Ridgecrest Field office

So Where Can I Ride my Off-Highway Vehicle?

On the Public Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Ridgecrest Field Office, all lands are designated as Open, Limited or Closed to Off-Highway Vehicles. We have included the signs the users of these areas will see on the ground and provided some guidance on the use of these areas.

Open Area Sign

Open Areas: On the lands designated as Open, motorized vehicles may be operated anywhere your skill and vehicle can go within the boundaries of the Open Area. They are the only places where you are permitted to travel cross-country off the existing trail network.

These areas are:

  
Limited Use Area Existing

Limited Use Areas - Existing Routes: Within these Limited Use Areas, motorized vehicle travel is restricted to the existing road and trail network and all cross-country travel is prohibited. An existing route is any road or trail that is at least 24 inches in width and show some previous use. Desert washes are also considered to be existing routes even if flash floods have erased all evidence of their previous use. On BLM lands managed by the Ridgecrest Field Office, Limited Use Areas within the existing route designations can be found in:

  • Cuddeback Lake Basin
  • El Paso Mountains
  • Panamint Valley
  • Randemacher Hills (South of Ridgecrest)
  • Red Mountain (East of US Highway 395)
  • Summit Range (South of Spangler Hills OHV Area)

All cross-country travel is prohibited in these areas and the designated routes are marked with brown trail markers. You may only use the designated route network --- all other trails are closed --- even if you do not see a red closed sign. You can obtain desert access guides from the Ridgecrest Field Office to aid you in your trail riding.

  
Limited Use Area Designated

Limited Use Areas - Designated Routes: Within some Limited Use Areas, motorized use is restricted to a specific designated road and trail network to protect sensitive natural and cultural resources. On BLM lands managed by the Ridgecrest Field Office, these areas are:

  • Jawbone-Butterbredt Area of Critical Environmental Concern
  • Rand Mountain-Fremont Valley Management Area

All cross-country travel is prohibited in these areas and the designated routes are marked with brown trail markers. You may only use the designated route network --- all other trails are closed --- even if you do not see a red closed sign. You can obtain desert access guides from the Ridgecrest Field Office to aid you in your trail riding.

  
Closed Area

Closed Areas: Within sites designated as Closes Areas, motorized vehicle use is prohibited. Some of these areas include:

  • All Designated Wilderness Areas
  • Desert Tortoise Natural Area
  • Pacific Crest Trail

The Boundaries of all closed Areas are well signed.

Just Remember:

  • OPEN AREAS -Cross-country travel permitted.
  • LIMITED AREAS - No cross-country travel permitted.
  • CLOSED AREA - No motorized vehicles permitted.

The willful violation of these motorized use regulations is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a year imprisonment.

Additional Information: The BLM encourages all desert recreationists and travelers exploring public lands, not only within southern California but throughout the west to use a propylene glycol based antifreeze/coolant in their touring and recreation vehicles. Proven safer, it will have minimal impacts on both the wildlife and the environment should a leak occur.

To help BLM preserve California's fragile deserts, please park your vehicles or set up camp in previously disturbed sites.