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Needles Field Office

Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation

Suv Tour of a desert Canyon.  BLM Photo


Recognizing the tremendous growth in the number of off-highway vehicles being used for recreation. The Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District encompasses 12.5 million acres - approximately one-third of the state. The California Desert District attracts millions of visitors each year that take part in many kinds of recreation. For some, the motorized vehicle is merely a means of reaching a particular place. For others, use of the vehicle for individual challenge and exploration is the main reason to visit the desert

Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) provide fun, entertainment, and discovery. However, many of the desert's most attractive and fragile resources can be destroyed if vehicle access is not properly controlled. Resources, cultural and natural, can be unintentionally damaged or destroyed by uncontrolled vehicle use. We all have the responsibility for the proper use of vehicles, so please remember to TREAD LIGHTLY on public and private lands. Through positive education, responsible recreation and continuous restoration, we can preserve the environment for our future.

Public Invited to Provide Input for 2014/2015 OHV Grant Proposals

A Jeep Rock Crawling.  BLM Photo

Side by side operators and passengers wearing helmets as required by California State law starting 1 January 2013.  Photo used with the permission of Tread Lightly INC.
Photo used with the permission of Tread Lightly Inc.

A child riding a quad under the watchful eye of an adult.  BLM Photo

Under Age OHV Laws

Full text of California State Law requiring helmets and direct adult supervision as well as other safety devices and procedures starting 1 January 2013.

Your OHV adventure may range from extreme to cautious but the same preparation and rules apply.  There are inherent risks and dangers when driving in the back-country. The condition of these routes can deteriorate quickly and substantially at any time. Therefore you may encounter conditions considerably worse than you expected. Your best course of action is to be prepared.  

Exercise caution and good judgment making sure that you and your vehicle are in top condition and that you have the proper training, safety equipment and supplies to deal with any problems you may encounter. In addition it is never wise to travel alone in the back country. Should you meet with a mishap, help will almost always be far away and long in coming. (Your cell phone may not work out here) It is also strongly suggested that you file a travel plan (and stick to it) with someone that can a alert the authorities if you are over due.

Every year millions of people take to the outdoors in search of that great adventure. Remember while on your journey to Tread Lightly! Through positive education, responsible recreation and continuous restoration, we can preserve the environment for our future.

T ravel & recreate with minimum impact
R espect the environment & rights of others
E ducate yourself; plan ahead & prepare
A llow for future use of the outdoors by others
D iscover the rewards of responsible recreation

Tread Lightly! web site


Local Trails

Sacramento Mountains

Chemehuevi Valley

Ward Valley

Kingston Mountains

More Riding Trails

Division of California State Parks Riding Areas

California BLM Riding Areas

Desert quad rider.  BLM Photo
Red jeep rock crawling.  BLM Photo
Motorcycle rider on a desert trail.  BLM Photo

What do I need to ride?

OHV Sticker Program
Printable OHV brochure

Green Sticker
--CA residents only
--OHV must meet emission standards
--valid for 2 years from date of purchase
--issued by CA DMV

Red Sticker
--for OHVs manufactured after Jan. 1, 1997 that do not meet emission standards (has a 3 or C in the 8th position of the VIN)
--vehicle may be operated only during certain times of the year (varies by area)
--valid for 2 years from date of purchase
--issued by CA DMV

Non-resident Sticker
--only needed if you do not have a valid permit or current registration for your OHV from your home state
--valid for 1 year
--issued by OHMVR Division in AZ, CA, and NV


More info at the California DMV


Cross Country Travel is not only Against the Law it's Dangerous!

Desert Safety Logo and Link

Bureau of Land Management
Needles Field Office
1303 S Highway 95
Needles, CA 92363
Phone: (760) 326-7000
Fax: (760) 326-7099
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email