By: Dave Helgeson
Places to Ride: Johnson Valley, California
Johnson Valley ORV Area contains 200,000
acres of varied riding terrain. It contains
steep rock-covered mountains, gently rolling
hills, open valleys, several dry lake beds,
sandy washes, and hillsides. Trails snake all
over the rolling hills. The dry lake beds
make great speedways and are used regularly for
competitive events. Elevations range from 2,300
feet at Melville Dry Lake to 4,600 feet at
Hartwell Hills. Whatever your riding skill level
is, there is something to challenge every ATV
rider at Johnson Valley. Families can stick to
the roads, lake beds, and valley floors. Those
with a little more horsepower and wanting an
adrenaline fix can head to the hills.
Temperatures can exceed 105 degrees during the
day in summer and fall below freezing at night
in winter. Vegetation consists of creosote
scrub, Joshua Trees, wild flowers, and annual
From Barstow, CA take Hwy 247 (Barstow Rd.)
south towards Yucca Valley.
At the intersection of Hwy 18 and 247 in the
small community of Lucerne Valley, continue east
on Hwy 247 (Old Woman Springs Rd.) soon you will
reach the first access point on your left which
is Camp Rock Road. Enter the Johnson Valley OHV
area by taking a left on either Camp Rock Rd. or
continue east to Bessemer Mine Road or Boone
Road. Please note: Camp Rock Road and Bessemer
Mine Road are graded dirt. While rough, they are
suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles and RVs.
Boone Road is recommended for 4x4 vehicles only.
Camping is allowed anywhere within the riding
area. Soggy Dry Lake and Means Dry Lake Bed
provide good areas for camping. Vaulted toilets
are located at the staging areas. Other than the
vault toilets, no other campground amenities are
Food, lodging, fuel, and all other services are
available in Yucca Valley. Limited services are
available in Lucerne Valley.
Rules & Regulations:
- Helmets are required on all ATVs! Also, there
are no passengers allowed on ATVs.
vehicles must have a muffler or spark arrester
and have either a street-legal license or be
registered as an off-highway vehicle.
- Vehicles being operated at night must have head
and tail lights.
- SHOTGUN SHOOTING ONLY IN THE JOHNSON VALLEY OHV
AREA! No pistol or rifle shooting allowed!
desert tortoise lives here and is a federally
protected species. Please do not handle or
disturb these animals.
- Camping is allowed anywhere within the riding
area that does not block travel on a road and is
limited to 14 days.
- Possession or use of pallets or wood containing
nails is prohibited (43 CFR 8365.1-6).
Translation - Do not burn pallets or wood with
is illegal to damage or destroy archeological
sites or remove artifacts.
eastern boundary is shared with the Twenty-nine
Palms Marine Air-Ground Combat Center. DO NOT
enter this area.
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
Be safe, enjoy and I hope to see you on the