Barstow Field Office

Juniper Flats

Juniper Flats is an area of public and private lands in the northern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The public route network in the area connects San Bernardino National Forest with the Victor Valley to the northwest. Recreational travel routes are posted with markers installed at intervals along these "open" routes.

Juniper Flats Rocks

Off-Highway Vehicle touring is appropriate here. This area is one of the route networks where routes are designated in the Limited Use Areas of the Barstow Resource Area. If you wish to engage in "technical" or cross country off-road vehicle activities, please use the nearby El Mirage, Johnson Valley or Stoddard Valley OHV Areas. Please note that routes not marked as an open route are CLOSED to motorized vehicle travel.

Juniper Flats offers recreation opportunities for vehicle touring, camping, hiking, horseback riding and hunting. Be sure to check weather forecasts before visiting the area; thunder storms can cause flash flooding in the canyons and washes.

Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Bring sufficient water, food, clothing, equipment and first aid supplies for your activity. The Juniper Flats area is a mix of private and public lands. Please be sure to respect the rights of private land owners.

Hiking and Sightseeing
Bring your cameras and binoculars! Juniper Flats is a diverse landscape of mountains, canyons and washes. The washes in particular are good hiking trails for experiencingnatural conditions. Wildlife viewing is best in the early morning and evening hours. In the washes, birds tend to gather in thick vegetation.

In washes and along streams, vegetation is critical for wildlife water, food and shelter. Several routes in Juniper Flats have been closed to vehicle travel to protect some of these areas.

This is a "shotgun only" area through a San Bernardino County ordinance. The area is closed to night shooting and recreational target shooting with rifles or hand guns. In season, you can hunt dove, quail and chuckar but season and bag limits vary.

Call the California Department of Fish and game at (310) 590-5132 for current hunting information. Hunting in the immediate vicinity of wildlife waters, guzzlers included, is limited to 30 minutes (California Fish and Game Commission, title 14).

Get permission before using firearms on private land. On public lands, all county, state and federal regulations are in effect. Note that firearms use within 150 yards of livestock or buildings is not allowed (San Bernardino County Ordinance 22.011).

Motorized Vehicle Use
Within this Limited Use Area, routes are posted with "open" route markers.

  • BROWN markers with route numbers indicate an OPEN ROUTE for use by motorized vehicles.
  • RED markers indicate routes that have been CLOSED to all vehicle travel.
  • No marker indicates a CLOSED route. Within the Juniper Flats area, travel is permitted only on designated open routes.

If posted with BLM brown route markers, washes are open to motorized vehicle travel. Otherwise, these washes are not open for public travel. (Some land owners, mine operators or cattle ranchers may have special written permission to use such routes.)

Camping and Parking
Camping and parking is permitted within 300 feet of a designated open route. Note, however, that in other parts of the desert this does not apply if a vehicle would be parked on designated wilderness.

Camp no closer than 200 yards from a wildlife watering place (California Fish and Game Commission, title 14). Keep in mind that camping or other use of private land requires the owner's permission.

Backpacking and non-vehicular camping is welcome in the area. Fire permits are required on desert lands outside designated campgrounds and may be restricted in fire season (May 15 to October 15). Permits and fire information is available at any California Department of Forestry or BLM office.

Cultural Resources
Juniper Flats contains historic (mining) and prehistoric sites. If you happen to encounter one, take only photographs. Collection of any cultural artifact is illegal.

Weather extremes and poisonous snakes are well-known desert hazards common to this area. Juniper Flats has abandoned mining sites as well.

Old mines, tunnels and vertical shafts, with their decaying support timbers, should be avoided. Naturally occurring toxic and odorless gases have been known to collect in them.

Vehicle Use Designations
Public lands within the California Desert District of the Bureau of Land Management fall within one of three types of vehicle use designations. There are areas that are CLOSED to all vehicle travel, such as designated wilderness and areas of critical environmental concern.

There are OPEN AREAS, like Stoddard Valley, Johnson Valley, El Mirage, Dumont Dunes and Rasor Open Areas, where cross country travel is permissible. The rest of the BLM managed lands are LIMITED areas on which vehicles can travel only on existing or designated routes. The Juniper Flats Route Network has this type of route designation in place.

  Rules and Regulations

All other applicable county, state and federal laws and regulations apply.

Desert Survival