legal
    license or be registered as an off-highway vehicle.
  4. Vehicles operated at night must have head and tail lights.
  5. Helmets are required for all ATV riders! Passengers are not permitted on ATVs.
  6. Digging or destroying trees and shrubs or harassing wildlife or livestock is
  7. The desert tortoise is a federally protected species. Please do not handle or disturb
    these animals. Look, but don't touch!
  8. It is illegal to damage or destroy archeological sites or remove artifacts
  9. Shooting is not allowed in the OHV area (except for shotguns during hunting
  10. No garbage collection in this area. Please "pack it in - pack it out."
  11. Possession of or burning wood containing nails, screws, or metal hardware is

For more information contact:

Bureau of Land Management
Barstow Field Office
2601 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311
Phone: (760) 252-6000
Fax: (760) 252-6098

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