The BLM plans public safety measures for 2024 King of the Hammers race


Bureau of Land Management

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Barstow Field Office

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A off road, rock crawler careens down a desert road.

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The Bureau of Land Management will implement a temporary closure of public lands from Jan. 25 – Feb. 3, 2024, in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, San Bernardino County, during the annual 2024 King of the Hammers desert race event. The race is authorized by a BLM Special Recreation Permit and the temporary closure is necessary to facilitate public safety and provide an enhanced recreation experience for event participants and spectators.

In 2022, the BLM approved a five-year public land closure for ten days a year through 2027. Registered race spectators, participants, and race officials are exempt from the closure. Approximately 81,000 acres of the Johnson Valley Off-highway Vehicle Recreation Area will be temporarily closed to public use and approximately 46,000 acres will be available for public use during the event.

“The safety of everyone involved, from participants, staff and spectators is paramount for an event of this magnitude,” said BLM California Desert District Manager Shelly Lynch. “We encourage the public to recreate responsibly and cooperate with race officials and law enforcement officers to ensure a safe and enjoyable race.”

The temporary closure complies with the management plan for the area. Recreation areas nearby will remain open to the public, including the Ord-Rodman Limited Use Area and Stoddard Valley Off-highway Vehicle Area. Information and a map of the closure area for the 2024 race event will be posted at the main entry points into the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area and available for viewing at the BLM’s California Desert District Office and Barstow Field Office. Download a map of the closure here.

The BLM encourages the public to recreate responsibly on public lands. Find additional tips for recreating responsibly on public lands. The BLM manages public lands for the benefit of current and future generations, supporting conservation in pursuit of its multiple-use mission. For more information, contact the California Desert District Office at 951-697-5200, or the Barstow Field Office at 760-252-6000.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.