Recently, I had the opportunity to camp on some land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that`s open to a diverse group of users. The area is the El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area in the Mojave Desert on the western edge of California’s San Bernardino County.
Why is El Mirage so Unique?
The geological feature of El Mirage that differs from other off-road areas is the six-mile El Mirage Dry Lake Bed. Not only is it open to the standard assortment of off-road vehicles, but it’s open to many off-road and recreational vehicles including:
- Wind Powered Vehicles, which includes land yachts and kite buggies
- Aircraft, including ultra-lights, gyrocopters, parasails and even conventional airplanes.
- Remote controlled model airplanes, model rockets and drones.
Most importantly, it’s open to RVs. They are welcome to camp almost anywhere within the 24,400 acres. If you have ever wondered how fast your RV can go, head onto the smooth, flat dry lake surface. It has no speed limit and RVers can just put the “pedal to the metal.” This is where high-performance vehicles have been clocked at more than 300 mph by the Southern California Timing Association!
Additionally, less adventurous RVers may choose quieter places. These include one of the many shade armadas, fire rings and grills that are in the area. The site can be a home base to enjoy off-roading or other activities for the day.
Explore More in El Mirage
Those without motorized toys are also welcome to the stroll the area. There`s varied terrain and desert vegetation, which includes creosote bush, rabbit brush, Joshua trees and some species of cactus. As it is the desert, its wise to stay clear of dangerous desert plants that are specific to the dry, arid, region.
Further, non-motorized activities also include rock hounding, rock scrambling and wildlife watching. El Mirage also contains desert tortoises and its wise to be aware of rattlesnakes that commonly inhabit the area.
Entry fees are $15 per day (until noon the following day) or $30 per week. Plan a stop at El Mirage during your next RV trek and enjoy this multi-use public land!